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Self-Care for Families and Youth

Self-care is any intentional action that is done by an individual to take care of their own mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Individual self-care involves any action during the day that helps maintain a feeling of calm, balance, and wellness (e.g. setting boundaries, meditation, play breaks, movement breaks, self-advocacy). Creating a self-care plan, where the identification and incorporation of specific self-care strategies for promoting resilience and maintaining a healthy life balance, can help ensure self-care becomes a part of daily routines. The resources below are provided to assist families and youth with resources to develop self-care plans and routines.

How to self-care when you work from home and your child is learning from home

Families are experiencing increased levels of stress as they attempt to adapt to working from home while students are also learning from home. This novel environment during the pandemic can be disruptive to school, work, and family life. Providing clear boundaries for home, school, and work can help to alleviate stress and establish a routine.

  • Create a family schedule
    • Try to keep to a schedule as much as possible
    • Include times for breaks, and work/schoolwork - try movement breaks like those provided by Go noodle
    • Make the schedule visual to help youth remember what they should be doing
    • Provide clear rules on expected behavior
    • Make a green/red sign to let youth know when you can be interrupted or when you cannot answer their questions

  • Help your youth identify what goals they have for the year and what steps they need to accomplish them. Goals will vary depending on the age of the youth but setting goals can help to keep students focused and on-task with completing their schoolwork.

  • Ask for help – schools and families are learning how to adapt to the new virtual settings. No one has all the answers, but by working together families and schools can come up with new ideas on how to help youth succeed. Communication with your child's teacher and schools can help provide some of this support.

  • Set up a designated workspace. Think about the personality of your youth and the space available in the home to set up their workspace. Some youth thrive on quiet and will need an out of the way place without distractions. Others thrive on interaction and hands-on accountability and would benefit from being in a spot where an adult can walk by them frequently.

  • Create some games that can help get work done, coordinate a fun family activity, and help get things done around the house. Some ideas include:
    • Scavenger hunt: a way to burn off energy and help you find things around the house.
    • Beat the clock: set a timer and see if your youth can finish a task.
    • BINGO: create bingo boards for activities you want to do as a family or would like your youth to get done during the day/week. BINGO boards can also be used to create ideas for boredom busters that are pre-approved by adults.

Family Self-Care Strategies

Mindfulness Practices for families

Young Children at Home during the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Importance of Self-Care (Spanish available)

Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty

CDC: Coping with Stress

Youth Self-Care Strategies

The start of the school year always brings mixed emotions from students and this year is no different! Whether you are starting school in person, virtually, or a combination of the two- it is normal to have mixed emotions. Sometimes those emotions go from one extreme to the other in the same day, or even hour. It is important to provide ideas for students to manage their emotions and feelings. Some ideas include:

  • Think about what has made you feel calm during the pandemic. Which of those activities can you do when you are feeling stressed?
  • Pay attention to your body- what parts of you feel tight or different when you are upset? What can you do to help you manage those emotions when your body first starts to tell you it is getting upset?

Does music or sounds help? Here are some resources to explore:

Interested in learning to meditate – here are some resources: (*PLEASE BE ADVISED for some youth meditation and not being aware of their environment can increase levels of stress. Please think about the youth and ask if they are okay with sitting with their eyes closed)

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