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Soap and Herbs


Foundational ideas:

  • In order to be a calm, robust leader for their families, parents need to prioritize time to care for their own physical and emotional needs.  

  • If parents can take a small action every day to support their own well-being, this supports the psychological and emotional health of the whole family.


Pay attention to physical and mental health basics:

  • Adequate sleep

  • Good nutrition

  • Hydration

  • Exercise

  • Connection with people who care about you

  • Time away from screens


Consider which positive coping strategies worked best for you prior to getting your child’s diagnosis:

  • Mindfulness, meditation, yoga

  • Gardening

  • Exercise – walk, dance, run, bike, swim

  • Connect with friends or family – in person or virtually

  • Read…or listen to an audiobook or podcast

  • Take a bath or shower

  • Play music or listen to a favorite play list

  • Write, draw, or craft

  • Therapy or parent coaching


Identify quick, 5-10 minute coping options that can serve as a daily well-being snack:

  • Take a short walk

  • Read one poem

  • Play a quick game on your phone, such as Wordle

  • Text a friend: “I have 5 minutes, are you free to say hi?”

  • Use a meditation app (such as Calm, Headspace, or 10% Happier) for a 3 minute meditation

  • Take a few slow, deep breaths

  • Listen to one favorite song

  • Ask a friend or family member to send you a silly meme or cartoon a couple of times a week (often a good job for a teen or young adult relative)


Mindfully mange your social media:

  • Be thoughtful about the pros and cons of your social media diet

  • Consider whether you generally feel better or worse after you spend time on a particular app

  • Consider setting a daily time limit on some apps


Use cognitive strategies – develop a few scripts for managing difficult moments:

  • “This is stressful but I’m not alone.  I can tell _____ about it soon.”

  • “I’m a good parent having a hard time.  I’m going to try my best.”

  • “I’m going to take 5 slow, deep breaths and then re-evaluate.”

  • “This is an intense moment.  I’m going to close my eyes and count to 20 so I can re-set.”

Author: Rachel Kramer, PhD

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