Fostering is a beautiful and life-changing choice that positively impacts foster children and their families. It’s also important to remember that being able to provide a stable and loving home for a foster child also means taking care of yourself. Below are four simple self-care rituals for foster carers that can give you the time and space to process and revitalize your energy.
Meditation is a simple and quick way to bring back your energy and take a moment of stillness. We all know how busy life can get when you’re running around after toddlers all day, or organising the house between school runs and meals. Meditation is a great tool for dealing with stress and anxiety. Having the ability to deal with stress yourself will make it easier when teaching foster children how to manage stress.
Journalling is a fantastic self-care ritual that only needs to take up 5 to 10 minutes of your day. By starting or ending your day with a journaling session, you have some time to reflect on the day’s events and remove any lingering thoughts from your head. You can also use this to reflect on your time as a foster carer, including things you are doing well and ways you want to improve.
Staying active is a great way to look after yourself, mind, body, and soul. Firstly, being active allows you to boost those feel-good hormones. Secondly, the more active you are, the more energy you will have. Find a time and an exercise regime that works best for you and the children in your care.
Yoga classes are a fun and relaxing way to keep active, or you could go cycling or swimming on the weekends with your foster children. Choosing something that the children and you are both interested in will make sure everyone’s happy and having a good time!
Having a Me-day
We all have hobbies, interests, and things that we enjoy doing. When looking after children, we sometimes have to put these things to the side while we focus on providing the love and support that a child in care needs. Despite this, foster carers shouldn’t stop doing the things they love, as it’s important for foster carers to be happy too!
Foster agencies such as fcascotland.co.uk offer respite days, which gives foster carers some time just for them. Although caring for a child is a full-time job, it’s important to take some time off if you need it, or if there’s an important event in your life that you don’t want to miss. Having a me-day is important, whether you do this when the kids are at school, or you take a respite weekend.
Self-care is more than just a buzzword. As a parent and/or foster carer, taking the time for self-care enables you to give your undivided attention and energy to the children in your care. By looking after your own mental health, you will also be more well-equipped for enabling your foster children to do the same.