According to Dr. Whitney Casares, a board-certified pediatrician with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Taking small chunks of time for yourself as early on as possible is one of the best ways to keep yourself from feeling trapped or overwhelmed. Keeping yourself happy and healthy will allow you to give the best care possible to your kids.” Additional benefits of self-care include:

The intention of self-care is to address which areas of your life may need more attention than others, and these needs change daily! Reflect on your day and think about what you do to preserve or improve your health for the day. Here’s a quick checklist to use when deciding what your self-care needs are for the day:

Self-care has many forms, but it can sometimes be considered as things that are more elaborate than they need to be. While brunches and massages are wonderful, there are many simple activities that are considered self-care that don’t require anything more than yourself and a little bit of time.

Even if these ideas seem too simple or you already have them in your daily routine, you can always level up your self-care with something a little more special. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to self-care. It must change and evolve with you. That’s why it’s important to try different self-care activities to keep things fresh and help you create a routine that fits your schedule and your needs and recharges you at the same time.

Remember, taking time to yourself, being creative, making a meal—all these things count as an act of self-care. Whether you or your kids face stress, anxiety, or have difficulty dealing with change, there are many different self-care options for you to try, individually or as a family.

“It all starts when you decide that you’re worth 5 minutes a day.” – Dr. Casares

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