Self-care is an essential practice that everyone should prioritize to better one's own mental health. Especially for children and young adults with learning disabilities, self-care plays a crucial role in managing additional stressors and emotions that may be experienced. We all know what self-care is, but did you know that there is an actual day dedicated to taking care of yourself by way of what is available on the internet? Here are 5 ways to help your child navigate self-care on the internet.
1. Correlate Activities with Interests & Hobbies
Self-care can be as simple as watching a beloved movie or drawing a go-to doodle. If your child likes art, digital art websites like Scrap Coloring, and Toy Theater are great to help spark some creative inspiration. But if your child likes films or certain directors, have them go one step beyond just watching a movie by researching their favorite director, or finding themes and hidden messages throughout well known films. Teach With Movies is a website that creates lesson plans from films and is available free online.
2. Focus on Positivity
Every day, an overwhelming amount of information is shared by way of the internet. While it’s important to educate ourselves on current events, it’s also important to hear about the positive things going on in the world. Platforms such as The Good News Movement and The Good News Podcast are great platforms that highlight heartfelt and interesting events. These publications are excellent ways to encourage your child to read and hear about good news through articles and podcasts.
3. Advice From a Mentor
“I…spend some time on Mantra, an app that sends affirmative messages throughout the day. Oftentimes I feel overwhelmed by social media, so I find it really helpful to find ways to utilize my phone in uplifting ways. Additionally, I’ve started using my notes app as a gratitude journal. Every night I think back through my day and add photos from my camera roll. Whenever I’m feeling down, I access the folder and remind myself of all of the wonderful things in my life.” - Superpower Mentor Lindsey Solo.
4. Mental Health Practices
Mindfulness and meditation are practices that can help reduce stress and negativity, as well as, increase overall self-awareness and patience. Kids may not always have the patience for meditation, but even a 5 minute meditation video or helping kids understand their thoughts can be effective in helping them come back to themselves. If you want your child to be physically active, virtual yoga and pilates classes are also available on YouTube. These exercises not only enhance flexibility and muscle strength but also provide a sense of calm and tranquility with major focuses being on breath, intentional body movements, and awareness of a current state of being.
5. Have Them Talk to a Mentor
Have your child talk to a mentor or friend about what they did. Talk about why they chose to take part in these activities, how it improved their mental health, and what they may have learned.
Have a conversation focused on the significance of self-care and its vital role in maintaining daily mental health practices.
- “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare”- Audre Lorde