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Self-care for the Caregiver
Self-care isn’t just for your kids! With that, leading by example in the realm of self-care is pivotal. The same way we model label reading and asking safety related questions, we must model taking good care of our well-being.
With that, parents of children with food allergies have stressors that other parents may never have to face. Practicing self-care daily can be an effective strategy in reducing stress and anxiety in your day to day life.
Easy Ways to Begin Self-Care:
1. Know that There are Many Types of Self-Care
- Emotional (writing in a journal, talking about feelings, writing positive notes etc.)
- Physical (dancing, walking, or yoga)
- Spiritual (praying, meditating, or making a gratitude list)
- Mental (vision boards, drawing, or practicing mindfulness)
- Practical (decluttering or making a budget)
- Social (visit family/friends or join a team)
2. Try Self-Care in the Background
One of the biggest arguments against adding self-care into a daily routine is that it is time consuming! This is untrue. Understandably, busy days come, but that does not mean self-care should be sacrificed. Self-care in the background just refers to a low maintenance version of self-care.
Do you love classical music, or country music? Play it in the background while you finish your work.
Do certain scents put your mind at ease? Purchase an essential oil diffuser to turn on while you fold laundry or call a friend.
3. Attempt Doing Something You Love
Self-care is NOT selfish. Likewise, it cannot be something treated as a task or a chore. This is something that should fill your tank back up, not drain from it. This could be hiking, taking a walk, sunbathing outside, cooking, baking, etc. Everyone’s self-care looks different. If running doesn’t make you happy, that is not your form of self-care. However, if reading a chapter of your favorite book every day will invigorate you, you’ve found your niche!
4. Include the Kids
Self-care can also be a family event, and it is a great way to model the behavior. This can be anything from a family bike ride to a game night.
5. Make a Routine
Self-care needs to become a habit, and therefore should be incorporated as a part of daily routine. Self-care needs to be something you believe is a necessity to every day. Therefore, incorporate it by naturally building it into your routine. Maybe it’s a relaxing cup of coffee in the morning, a walk after work, or a piece of chocolate in the evening - stick to something that works for YOU!
Download FAACT's Self-care for the Caregiver handout.