In the midst of our busy everyday lives, work, parenting, school, chores and so many other responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming. When you add being in the middle of a pandemic, it is hard to remember to take time for ourselves.
Practicing self-care is essential for our emotional and physical well-being, now more than ever. Taking time to connect with others, de-stress and doing things that make us feel better is vital.


As we recognize Self-Care Awareness month, here are a few tips for both children and adults to remind us how to take care of ourselves.


1. Breathe: Take moments to breathe, practice meditation or even yoga that can help ground and calm your mind.


2. Exercise: Exercise takes many forms – do whatever activity feels right for you. Go for a walk or a run in the neighborhood. Hike with a friend or go for a bike ride with the family.


3. Play: Play has many emotional and physical benefits. It can cheer you up and relieve stress. Plan a family game night; set aside time to visit your favorite park; spend the day on art activities such as coloring or painting.


4. Activities that bring joy: Find those activities or hobbies that bring you happiness. Maybe it’s baking your favorite cookies with your children or cooking a new meal with a friend; curling up on the sofa with a cup of coffee (or tea) while reading a book.


Most importantly, remember, no one should ever feel guilty for taking time for self-care. Make sure your cup is filled first before you can be present for others. A parent who takes time for themselves becomes a parent who can be fully present to take time for their child(ren). This also presents the opportunity to teach children how to be present for themselves, taking time to nurture their own thoughts and emotions when they feel anxious or overwhelmed.


Joeline Navarro, AMFT is a Clinical Therapist in The Guidance Center’s School-Based Program where she helps guide children to positive and productive futures through mental health treatment. She is also a Yoga instructor and advocate for holistic health and wellness in order to sustain a healthy well being. Joeline earned her M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton and her B.A. in Psychology/Sociology from the University of San Francisco.