parent self-care

Taking Care of the Caretakers

By Ashley Jara, MA, LPC

Parents, teachers, school counselors or anyone else who guides, mentors and cares for teens –we all know how difficult and exhausting the end of the school year can be!

Are you a parent?  Teacher?  Or a primary provider of any support to teenagers or school age kids?  If so, summer can be a major transition in your everyday life.  One that is not necessarily filled with the excitement of no homework and no school lunches, but instead one that can prove to have increased requirements on your time and energy.

With this transition to summer break happening, I am here to point out that especially as someone who takes care of others in their every day life, now is the time that you need to prioritize taking care of yourself.

I know self care is a buzz word in today’s world, but here are a few tried and true habits that you can implement today into your daily lives that an have a noticeable impact right away.

Take Time Outdoors:  The snow is finally melting and long days of sunshine are in our forecasts.  Now is a great time to take your daily activities, whether that’s a walk, a lunch, phone call, or just taking a few deep breaths, outside.  
As little as 10-15 minutes can make a huge difference in your Vitamin D levels, and that with some added movement or intentional breaths can greatly change your mood.

No Technology” Time:  Set intentional boundaries with your technology and your time.  We are all so connected to phones and computers, but we know that time away builds opportunity for real connection, memories being built and quiet time for ourselves!  Set a time in the evenings when you put your phone away or put it into airplane mode, and have those boundaries known in your inner circles.

Getting Comfortable Saying “No:”  Summer comes with a lot more free time, AND more opportunity for fun experiences for yourself, your teenagers and your family.  But, we cannot do it all.  Getting comfortable with your time and your boundaries, and sometimes saying “no” when it makes more sense, builds healthy boundaries with increases happiness and reduces resentment.

Find Someone to Talk To:  Remember, you’re not alone!  Make sure you have someone, a family member, friend, or trusted therapist, that you can share what you’re going through with!  None of us can do what we do every day alone,and we do not need to.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to other’s and share what you’re going through, chances are it will help you build your own resources, perspective, and reinforce that you’re not alone in your challenges!

If you find yourself struggling or just wanting someone to talk to, we at Colorado Teen Therapy are here to help in supporting you in taking care of yourself now and moving forward.  We know the importance, especially when it is your role to take care of others.

Call us to schedule some summer sessions with Ashley and let yourself be a priority this summer.

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