Self-care has become such a buzzword during this pandemic. The idea is to take care of oneself amid the COVID-19 crisis. Not only does it entail protecting the body from the novel coronavirus, but it also involves fostering mental health and overall well-being.
The pandemic has gone for almost two years now. While it is here to stay, everyone should continue to practice self-care. The challenge is more posed to every parent, as they should not neglect their children. In fact, they should teach them how to practice self-care.
While kids may not be vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection compared to seniors and those with underlying health conditions, they can get psychologically and emotionally impacted. Hence, they should learn to protect themselves from the coronavirus and promote their mental health.
That said, here’s how to teach your kids about taking care of themselves:
1. Ensure healthy habits at home
When it comes to self-care, everything begins at home. As a parent, you are responsible for ensuring a healthy lifestyle in the comfort of your own house. Most importantly, you should set a good example for your children to follow. Below are some health routines to implement at home:
- Eating healthy and nutritious food
- Drinking plenty of water
- Doing regular exercises and physical activities
- Getting enough sleep
- Waking up and sleeping early
- Limiting digital consumption
- Having proper hygiene
2. Follow health and safety protocols
Every family should continue implementing health and safety measures, whether at home or outdoors. As a parent, continuously remind your children about these measures to protect themselves. Chances are they forget about them, ending up reckless and irresponsible. Below are health and safety protocols they must not forget and neglect:
- Monitoring one’s health
- Getting vaccinated
- Constant hand-sanitizing
- Frequent hand-washing
- Wearing face masks
- Maintaining social distances
- Avoiding crowds
- Home cleaning and disinfecting
3. Stay physically active
Having a sedentary lifestyle is a big no-no during this pandemic. Why? It can cause various illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. It can also lead to mental health issues such as psychological distress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
The problem, however, is that most children spend their time surfing the internet. They usually play online games and browse social media. As a parent, you should limit their digital consumption. Instead, motivate them to have physical activities like doing household chores, playing indoor sports, or having a home workout.
4. Get enough rest and sleep
Rest and sleep are paramount for overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, many individuals tend to take both for granted. These people get preoccupied with life and work that they no longer have time to rest and sleep. However, some children are also busy with school and distracted by digital activities, thus compromising their slumber.
As a parent, make sure that your children take a break from schoolwork. They must have time to play and have some fun. Most importantly, they should get enough sleep that is restful and restorative. Be sure to follow the sleep recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
5. Pursue hobbies and interests
Children should have time for play and fun, as young as they are. Nope, we don’t pertain to spending most of their time online. They should engage in something productive and worthwhile during this pandemic. These physical and mental activities must be good for their health and well-being.
That said, encourage your children to pursue their hobbies and interests as part of their self-care. If you’re clueless about what they must do, here are some suggestions:
- Reading books
- Writing a journal
- Painting and drawing
- Making arts and crafts
- Dancing and making music
- Playing instruments
- Sewing, knitting, and crocheting
6. Seek help when necessary
Keep in mind that self-care goes beyond taking good care of yourself. It’s also about seeking help from other people. These people may be your parents, good friends, and even health professionals. But as a parent, teach your kids to learn how to ask for help.
If they aren’t feeling well, they should immediately tell you. That way, you can bring them to a pediatric healthcare center, especially if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms. If they show some signs of stress, anxiety, and depression, consult with behavioral health professionals for proper therapy.
At this point, you now know how to teach your kids about taking care of themselves. Consider the self-care tips recommended above, from ensuring healthy routines at home to seeking help when necessary.
As a parent, do what it takes to foster your children’s overall health and well-being. However, they should also know how to protect and take good care of themselves. With the self-care tips above, you’ll help your kids cope with the pandemic!