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Self-Care: It’s Not Just for Adults

Stress, anxiety, and mental and physical fatigue are not just issues experienced by adults. Even the youngest members of your household can feel the strain, but, like you, they may be able to ease their burden by simply practicing self-care.

Signs Of Stress In Kids Image via Pexels

According to Scholastic, the signs of stress in the younger set include:

● Overreacting

● Issues eating and sleeping

● Social withdrawal

● Hyperactivity

● Bedwetting

● Aggression

● Trouble concentrating

● Nightmares

Additionally, kids who are stressed, often because of school or social pressure, may be anxious, emotional, and exhibit sudden personality changes too significant to be attributed to maturity or puberty.

Encouraging Self-Care

Self-care is easy for pre-school-aged children who have yet to develop the ability to fully consider others in their desires and actions. But, for older children and teenagers, the need to focus on themselves begins to dwindle, and it will continue to do so without your encouragement. One of the best ways to show your kids that self-care matters is by making sure to do things for yourself. Ideas include:

Getting a massage. Something as simple as a 30-minute massage from Village Roots Wellness can help you (and/or your older teenager) relax and wind down. Massage is also great for those who play sports as it helps to relax the muscles.

Model financial responsibility. Money is a source of stress for virtually all working-age people. You can model financial responsibility by creating a budget and sticking to it. Further, you can help children learn this valuable life skill by providing an allowance in exchange for doing chores around the house. This also pulls double duty as a confidence-boosting exercise, as they get to learn how to reap the rewards of a job well done while also having an opportunity to miss deadlines and make other mistakes in a safe space.

Walking away from negative people. Toxic friendships and relationships are, unfortunately, present during just about every stage in life. Nicole Arzt, LMFT tells Choosing Therapy that toxic friendships are frustrating and exhausting. Toxic friends will tease, coerce, and disrespect and these people have no place in your or your children’s lives. Be willing to let go of negative influences so that your children will feel comfortable doing the same.

Other Self-Care Ideas For Kids And Teens

Doing homework on time. There are few things more stressful than creeping up on a deadline with a blank paper.

Get enough sleep. Sleep is when the body grows and heels, and it is especially important for younger kids and teenagers, who may require 10 or more hours of sleep each night.

Engage in proper hygiene practices. Kids are notoriously either anti-bath or you can’t get them out of the water. Regardless of which end of the spectrum your kids fall into, make sure they understand the importance of hygiene, such as brushing teeth, cleaning the belly button, and wearing deodorants. Encourage things like handwashing, which the Canadian Centre For Occupational Health & Safety asserts also helps reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Food is fuel, and eating a great balance of protein, fat, fiber, and other necessary nutrients helps children’s bodies and minds grow.

Have some quiet time. Encourage your children to take 10 or 15 minutes each afternoon to relax and decompress in the quiet after a long day at school.

While self-care looks different for everyone, there are a few things that we can all do to encourage our children to take proper care of themselves now and for the long term. Modeling financial wellness, walking away from toxic friendships, and even practicing proper hygiene will all go a long way toward reducing stress and anxiety in the smallest members of your household.

Village Roots Wellness remains open to serve you when you need us the most.

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