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"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings."

 

~Hodding Carter

Self-Care for Parents and Kids

 

Why is Self-Care Important?

 

Self-care is important for all people, young and old. In order to maintain balance in one's life, it is necessary to include positive, nurturing activities into our daily routines. We are often consumed with the worries of life's stressors and responsibilities and we must balance these negative issues with self-care activities.

 

For Adults

 

We are our children's best role models. It is important to take care of ourselves and encourage this in our children. One of the best ways to keep our children happy is be happy ourselves.

For parents in early recovery, self-care can be the key to avoiding relapse and staying healthy. It is a vital aspect of the recovery journey and cannot be overlooked and minimized without risking a great deal.

For non-addicted parents, the stressors stemming from work, parenting, and living/dealing with an addict can be quite overwhelming. Despite efforts to compartmentalize, these stressors begin to have a negative impact on other, usually more pleasant, life events. Clearly, self-care is important to all adults!

 

For Children

 

The natural state of children is to be carefree and joyful. However, children are often overwhelmed with very grown-up issues that they are not prepared to handle (i.e. divorce, domestic violence, addiction, financial strain, etc.). It is important that children learn self-care behaviors and the importance of these rituals as they get older.

 

Self-Care Activities

 

For Adults

 

  • Sit in the sunniest morning spot with a hot cup of coffee, milk, or tea and look out the window admiring any beauty in the surroundings or sky.
  • Stretch languorously and appreciate your health.
  • Allow time for a daydream as big as you can possibly imagine.
  • Chat with your God, higher power, or personal guides or angels.
  • Write in a journal without censoring.
  • Be grateful for anything that is going well.
  • Pray and/or meditate.
  • Breath consciously and deliberately.
  • Take a walk in nature or sit by water.
  • Take a bubble bath.

 

For Children

 

  • Sing your favorite song
  • Play with your family pet
  • Go on a nature walk; collect fallen leaves, cool rocks, feathers, etc.
  • Exercise (shoot hoops, kick around the ball, take a walk)
  • Read a daily meditation (like Kids Power Too)
  • Play an instrument
  • Dance to a fun song
  • Make silly faces at yourself in the mirror; see how creative you can get!
  • Read a favorite book or story
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play with play-doh or clay
  • Color
  • Write in a journal or diary

 

Activities to do as a family

 

  • Cook or bake a child-friendly recipe (something they can help a lot with-like rolling out cookie dough, using cookie cutters to cut out shapes, then decorating with icing, sprinkles, candy, etc. when they're done)
  • Make Self-Care Bags and make a daily ritual out of doing the activity together daily
  • Play outside together
  • Modify some of the individual self-care activities to do together:

-Nature walk

-Read together

-Draw/Color together

-Blow bubbles and try to catch them

-Dance and sing