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Self-care is often focused on the individual. While that’s also important, it can be difficult when one is part of a larger unit, such as a family, to ensure the mental well-being of all members. With this in mind, the family that cares for itself together can coexist together, so start developing your families own routine for mental well-being.
1. Develop a Bedtime Routine
There’s been so much upheaval for young ones in the past year. For that matter, there’s been a lot of disturbances for the more mature members of the family, too. Having a set routine for bedtime can help alleviate this, since it provides a stable ending to the day. While it may be fun to stay up and watch one’s favorite shows, it also disrupts the normal rhythms of the day. Having a schedule for when the littles go to bed can help to give them a sense of proportion and order in a chaotic world filled with homeschooling and many new patterns. It may also enable you to turn off the tv at a reasonable hour and work on getting to sleep yourself. When you wake up, be sure to partake in healthy morning habits as well.
2. Spending Quality Time as a Family
With older children, it can seem like everyone has a different idea of fun. However, with younger children, it’s important to expose them to sensory experiences, like cooking or dancing together. Here, what is vital is that the children feel connected to each other and to you, so it could be almost anything that is active. What’s important is that everyone is learning, and everyone is engaged. So, if you don’t enjoy cooking, perhaps now is a time to learn a few basics, so your children can have the experience. If you don’t typically enjoy dancing or playing games, why not try a few moves, a new game, something that enriches you?
3. A Great Diet
While there’s room for the occasional treat, your diet should be made up of vegetables, fruits, high-quality meats, and good carbohydrates. This gives your body the resources it needs to care for you, physically and mentally. While you can, obviously, prepare food for the whole family all by yourself, this is one of those times in which you can enlist the aid of everyone. It acts as a binder, if everyone is invested in what they would like to prepare, then everyone will enjoy it more. It’s also a great way to introduce kids to new foods that they haven’t tried yet, and to ask them to taste it thoroughly, so you can get some feedback on what will be as well or better received.
4. Good Moisturizing Routines
Good moisturizing needs to be taught. We don’t necessarily know what to do for dry hands, feet, elbows, and lips if we don’t see it practiced. However, the great thing about little children is that they mimic the routines of what they see. If they observe you applying lotion, they will want some, too. Natural lotions—those made with lanolin or some other, non-invasive process—are the best sources of moisture. You will want the best lip balm for chapped lips in order to keep them moisturized. So, definitely let them observe you applying balm to your overly sanitized hands, your cold-chapped face and lips, and other parts of your body, like your heels or your elbows. They’ll want to join in, and it’s a great teaching opportunity for you to show them how to care for themselves.
5. Get out in Nature
It’s important to have an exercise routine for daily movement, but more importantly, you should try to interest them in a natural setting. Whether it’s the way to the neighborhood park or a trail in a more rugged setting, it can be good for children to learn how to exist in both the built word and the natural one. Check out local trails that are more removed from society, rec centers with their walking trails, and interesting routes you can take them on short walks around their local area. It’s also a great idea to play a game outside that the whole family can enjoy. On the days when weather makes it impossible to get out and enjoy, try stretching together in the living room.
Self-care doesn’t need to be difficult. While it’s important for you to take time for yourself, it’s also important as a family to engage in activities and pastimes that build a sense of togetherness. Take a few moments to craft your own interpretation of family self-care, and get everyone’s opinion.