This idea came at me literally like a bolt out of the blue. I had just posted a short and sweet video of my daughter and I doing a yoga sequence before bedtime on Instagram and typed in the hashtag #selfcareforkids. When I saw the words there, something clicked, I got goose bumps. This felt important. As an ambassador of self-care I have loved seeing my daughter’s conceptualisation and personal practice blossom and this is largely down to our chats, gentle encouragement to join me in my self-care activities and her noticing my rituals of nourishment throughout the day. Seeing that phrase on my screen made me think more about actively teaching her a toolkit tailored to her age and one that she could engage in on her own, whenever she needs some kind of nurturing. We can do more than just demonstrate and hope they pick it up by osmosis, we can teach them their own tools of self-care.
That first yoga for kids video was met with an enormous warmth and receptivity, so much so I leaped onto social media to see whether #selfcareforkids hashtag was being used much… and it wasn’t. I felt so excited about this idea I suggested to my little one that this was a project we could work on together through the school holidays and that was how the @selfcareforkids Instagram and Twitter accounts were born last year. The response has been overwhelmingly positive – there is a real thirst for this.
For parents who haven’t had self-care role modelled for them, this can be a wonderful way of learning and sharing with their children, by engaging in what I affectionately call ‘collective self-care’ – self-care for all the family. I love that the ‘Self-Care for Kids’ project is creating a ritual of nourishment in our household. So far we’ve explored tips like making a mindfulness jar and starting a self-care journal – both easy, accessible and uplifting activities.
At the heart of this project is the goal to empower children with the tools of self-care via mindfulness, meditation, yoga, boosting emotional literacy and emotional agility, coping strategies and stress management techniques. The exercises can be engaged in as a family for young ones or older children can follow along and build their self-care toolkit on their own. The broader aim is to encourage self-care: head, heart and body, to raise resilient and compassionate kids. There is such a need and appetite for this and I am so excited to see it blossom and make a tangible, positive difference.
You can also sign up to my self-care for kids workshop at the studio
— Blog post written by Suzy Reading, our resident vitality yoga teacher who is particularly interested in self-care for all ages.