The pandemic has highlighted the need for all of us to prioritize our health—both physical and mental. Our friends at Action for Healthy Kids have created a resource to help your family create a self-care plan (En español). While self-care is something one does on one’s own, having your family work together to create a plan helps teach your kids the importance of taking care of their needs, fosters communication, and helps everyone in the family understand how to support each other.

The article spells out how your family can create a self-care plan in just a few simple steps:

  1. Set aside some time for the family to start planning with everyone present (no phones!).
  2. Figure out how your family wants to address everyone’s self-care needs, whether it is just incorporating relaxation time into everyone’s schedules or setting goals to work towards (e.g., reducing screen time, time spent outdoors, etc.).
  3. Brainstorm activities for each family member. Make sure to include activities for both body and mind. The article includes suggestions for physical activities, mental health support, and building family relationships.
  4. Determine how often to engage in various activities, especially the family-oriented ones. Keep in mind that your introverted kid will likely need more solo activities than your extroverted one. Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all activity. Plan on having a weekly family check-in to see how everyone is doing.
  5. Keep your plan in a place where everyone can see it regularly, such as on the refrigerator or by the front door. This helps remind everyone of your family’s commitment to their physical and mental health.

The article also recommends keeping the plan simple without making it a long list of ambitious activities. Remember that the point of a self-care plan is not to stress everyone out, so be flexible in implementing it. Recognize that some days might be too busy to try and fit something in, and don’t be afraid to ditch an idea that isn’t working and replace it with something else. Check out the full article for more ideas and information.

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