Five tips from the Mental Health First Aid curriculum to practice self-care:

  1. Eat more fruit, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Eating healthfully will help you and your family take care of your physical health and have energy for the day ahead.
  2. Get moving every day. Exercising can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Focus on increasing your heart rate consistently for at least 20 minutes once a day. Take a walk together as a family, stretch together in the living room, or play games outside.
  3. Spend quality time together. It’s important to spend time together as a family every day doing something everyone enjoys, such as cooking or listening to music. You can also connect with other family members, friends and neighbours with phone calls, text messages and video chats.
  4. Develop a bedtime routine. Going to sleep at the same time every night can help regulate the body’s internal clock and improve sleep quality — for adults as well as children. It’s also important that everyone in the family gets enough sleep – about seven to nine hours each night for adults and at least nine hours for children.
  5. Talk about how you’re feeling. It’s important to talk as a family about how everyone is feeling and address any questions or concerns children may have. Develop a practice of self-reflection related to feelings and thoughts.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time on self-care activities. Adding healthy habits to your family’s routine can make a big difference in everyone’s physical health, mood and overall well-being.