Recently, it has become more apparent that we need to slow down and take better care of ourselves. The term 'self care' has become increasingly popular, as we begin to acknowledge the importance of looking after ourselves. Too often, we get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to do things to take care of our own well-being - emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Self care is an important concept to practice, and it is crucial that we teach the skill of self care to our own children. As society moves faster and faster, it will be increasingly important for our own children to know how to slow down and take care of themselves. Mother and daughters have a wonderfully special bond, and doing some self care together is a lovely way to teach this process to our children. Here are 10 self care tips that you can do with your daughter.
In our world of chaos and noise, meditation is a wonderful way to escape that over-stimulation and focus on within. It is an opportunity for us to really tune into our own bodies, slowing our breathing, and setting our minds at ease. It is especially important for mothers to learn how to do this, to slow the never-ending worries and to-do lists in our minds, and take a moment to refresh.
Practicing daily meditation with your daughter is an excellent way to teach her how to listen to her own body and how to slow the racing thoughts in her mind. As she grows older and enters the tumultuous teen years where her emotions are all over the place, meditation will help her to centre herself and calm her mind.
9 Do a spa day
Everyone loves a day of pampering, and this is a nice way to practice some self care. Do your nails, enjoy a facial, get a massage, whatever makes you feel pampered. It's all the more fun when you bring your daughter as well, and the two of you can enjoy being pampered together.
If visiting a spa is not really your thing, then set up a spa day at home, just the two of you! Put on your fluffiest robes, give each other a pedicure, paint your nails, and enjoy some good 'girl talk' while you do it. A fun way to bond with your little girl and teach her the joy of looking after herself.
8 Start a new hobby together
Having a special hobby or activity that is just for you is so very important. As mothers, we often give up a lot of ourselves to being a mom, wife, co-worker, friend, sister, etc. and because of that, we tend to lose some of our own identity. This can cause depression and even anxiety in moms, as we struggle to reclaim a piece of ourselves.
Show your daughter how you maintain your identity by pursuing a favourite pastime, so that when she is older and working through the busyness of motherhood, she will remember how you managed to keep a strong sense of self throughout those busy years. Choose a hobby that you can enjoy together - perhaps painting, photography, crafts, or any other activity you find fun and relaxing.
7 Teach her how to eat healthy
Eating healthy is something that is crucial to teach to our children, so they can grow up with strong bodies and knowing how to make healthy choices in their lives. Introduce them to the foods that make their bodies strong and healthy, and let them experiment with new tastes and recipes.
This is not to restrict them from the tasty things like sweets or fast food, because we all enjoy those on occasion. But, teach them the benefits of eating healthy and fuelling their bodies with good foods that will help them to grow strong. Let them take part in the food preparations at home, so they can help to make healthy food choices and be proud of helping out in the kitchen.
A great way to practice self care is to do things that keep your body healthy and active. Involving your daughter in this process will teach her the valuable lessons of how to live a healthy, active lifestyle, and how to love her body and protect it. This is not about dieting and torturous exercise, but rather an introduction to sustainable healthy living, where she is developing good habits that will last a lifetime.
With societal pressures to conform to a certain image, and the exponential rise in eating disorders and body dysmorphia, it is crucial that we teach our daughters healthy habits right from the beginning. Modelling how you make healthy eating choices and keep your body active by doing things you love, will show her how to do the same as she grows up. Showing her how you love your body and look after it will teach her how to do the same.
5 Make a list of things you're grateful for
Everyone could do with a good dose of gratitude every now and again. Too often, we lose sight of all the wonderful things we have in our lives that we can be grateful for. It is the worries and difficulties that creep in and occupy most of our thoughts. We get hung up on what we haven't accomplished and lose sight of all that we have accomplished.
Making a list of everything we are grateful for is a great self care activity that you can do with your daughter. You could each brainstorm your own list and then share with each other, or compile a list together. But, slowing down and taking time to think about all of the things in our lives that we are grateful for, reminds us that while life can sometimes feel very challenging, at the root of it all, we are all pretty blessed.
4 Read a book
Books offer so much in terms of escape and relaxation. Delving into a good book and losing yourself in your imagination for a while is a wonderful way to practice self care. Sharing your love of reading with your daughter will help her to embrace books the same way and enjoy the escape they provide.
You could share a book together, perhaps read a chapter book that is a bit too challenging for her to read independently, but that you could enjoy together. Or, simply choose a time and place to each get our your favourite books, cuddle up, and enjoy reading together for a while.
3 Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a concept that is rapidly gaining in popularity these days, due to the increase in childhood anxiety and depression, and the need to help children learn how to slow down and pause in their lives. It is also increasingly important for adults to do the same. It is almost as though society is on a roller-coaster, and we've all gotten to the point where we need the ride to slow down so we can catch our breath.
Practicing mindfulness every day is so important, and this is a fantastic self care activity to do with your daughter. Go for a long walk together, breathing in the smells of nature, listening to the birds chirp, and just being calm and present. Sit by the water and listen to the waves crash against the rocks, while to take some deep breaths and slow that inner monologue inside. Teach your daughter how to do the same.
2 Do something nice for someone else
Although this may seem counter-intuitive to the concept of self care, there is something intensely gratifying in doing something nice for someone else. The idea of giving back is such an important concept to pass along to our children, and teaching them the wonderful feeling we get when we do something kind for someone will help them to see it for themselves. They will want to continue doing kind things for others, and this is how we slowly begin to change the world, by raising a generation of kind, thoughtful people.
Let your daughter help choose what you are going to do, whether it be baking some cookies for the elderly lady down the street, picking up garbage in your neighborhood, or volunteering at the local shelter. Giving back and doing something kind for someone else makes our hearts happy, and that is a wonderful form of self care!
1 Have a screen-free day
This idea has multiple benefits to it. Your daughter will enjoy spending a day with you without any screens to interrupt, her screens or yours! You will have one-on-one time that is so much more focused than if you had the distraction of your phone in your pocket. Putting the screens away for a day is such a healthy form of self care, as it disconnects you from the ever-present online world that has become such a focus in our lives.
The other benefit to having a screen-free day, is that your daughter will see how you are modelling moderation and learning how to limit your screen time. This is important for her to see and learn now, before she gets older and has her own cell phone and tablet and computer, where the online pull will be much stronger. Teach her the benefit of setting those limits now.