As adults and parents, we want to set a good example in what we think, say, and do. We want to model self-care for our children and our families. Yet, we’re still in the process of learning what we’re trying to teach.
If you notice that you could learn a thing or two about self-care, you’re not alone. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person. It doesn’t mean you can’t improve. It indicates the opposite.
By noticing that you aren’t going to give yourself an A+ today, you can improve your skills in the art of self-care.
Since this is an area for continuous development, let’s look at hands-on skills you can start today.
One of the best ways to learn about self-care is to start reading, studying, and prioritizing the topic.
Self-care has become an increasingly popular topic. A lot of adults are realizing that they didn’t learn these skills growing up. Your parents may have focused on external achievements. They may have asked you, “What are your grades?” or “Why didn’t you get an A+?”
They may not have asked, “How are you taking care of yourself?”
As adults, it’s easy to repeat these kinds of questioning habits to ourselves. This can keep us in a vicious cycle of focusing on external achievements, often at the expense of internal experiences.
To learn better self-care skills, start with small steps.
- Read books, articles, and guides to learn about self-care practices for daily life.
- Focus on expert articles that outline hands-on skills for work-life balance. Focus on scientific research to refine your efforts in building a healthy lifestyle.
- Ask your friends and family for self-care tips that they use. You don’t need to start from scratch.
- Educate yourself about setting boundaries. Explore the benefits of not being ‘married to your work.’
- Investigate ways to lower stress. For instance, if you notice that you’re constantly worrying about credit card debt, explore your options to find relief. Just do a quick Internet search for a loan agency, and you’ll get answers in minutes. Many programs exist to consolidate debt into one low-interest payment.
Setting boundaries. Investing in yourself. Making time to breathe, move, and relax. Learning about financial options. These are things you can learn more about.
What are you teaching your kids? Are you teaching your kids how to practice self-care? Are your children, your partner, and your parents practicing self-care?
- Modeling is a great way to learn. What questions can you ask to help your family focus on self-care?
- Share insights and help make self-care part of an ongoing conversation.
- Learn from other parents, adults, and experts. Put one thing into action each day.
- Teach your children about self-care in terms of physical, mental, and financial health. Look for age-appropriate ways to develop self-care skills. Talk with other parents, teachers, and experts to get ideas and suggestions to help your kids learn about healthy living.
This would have to be the most important step – practicing self-care. Putting into practice what you have learnt to have a better you.
- Support your practice of self-care. Make dates with yourself for personal time. This may be time for self-reflection, journaling, yoga, reading, or other practices you find nourishing.
- Spend time in nature. You may have heard about Forest Bathing. – It is a proven method to feel rejuvenated. This traditional Japanese practice is known for calming and soothing the mind and body. This is a time to get out amongst trees, focus on beauty, and take time to breathe. Get ready to feel rejuvenated and refreshed. Forest bathing is an activity you can do on your own, with your partner, children, or as a family.
- Include everyone as you practice self-care with your loved ones. Ask all family members to contribute ideas and suggestions. You may notice that each person has a different perspective on what they find comforting, soothing, and rejuvenating. Why not learn, share, and grow together?
- Include self-care as a top priority for your travels. Balance excitement with nurturing activities. Balance outgoing trips such as going to Disneyland, with more calming excursions, like Forest Bathing.
- Include every family member in making decisions about self-care. Many families strive to listen to the needs of young children, who are not able to speak for themselves.
As we get better at self-care, we can gain confidence in our abilities and skills. It’s entirely possible to start today. We can learn more about self-care, teach our kids, and practice this valuable skill together.