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December is Self-Care Awareness Month

Updated: Jan 8

Article by Dr. Wendy Thomson

For Parents, prioritizing your own well-being benefits your whole family

UCP charter schools offer clinical counseling on-site at most of our locations, where students can be seen by one of our clinical counselors. Mental health though isn't just important for students, it is important for our parents to prioritize themselves as well. Taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury; it’s essential... here are things that may help:

Make time for yourself

  • For many of us, it can be a struggle to maintain our mental health. Achieving balance is a crucial part of creating happiness and meeting life goals.

  • We must intentionally create time to recharge outside of daily pressures. This could look like taking a shower or bath, walking around the block alone (or with your dog), designating time to read, or some other preferred activity.

Prioritize healthy choices

  • Ongoing stress can make it easy to slip into habits that feel good in the moment but can be damaging in the long run. This means being thoughtful and intentional about how you’re treating yourself and your body.

  • Small changes like making time to take a walk, doing a short exercise routine, or choosing to go to bed a little earlier than usual can reduce stress and help you feel more relaxed and resilient. Each "different" and "mindful" choice brings you steps closer to the relief you seek.

Set boundaries

  • In a world full of responsibilities and pressure, it can be easy to absorb other people’s fears and concerns without even realizing it.

  • If you have a friend or family member who’s in the habit of sending worst-case-scenario news or is prone to sending anxiety-provoking text messages, practice a little emotional distancing. Let them know you sympathize but that you’re taking a break from worrying news, or simply hit the Do Not Disturb button. You can always reconnect when things are calmer.

Reconnect with things you enjoy

  • Self-care can be as simple as taking a shower. Finding time to get back in touch with things you enjoy or choosing to learn a new skill can be a great way to practice self-care. Maybe there’s a creative project you’ve always wanted to try or a book you wanted to read.

  • Remember, being kind to yourself will not only help you stay calm during difficult times, but it will also help ensure that you have the bandwidth you need to take good care of your family. When you’re running on fumes, caring for others can tax your already depleted resources.

  • When you prioritize your needs, you’re filling the tank, emotionally and physically, and that means you’ll be in a position to offer comfort and care to others when they need it most.

Download our December article HERE for easy reference later

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