Effective Ways To Model Self-Care for Your Kids
Written by Anya Willis
Did you know only 6.6% of American adults actively participate in daily self-care? Yet 41.5% of those same adults have suffered anxiety disorders or depression symptoms since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since children learn best from the adults in their lives, you must start practicing self-care. Doing so models positive behaviors for your children, which benefits them for the rest of their lives.
Limit Your Stress as a Business Owner
Freelancing or owning a business can be stressful. The stress from work can seep into other aspects of your life, causing a chain reaction that your children see. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of work burnout, you can take steps to help reduce stress.
Limit distractions during your work hours to make the most effective use of the available time. This helps reduce the total hours you need to invest, freeing up time for self-care and family activities. Learn to delegate tasks, even if that means hiring freelancers for your business. You can find freelancers on websites, such as Upwork and Freelancer. It’s also helpful to tackle your largest tasks (or the ones you want to do least) first thing in the morning.
Create a Time for Family Thankfulness
Find a time each day for your family to sit down and talk about what they’re most thankful for. This can help shift the way your family unit thinks, focusing more on the positive. Finding the positive is most helpful during times of high stress.
Try working thankfulness into your evening meal or bedtime routine. Have everyone mention something positive that happened during the day and one thing they’re most thankful for at the time. You can even write these down in a journal to keep track of them over time.
Do Yoga as a Unit
Yoga is a self-care habit that actively promotes physical and mental wellness. On top of the health benefits already offered, doing yoga with your children can encourage bonding through a shared activity.
Even the youngest children can participate in yoga, although they may need altered poses. Most yoga poses have altered versions that are easier for the very young, the very old, or the disabled. One of the best times to do yoga is first thing in the morning. However, if your family isn’t full of morning people, you can also use yoga to wind down about an hour before your regular bedtime routine starts.
Teach Deep Breathing Techniques
Deep breathing techniques are a simple, effective method of self-regulation that even the youngest children can pick up on. Explain to your children how to breathe deeply through their noses and exhale through their mouths. Tell them to use this if they feel frustrated. Then, model this behavior for them.
If toddlers have problems with deep breathing, tell them to pretend they’re blowing bubbles. They inhale deeply through their nose to get enough air, then exhale through their mouth as they “blow invisible bubbles.”
Modeling Self-care Makes the Entire Family Feel Better
Actively modeling frequent self-care provides a positive example for your children and makes the whole family feel better. Visit Rediscovering Sacredness to find valuable spiritual and mental wellness resources to help you on your journey.
As a mom, Anya Willis understands getting kids to be active is no easy feat. She knows yoga isn’t for everyone, so she’s always scouting new ways to get kids moving to help parents keep their children healthy.