When I was in graduate school, my professor had shared a story about self-care that really resonated with me. He was moving into a new house and facing a lot of transitional stress. He talked about how he has three daughters who are older and the youngest still lives at home. He described her as very ‘spirited, outspoken and has a lot of attitude’. It was obvious he was having difficulty dealing with his challenging teen, especially in the midst of this significant family transition.
The topic of music came up and he said that he loves listening to music records. He enjoys how he has to take the time to select a record and put it on the player. He even went as far as saying that this was self-care for him as it took his mind off the stressors at hand. This process required him to be in the present moment and focus completely on the music. During the packing in preparation for the move, his daughter saw one of the records. It was BB King. She asked him to play it and although she had never heard the music before, she immediately liked the tunes. They began conversing and it had been many years since they had connected on such a positive level.
Sometimes as parents, we can get caught up in the stressors of everyday life. Self-care is something that is promoted and talked about often, but it can be extremely challenging to integrate into our lives. However, when we take a moment to take care of ourselves, our kids pick up on that vibe and can feel more comfortable connecting with us. Also, when kids and teens see their parents taking good care of themselves, they will too.
My professor and his daughter went on to schedule one night a week for 30 minutes to take the time to listen to records, catch up with each other and talk about music and life. It became an ongoing self-care ritual that not only relieves stress but also fosters a sense of connection. I encourage you to consider a few activities that resonate with you and your child. An activity that allows you to feel a sense of flow, where you can be present and immersed in the experience together.