Helping Others Begins With Caring for Yourself

The world is experiencing so much uncertainty, and so much disruption of our lives right now. As parents may be assuming a different role from what they have been accustomed – and different, possibly, from what they feel prepared for, in caring for their children all day long, at home – it will be important for them to attend to some self-care. Parents and family members in caregiving roles should make sure they are eating healthy food, getting enough rest, and getting some fresh air and exercise. While a playground visit would not be wise, some active play in the back yard or a walk down the street will help lower stress levels. Attempts at self-care are most successful when adults examine what “feeds” them – what refuels them or “fills them up” – then plan for it. Put it into the daily schedule. When another adult is there to share the responsibilities for the children and the home, there can be a plan for each adult to have a time to do what he or she needs to refresh and rest. Caregiving adults who are on their own may need to use naptimes and bedtimes for taking some time to do what is necessary for their self-care. Adults who attend to their own needs will be better able to pay attention to, and meet, their children’s emotional and physical needs.

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