In the words of Eleanor Brown, “Self-care is so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
However, we often think about self-care as something that we do individually. But, as Action for Healthy Kids points out, practicing self-care as a family can help “support healthy communication and create a better understanding for how to support our loved ones”. That means that setting aside time for self-care will not only help the minds and bodies of all members of the family, but relationships will be strengthened as well.
If you’re not quite sure how to make sure your family is devoting enough time to self-care, the best thing you can do is make a plan and stick to it! To help, here are a few practical tips for creating a self-care plan for the whole family.
How to Create a Family Self-Care Plan
Set a goal for self-care.
Brainstorm the top stressors that your family encounters on a daily basis. Then, pick one or two things that the family can commit to working on together. Decreasing the number of stresses that challenge the family daily will help bring balance and peace to your home
Set aside time for planning weekly.
Once a week, have family members come together to help brainstorm ways that the family can practice self-care. It is really important for all family members to have a voice in creating the plan so that the plan will be reflective of the interests of everyone. Self-care can be practiced in many different ways.
Pick a handful of activities for the week that nourish the body, mind, and emotions.
Some examples of these types of activities include working on nutrition by having each member of the family pick a healthy meal for dinner that week, taking family walks or bike rides together, playing board games or card games as a family, or even setting aside a specific time to chat each day.
Keep the plan where everyone can see it.
Here is where the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play. Your family plan needs to be displayed in a high traffic area where everyone can see it. This will help the family hold one another accountable for practicing self-care throughout the week.
Finally, create a network with other families that are also interested in practicing self-care.
Having a community that shares your desire to strengthen the family unit will enable you to have people to go to when there are road bumps and you need advice. As a parent and mental health professional, I rely heavily on my tribe of people for ideas and accountability.
At my new job, self-care is something that is discussed daily. Having accountability and knowing that others will be asking me how I am practicing self-care for myself and my family helps me to be more intentional in implementing my plan, rather than just devising a plan and not actually doing anything with it.
Here at The Lily Jo Project, we believe in creating a community committed to bettering mental health and building strong, resilient families. We have a Facebook group where mental health and family resources are shared often. I moderate the group, and we would love to have you join our community. You can request to join here – looking forward to seeing you there!
If you enjoyed this article, you may find the following articles helpful:
- Back to Basics: 4 Key Ways to Maintain Good Mental Health at Home
- 5 Tips for Creating a Stress-Free (Or At Least LESS Stressed) Household
- Teaching Your Kids to Recognize Signs of Stress: 5 Practical Tips
- Exercise for Mental Wellness – How to Get Mental Health Movement Moments Into Your Day
Action for Healthy Kids. (2020). Create a Family Self-Care Plan. Retrieved from https://www.actionforhealthykids.org/activity/create-a-family-self-care-plan/
About the Author: Brandy Browne
Brandy Browne is an early childhood educator in the United States, as well as a family coach and blogger for UnStuck (www.unstucks.com), her family coaching service aimed at helping families develop positive habits and breaking the cycle of generational trauma and poverty.
Her education is in early and elementary education, and she also has a masters degree in parenting and child/adolescent development. Brandy is a wife to her high school sweetheart of fifteen years, and together they share three children, aged ten, seven, and five. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, writing, and distance running.