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What are you doing during this time to take care of yourself? Self-care is something that you can practice daily in order to keep your stress levels low and to keep yourself healthy.

Your Navigator is either a current licensed foster parent or they have fostered in the past. Some helpful tips that they suggest to practice self-care are:

·Focus on the things you can control-As a foster parent there is so much out of our control. What are some things that we can focus on putting our energy toward?

· Ask for help! -We need to normalize this! We may feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness, but it is in fact a sign of strength and creates a sense of calmness and centeredness.

· Have someone available on a regular basis to babysit-possibly look into some respite care for a longer break.

· Set boundaries with people in your life -Say “no” more.

· Take a walk (even just 15 minutes outside with fresh air can help!)

· Read a chapter in a book

· Journal

· Take 15-30 minutes out of your day to exercise

· Do something creative such as redoing a piece of furniture, painting, drawing, or sewing

· Meditate or pray-spend some time alone (YouTube has great guided meditation videos)

· Take 5 deep breaths for a quick de-stressor

· Spend time with a friend

· Take breaks away from the news and social media (especially right now. It’s one thing to be informed. It’s another when you’re consuming so much that it leaves you feeling stressed and anxious.)

· Treat yourself to something that you love and enjoy (as a parent you are always buying things for the kids. When was the last time you bought something for yourself?)

· Be kind to yourself-Talk to yourself in a loving way and forgive your own mistakes. Try not to focus all your time and energy on your failures, instead take some time to reflect and then move on-Give yourself grace!

· Put up positive affirmations for you to see around the house(some could be “I believe in who I am”, “I take care of the world when I take care of myself”, “I am strong”, “I am grateful for my life”, “I deserve love and happiness”)

· Practice gratitude – (Everyday take time to write down 5 things you are grateful for. Look back on these from time to time. Talk with your family about the things you are grateful for and invite them to share!)

· Go to the doctor when you are sick-take care of yourself!

· Talk to a psychologist, therapist, or your doctor if you are feeling anxious or depressed or if you feel like your mental health is interfering with your daily life

· Do something that makes you happy

· Don’t compare yourself to others, focus on you. This is your own foster care journey and you do not need to measure yourself up to other people’s achievements or expectations.

We all have different lives and different schedules so self-care can look different for everyone. Some of these suggestions may help or some you may find don’t fit your needs. What is important is that you are taking time for you and what you enjoy even if it is only for a few minutes a day. What is something you can do today for yourself?

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