We’re all familiar with self-care for adults. There are a lot of lit candles, long baths, and many glasses of wine. Very rarely do we think of kids as needing self-care too, but of course they do! The only thing is, their time off often looks very different from their grown-up counterparts. If you’ve been looking for ways to introduce activities that help your kids reset and refresh, Sunny Present has you covered. Keep reading to learn more about kid self-care strategies below.

How to Explain Self-Care to Kids

Every child needs to check in with themselves and use tools to manage their wellness better. But how do you explain the act of self-care (especially to younger kids)? Well, an excellent place to start is presenting them with a range of activity options and watching how they respond to them. You can then help them schedule self-care breaks every so often and do weekly check-ins. Another way you can explain self-care is through role modeling. According to VeryWell Family, kids often learn more from what their parents do than what they say! Thus, be sure to take some me-time and embody self-care values in your own life as well. For example, finding ways to lower stress overall will not go unnoticed by the kids. If you’re a work-from-home parent, you can reduce stress by creating a schedule and establishing ground rules, so everyone’s boundaries are respected. 

Movement and Play

Instilling the joy of movement will be an invaluable asset in your kid’s life. The CDC recommends that children under the age of 12 get at least sixty minutes of physical exercise each day. But the great thing about childhood is that kids love exploring movement through play instead of regimented workout classes or strict exercise programs. Whether it’s walking around the block, trampolining, playing monsters, or inventing new games, there is no dearth of creative play activities that get your kid moving. 

Unleash Creativity

Meaningful and mindful activities that harness your child’s inner creativity will be another self-care asset. Be sure to encourage painting, pottery, inventing recipes, and other forms of creative expression your child enjoys. Activities like this are ideal for releasing stress and helping kids wind down and decompress. Not to mention, creativity also helps build fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities. 

Reset Strategies

Another great way to instill the values of self-care is to provide your child with strategies to reset after a long or difficult day. One example of this is the ‘leave it at the door’ exercise, where any negativity is left behind before walking into the home. This teaches your kids how to create positive mental shifts. Another strategy is to teach your child to take a ‘compassion break’ after a difficult or long day. This involves reflection on the stressful event and a discussion about any feelings that your child may have experienced as a result — both good and bad.. This strategy is invaluable as it teaches kids to be there for themselves and show up with kindness. 

Music for the Soul

Numerous studies have shown that music helps accelerate brain development in kids. It boosts problem-solving, processing, and decision-making abilities as well. Learning to play an instrument or even listen to music regularly can help foster these benefits. Music also teaches them to express themselves, whether it’s through playing music or dancing. Encourage them to seek out music not only as a skill, but as a way to connect with themselves. That’s a win-win!

Introducing a self-care toolkit into your kids’ life is one of the best gifts you can give them. Self-care can help children of all ages deal more effectively with stress and become aware of their physical and emotional needs. You’ll also see their relationships blossom more strongly, with better confidence and self-esteem. Try these self-care strategies and watch your kid’s life transform today!

Be sure to try the Sunny Present card decks for Kids for an exciting learning experience for you and the kids! If you’re looking for more resources and guides.  This piece was written by our guest blogger Anya Willis. Read more by visiting her website, Fitkids.info.

In addition, here are some helpful links to refer to:

https://www.brainfacts.org/thinking-sensing-and-behaving/learning-and-memory/2020/kids-need-brain-breaks-010920
https://www.verywellfamily.com/role-model-the-behavior-you-want-to-see-from-your-kids-1094785
https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/some-assembly-required/201708/what-you-need-know-about-stress-and-self-care
https://www.zenbusiness.com/blog/working-home-with-kids/
https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm
There is no way to fulfill all the expectations demanded of you – Be merciful to yourself and have strong boundaries – Sunny Present
https://news.usc.edu/102681/childrens-brains-develop-faster-with-music-training/

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