Care for Yourself, So You Can Care for Others
December can be a particularly hard time to take care of yourself. You may be busy, over-scheduled, stressed about finances, or worried about family. This month, the Safe Foundations, Healthy Futures Campaign will be offering tips to help you care for yourself. Take time each day to try out a few easy ideas. Caring for yourself can improve your health, reduce stress, and ultimately help you bring your best self to caring for the children you serve. When you feel mentally and physically healthy, you can make positive choices about how to effectively respond to children's behavior and needs.
Taking care of yourself has many benefits for you and for the children and families with whom you work
Start small by picking one or two things you can do to prioritize taking care of yourself
Recruit others, including colleagues and peers, in your efforts to adopt and prioritize improved self-care, and work together to support each other
Understand the connection between self-care and your ability to provide responsive high-quality care for young children and their families
Take time this December to care for yourself. You will feel happier and provide more effective services to children and their families. Young children need their teachers to be well in order to be patient, calm, positive, energetic, and hopeful. Here are some things to try:
Mindfulness is putting your attention in the current moment and observing your surroundings and yourself without focusing on the past or the future. Take time to focus on the present moment and mindfully listen, eat, observe, walk, or reflect.
Take Care Tuesday
Treat yourself. You work hard and are valued by so many people. Make sure you take the time to appreciate your effort and support for others by encouraging yourself to keep going!
Make an effort today to walk a little more than usual. Take a stroll during your break, host a walking meeting, or try walking meditation. Stretch your legs and walk your way to wellness!
Thank You Thursday
Take the time to let those around you know you appreciate them. A little praise or recognition can go a long way to brighten someone's day! And, gratitude improves your own health and well-being!
Find one food you usually eat or drink that has sugar and make a healthier swap for a low- or non-sugar alternative. If you have meetings or celebrations, encourage either healthy foods or non-food contributions.
Connect with Colleagues
Engage with your peers around the country in an online community hosted on the MyPeers platform for ideas and problem-solving. The Staff Wellness community has nearly 1,000 members who are sharing and learning from each other about how to reduce the stress and support the wellness of staff in early childhood. Not a member of MyPeers? Complete the MyPeers registration form to create your member account. If you are already a member, find the Staff Wellness community under "All Communities," and select the blue "Join" button. Select the link to sign up or log in: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/about-us/article/mypeers-collaborative-platform-early-care-education-community
Follow the Office of Head Start on Twitter for daily wellness tips throughout December, or on Facebook for Wellness Wednesday ideas.
Jan. 10-11, 2019, 2–3:30 p.m. ET: Promoting Empathy, Understanding Trauma
Join us for this two-part webinar training to explore the impact of trauma on children’s behavior, their social and emotional well-being, and the health and wellness of adults in children's lives. A certificate will be provided to those who participate in all three hours of the training.
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, 2–3 p.m. ET: Promoting Organizational and Staff Wellness
Explore how to create supportive environments that ensure employee safety and promote staff well-being. Children are safer when managers and staff work together to create a safe and healthy environment.