Self-Care: Kids Edition
When the conversation of "self-care "arises, it's often presented in the context of an "adults only" conversation. Youth are largely forgotten about as the world is too busy trying to sell us self-care in expensive spa packages. We know it's deeper than that. Self-care is not only an act of liberation for adults, but children largely benefit from developing a self-care practice early in life.
Major Depressive Episodes + Youth
According to Mental Health America, statistics have shown that 13.84% of youth (age 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. Many of our youth will not receive the care they need, even if resources are readily available in their area. Untreated depression and mental health problems can transition into adulthood. By teaching our youth the importance of identifying their needs now, we are helping to develop healthy habits into adulthood.
Tips to teaching kids about self care
- Start by teaching them basic skills. Allow them to help you cook healthy meals, or give them baths and brush their teeth so that they can gain the foundation of for taking care of themselves.
- Stimulate their minds. Kids are very much into electronics, which isn't entirely bad, but give their mind a break from the overstimulation. Instead, buy toys and games that encourage imaginative play. You may even consider taking yoga classes together so that they can develop a deeper sense of their inner selves.
- Talking about emotions in an age appropriate manner. Toddlers of young children may benefit from an emotion chart of drawings, whereas talking to a teenager is different. Helping youth understand their emotions helps them to better handle their emotions
- Get active! It doesn't have to consist of physically going to a gym with your kids, but even a simple game of hopscotch to get the body moving will do wonders for the body. Don't think of it as exercise. Think of it as play time.
- Teaching kids that downtime is not a bad thing is important. We live in a society that encourages people to constantly be on the go. Sometimes the best way to practice self-care is to do nothing at all.
- Spend some quality time with kids. Go get some ice cream, play games, or just have a fun conversation. Make it a habit to spend time together.
- Go outside and get some good sunlight! Your kids may learn that incorporating nature in their self care routine is something they love to do.