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May 19, 2020

If you work in a 21st CCLC program, you give of yourself daily for the noble purpose of helping young people reach their full potential. With widespread school closures this spring due to COVID-19, you kept giving — calling and texting students to check in, creating activity kits for delivery with school lunches, hosting Family Fun Hours and virtual story times online — while trying new ideas and technologies to keep students engaged. Decades from now, many will have good memories of a difficult time because of your efforts.

But there’s one thing you might not be doing well: Taking care of yourself. Y4Y shared a few tips for self-care during an April 1 webinar on supporting staff and families during school closure when you’re working from home:

  • Stay active (mind and body).
  • Get dressed each day.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Connect with others.
  • Make time for yourself.
  • Be realistic.

At first glance, these ideas might seem pretty basic. They are! In fact, they’re the “infrastructure” of self-care. But just because something is basic doesn’t mean it happens on its own. The basics deserve your attention, and you deserve the basics.

If the idea of taking a day or an hour for yourself seems foreign, here’s something to keep in mind: Just because it’s called “self-care” doesn’t make it “selfish.” In fact, the opposite is true. If you allow yourself to become depleted, you won’t be able to support others.

Give yourself the gift of time. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Tip: Check the Y4Y Discussion Board for the April 1 webinar and click on “How to Practice Self-Care” for a graphic that will remind you to let go of the things you can’t control, like predicting what will happen or the amount of toilet paper at the store.

 


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