Person 1: I go to therapy every week, why do I need to do anything else about this?
Person 2: If you do your self-care work, therapy is going to go a lot smoother.
Person 1: Therapy IS my self-care!
Person 2: It’s part of your self-care.
Perhaps you’ve been on both sides of this conversation, maybe you’ve had it with yourself. It’s important to remember that therapy and medication are parts of the self-care and self-love process.
That can be really hard to cope with when it takes a lot to just get to therapy and open up there. It’s important to be mindful that adolescents may not want to discuss their therapy or self-care activities with you. But it is important to keep the door of communication open.
One way to do that is to create a habit of just checking in with your adolescent daily. Or just going on a walk together where no one has to say anything, but the door is open to it. Another way is to demonstrate that you do self-care for yourself, and name the activity “self-care time.” Doing so makes it easier for them to say “Other people also do things to take care of themselves outside of treatment, maybe I can too.”
What are some ways that you encourage your adolescent to engage in self-care outside of therapy or medication? What are ways that you take care of yourself?