It’s been another long year of pandemic living, and so many unknowns still lie ahead.
For many families, the holiday season exacerbates the stresses they’re already experiencing.
Now more than ever, parents and students alike need solid self-care strategies in place to support their mental, emotional, and physical health. Here are a few recommendations we hope you’ll find helpful.
Self-Care Tips for Parents
Practice mindfulness each morning
The tendency to get up and go each morning often sets our days off on the wrong foot. Before jumping out of bed—or even reaching for your phone—take a few moments to breathe deeply, meditate, stretch, or jot down your thoughts in a journal.
Allowing yourself to ease into the day ahead can make a world of difference in your mindset and mood. If mornings aren’t ideal for you, add this practice to your winding-down routine at the end of the day instead.
Let your teen solve their problems
When teens face challenges, a parent’s first instinct is usually to step in and help. This default approach isn’t ideal for anyone, though.
Parents who bear the full burden of their teens’ stress add to whatever parental load they’re already carrying and have a harder time meeting their own needs. And when teens don’t have the chance to solve their own problems, they miss out on critical opportunities to improve their confidence and self-esteem.
Stepping back and giving your teen room to find their own solutions is critical for their development—and your well-being. Let your teen know you’re there to offer support if they need you but that you have complete faith in their abilities.
Set aside time for your own hobbies and interests
Parents can become so wrapped up in their kids’ lives—academics, sports and extracurriculars, college admissions—that they neglect their own hobbies and interests. But it’s essential to make time for the things you enjoy doing—baking, reading, exercising, or anything else that fills your cup.
Creating space for your own interests is also an excellent way to lead by example with teens. It demonstrates the importance of rest, downtime, and fun during this stressful time in their lives.
Self-Care Tips for High School Students
Create daily routines
One way for students to maintain control during a chaotic time is to add structure throughout their day. Rather than overscheduling every minute, have them incorporate simple routines for mornings, school days, homework, and evenings. They’ll breathe a little easier when they know what to expect from one day to the next.
Build in time for rest
High-achieving students often buy into the societal idea that rest is a sign of weakness, and dispelling this myth is essential to practicing good self-care.
Setting aside time to rest and take breaks allows students to step off the treadmill of life and check in with themselves. Sure, it might feel easier to stay on the treadmill, but ultimately, a life lived at constant breakneck speed isn’t fulfilling.
Ask for help
As essential as it is for teens to solve their own problems, it’s equally important that they know help is available when they need it.
Remind your teen that they have a huge support system behind them and that it’s okay to ask for help, whether that means seeking guidance from a teacher, finding a trusted counselor, or reaching out to an organization like Signet that offers academic coaching.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday from all of us here at Signet. We’re expressing our gratitude for the parents and students we serve by making donations in your honor to the Greater Boston Food Bank and Minds Matter Boston. Together, we’re building a stronger community while providing our neighbors in need with healthy food and hope, as well as narrowing the educational disparity gap for the next generation of students.