“Self-care” is a term that can be confusing because different people define it differently. BUT there are some IMPORTANT things to consider that are useful when parents and teachers are trying to be helpful to their students. Here I give you a simple way of conceptualizing it, so you have a clear context to go from.
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Transcript: Click here to download the video transcript PDF.
Parents, teachers, therapists, maybe some students, in this video, I’m going to talk to you about self-care. But really, this one area of confusion that I’ve seen a lot around self-care, and that is this. Self-care is different when we’re talking about self-care for students, and we’re talking about it for adults, I’ll explain in just a moment.
My name is Seth Perler. I’m an Executive Function coach, so I help struggling students navigate this thing called education so they can have a great life. My site is SethPerler.com and got a bunch of freebies for you. I put out content all the time, a lot of good stuff, resources for you to help students with executive function challenges, ADHD, and all sorts of challenges that students might have that can interfere really, with quality of life, which is what it’s really all about. We want people to have a great education so they can have a great life.
Now, let me talk about the self-care. So we have this term ‘self-care,’ such a term that people use so differently, well, I just want to break it down with something that I’ve noticed that can be really helpful. A lot of people when they think self-care, they might be thinking, really, in terms of thinking about adults. They might be thinking, you know, self-care might be you know, getting a good workout, might be going to get a manicure or pedicure for some people, might be going to the doctor, might be all sorts of things. But imagine adults can have a very, you know, personalized idea of what is self-care for me? And people have their own ideas. But when we’re talking about kids, please don’t complicate it. What I generally am hearing when people are saying ‘self-care for kids’ it’s generally four things. When we’re talking about self-care for kids, and we want to teach self-care, we want kids to have better self-care, we’re concerned about a kids self-care. We’re generally talking about four things. What are those four things? Well, with executive function, with the brain’s ability to execute, to do things, to do the things that need to be done in life, sort of the foundation and in my perspective of executive function is good sleep, nutrition, and exercise.
Okay, so for self-care, sleep. Is the child or student sleeping? And when I say sleep, I mean restful sleep, where they’re waking up rested. Our executive function, our brain does not function optimally when we don’t sleep well. So is there restful, consistent sleep? That is self-care. Self-care is how do we care for ourselves to create the conditions to have restful sleep? Self-care, two, nutrition. Food, diet, whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t matter. But the question that I ask is, “Is the food that we’re consuming, nourishing, really nourishing, food? Is it nourishing?” So that’s the question I want you to ask. There’s a lot of chemicals and you’re eating a lot of processed foods, is that really nourishing? And what does that do to the brain? So self-care, are we nourishing ourselves? Self-care, exercise. I don’t care what you call it, movement, fitness, whatever. But the brain functions best when our bodies are activated, when we’re getting good fitness, good exercise, good movement, whatever you call it. So those are the first three. Okay, so what’s the other one? I said, there are four, what’s the other one? The other, the other one, I’m just going to call ‘other’ self-care ‘other.’ Other that I hear a lot from parents, teachers, and therapists has to do with any other sort of self-care. I often hear parents who were talking about their child with executive function struggles not wanting to brush their teeth, not showering regularly, mental health could be other, self-harm could be other. So self-care can come in other ways. Just to relook at it. I said earlier, I said, you know, for adults and parents, we think of self-care, and we might think of you know, doing nice things for yourself or getting that workout in, and it’s a different frame. But when we’re thinking about kids really, what my focus is, when I’m saying,”How’s the self-care?” I’m really looking at how’s the sleep, how’s the nutrition, how’s the movement, and how’s the other? What are those other things? And again, there are very consistent things in the other that come up like tooth brushing, I’ve just heard it so many times. It’s, it’s just, it’s so common to hear that, that’s one, there are these common areas. So we have our you know, our sleep, nutrition, exercise and other.
What do you think? What’s the difference between self-care for adults? And I’m asking this in a useful way. Okay. We’re really looking for useful answers here. But how do you differentiate that? Is there anything I left out? How can we define it for adults, and how can we define it for kids when we’re really talking about how to serve a human being kid who’s struggling with stuff? What are we looking at here? Did I leave anything out? What are your thoughts about this? How do we help people in this area? Again, my name is Seth Perler. Go head to SethPerler.com or ExecuticeFunctionSummit.com, you can check out what I got. I think probably a freebies for you in the link right there, but a lot of good resources sources for you. Please share my work, give it a thumbs up, like, subscribe, and do the things that support me. If my work is supporting your life, please support me. I’d appreciate that. Have a fantastic day and I wish for you peace of mind, joy, and I also wish for you connection with the people that care about you. Take care.