Self Care for Caregivers

When a caregivers needs are met, the person receiving the care will benefit as well.

Some takeaways – how to take care of yourself:

  1. Set self care goals
  2. Be kind to yourself
  3. Engage in physical activities
  4. Get outdoors
  5. Get enough sleep
  6. Treat yourself
  7. Listen to your emotions
  8. Reserve quiet time
  9. Find the funny
  10. Accept help

Make Good Feelings Stick Like Velcro

This video provides a mindfulness practice to make good feelings stick like Velcro. When the mind focuses on what’s going well, stress can slide off like Teflon. We’re sort of hard-wired to do the opposite. Click to understand why and learn a trick to hack your nervous system to spend more time thinking about good stuff and feeling mentally well.

Self-Care Videos for Mindfulness – Families Series

FAPE Fits Like a Proper Outfit

Have you ever felt like your student’s Individualized Education Program—their IEP—just isn’t a good fit? This short video provides an analogy to help families and schools talk about improvements.

Here are the words that go with the video:

Imagine if the school was responsible to provide a suit of clothes for your student. The clothes must fit in size and style. Let’s pretend your child is eligible for this specially tailored suit because clothes off the rack fit so poorly that the child won’t leave home. This problem is impacting everything.

This is sort of like the school’s responsibility to provide a child who has an IEP with FAPE. FAPE stands for Free Appropriate Public Education. The services delivered through an IEP make education appropriate because they are tailored to fit the child based on their strengths and needs. FAPE is what makes school accessible for a student with a disability.

Let’s go back to pretending that the school must provide a well-fitting suit. Imagine that the school opens a closet and says, “Let’s see what we have in here.” What they pull out might be too big, too small, outrageously mismatched or in colors and patterns that make your child grimace and refuse to get dressed. They might find bits and pieces that work, but chances are high that they won’t be able to put together a whole outfit without trying a little harder and getting out the sewing machine.

That’s like the work of an IEP team—to pull out the tools everyone needs to creatively build a program that is a good fit for the student.

The school is responsible under federal law to provide eligible students with FAPE. Tailoring a program to meet individualized needs in light of the child’s circumstances is part of FAPE. If you think your school is digging around in a closet trying to find a program for your student that is ready made, you can remind them that an IEP is individually tailored to fit the student.

Our Parent Training and Information team at PAVE hopes your IEP team designs a program that outfits your child for a successful journey through education. If you’d like our support, click Get Help from PAVE’s website, wapave.org.

Support a Child’s Resilience by Pointing to the Positive

Children learn best when they feel safe, relaxed, loved, and confident. Emotions that are the opposite can make learning a struggle.

Researchers who study Adverse Childhood Experiences, often referred to as ACEs, are flipping some of their work upside down to see what happens when children have Positive Childhood Experiences.

What their evidence shows is that healthy relationships, safe spaces, emotional intelligence, and feelings of belonging support HOPE—H.O.P.E. That acronym stands for Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences.

Here are some questions you can ask your child regularly to support HOPE. You might also make sure adults at school are asking questions like these, too.

  • Tell me, what is going well?
  • What is fun?
  • Where are you successful?
  • Can you tell me something that makes you proud?
  • Where do you feel like you belong?
  • Please, tell me something about how important you are.

Feel What You Feel

When emotions overwhelm us, we sometimes react in ways that we later regret. “Name it to Tame it” is a concept from neuroscientist Dan Siegel. It means that if we identify our emotions and work with them, instead of pushing them away, we are better equipped for self-control. This simple body sensing meditation creates a way to practice emotional self-awareness and build mental muscles for emotional regulation.

For more videos about mindfulness, please go to wapave.org Thanks for watching!

Take a Mindful Walk in Nature

Mindfulness can mean anything that helps you slow down and show up for what’s happening in a moment. This video demonstrates how to notice all of the body’s senses on a nature walk. Once it’s familiar, the concept could be useful in any environment, including indoors. Get creative and if it’s developmentally appropriate, you can encourage children to make up their own journey through their senses.

Get Calm by Getting Organized

When overwhelm is happening, it’s hard to imagine that getting organized will help. But here’s why it’s worth it: When you feel satisfied that you’ve done something, your brain releases happiness chemicals and hormones. This video provides information about how that works and how families can tap into happy by getting organized and taking time each day to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.