By Kaitlynn Christiansen
Self-care is a widely discussed topic. There is a need for each of us to take time for ourselves. However, sometimes it can be hard to balance the need for self-care and the need to be consistently looking outward and helping others. It will always be so important to teach our children the importance of being Christlike and service-minded. It is also important that we teach them that as we live our lives, we need to give an appropriate amount of love and attention to ourselves.
One of the best ways that we can teach our children the importance of balanced self-care is by being a good example. There are three main areas of your life where you can model good examples of self-care. Those areas are mental/emotional, physical, and spiritual.
Mental and emotional health go hand-in-hand. Some of the most important things you can do to practice self-care with your mental and emotional health are:
- Building resilience allows you to navigate life with the ability to weather trials and bounce back quickly.
- Practice positive thinking and gratitude.
- Learn where to turn during trials. Heavenly Father is there for us always. His help will help you through any trials you may have in your life.
Look Forward to The Future While Enjoying the Present
- Practice mindfulness by living life deliberately.
- Do little things that you can enjoy in your everyday life.
Set Healthy Goals
- Goals will help you be more mindful of where you are going and how you are getting there.
- Set long term and short term goals so that you are working on reachable things while working towards an overall bigger achievement.
Be Aware of the Risk for Mental Illness
- Know your family history and if your family has any struggles with mental illness.
- If you do suspect you are struggling with a mental illness, reach out to the proper professionals.
Our physical health is something that is very important for us to take time to evaluate and keep up with. Our bodies are a gift from Heavenly Father and He has given us some guidelines on things we can do to take care of our bodies.
- The recommended amount of exercise is at least 30 minutes a day.
- Exercise can look different from person to person. Some will go to the gym, some go for a walk or a swim. The most important thing is to be active.
Follow the Word of Wisdom
- The Word of Wisdom tells us to not partake of things such as tobacco, tea and coffee.
- The Word of Wisdom also offers suggestions of healthy food options for our bodies.
- God gave us the Word of Wisdom as a guideline on how to care for our bodies, so that we can understand what is good for us and what is bad for us.
Maintain Your Body
- Practice good hygiene.
- Shower regularly.
- Visit the doctor/dentist for regular check ups to check for health and well being.
President Dallin H. Oaks said, “Our spirits also require nourishment. Just as there is food for the body, there is food for the spirit.” Heavenly Father has given us guidelines on how we can maintain our spiritual health as well.
- The “primary” answers are one of the best ways that we can feed our spirits.
- These are the two things we can do everyday to maintain our spiritual health and continually grow our testimonies.
Attend the Temple
- Attending the temple when we can and spending time away from the world is immensely helpful for your spirituality.
- This allows you to truly spend some time unplugged from the world.
- Make covenants (promises) in the temple with Heavenly Father so you can receive more spiritual help.
- The temple can also help you learn more about your life and purpose. That will help you immensely on your journey through life.
Learn How Heavenly Father Talks To You
- One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is learning how we receive revelation.
- Talking with our Father in Heaven and reading His scriptures help us learn how to recognize any revelation He wants to give to us.
- This will help us navigate the difficulties of the world and help us gain extra support.
We are in a strong position as parents and educators to positively impact our children’s lives. As we teach the importance of self-care and what that means, we have the opportunity to impact their lives for the better and help them become more well rounded. Talk with your children about the importance of balancing self-care and Christlike service. Talk with them about the different areas of self-care and what it means to them.
For more ideas on how to help children learn about healthy self love, check out our books: Messages about me: Wade’s Story, A Boy’s Quest for Healthy Body Image and Messages About Me: Sydney’s Story, A Girl’s Journey to Healthy Body Image.
Kaitlynn Christiansen is an elementary teacher who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She loves to learn and is passionate about educating families about healthy relationships.
Laskowski, E. R. (2021, September 22). How much exercise do you really need? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916
National Institutes of Health. (2022, August 8). Emotional wellness toolkit. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nih.gov/health-information/emotional-wellness-toolkit
Oaks, D. H. (2001, August 1). Nourishing the spirit. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2001/08/nourishing-the-spirit?lang=eng
Have Faith in the Lord
“So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend.” – Jeffrey R. Holland, October General Conference, 2013
This book teaches concepts of physical health, emotional strength, social skills, spiritual balance, and intellectual growth. There are activities, discussions, and questions that will help you raise a more resilient, and stronger child. Check out our book, 30 Days To A Stronger Child.