School Year Self Care

It’s back to school season! We’ve filled our backpacks with notebooks and pencils, packed our lunch bags, and created school year schedules, but there’s one thing that’s easy to forget.


Something absolutely essential to include in our backpacks to ensure we have the happiest and healthiest school year possible.

As much as we can’t forget to pack self-care in our children’s backpacks, we also need to make sure we pack in it our backpacks as parents as well.

Self-care doesn’t have to cost anything or take a lot of time. It can be a few minutes everyday. Yet, the impacts of taking time for ourselves (and teaching our children to do the same) can be very positive for our family’s mental health.

Looking for where to start incorporating self-care into your family’s routine? Below are some resources, tips, and ideas, to support school year self-care for everyone in the household.

Self-Care for Kids

Tips from Our Staff

“I believe it’s important, now more than ever, to communicate with your kiddos each day. Going back to school will bring many changes and unusual practices. Perhaps ask your kiddo each evening:

What were the 3 best parts of your day?

What were 3 things that were not so good?” -Tannis

“My kids and I all journal and try to end each journal entry with at least 1 thing we are grateful for. We find this is a great way to reflect on your day and try to pull out one positive thing. Sometimes the gratitude might be- I am grateful I got of of bed and got through the day.” -Eryn

“Reading outside and spending time outdoors! During the fall season, it can be incredibly relaxing to spend time in nature, such as doing things like seeing how many different coloured leaves you can find outside.” -Megan

“Having quiet time after busy days at school, so kids can get some downtime and calm in before the evening.” -Susan


Other Ideas

  • Model sharing emotions with your child and encourage your child to share how they are feeling and how their day is going
  • Make time for lower-stress activities
  • Encourage journaling, writing, or drawing about their day and emotions
  • Model self-care for your children (including self care involving taking care of our basic needs- eating healthy, getting enough sleep, etc.)
  • Make time for movement everyday! Whether that be a walk, dancing, silly movements, or running in the backyard.

Photo By: Aaron Burden Retrieved From:

Self Care for Parents

Tips From Our Staff

“Be patient with yourself. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the same position- all getting ready for school, sorting out details. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect right away. Recognize that everyone is trying and you are trying your best!” -Lorna

“As someone who loves to give, I have learnt that when I am overwhelmed, it is so important to set boundaries, let people know how I am feeling. If I am honest about how I feel, people will almost always be willing to meet you where you are at and work with you from there.” -Alejandra

“Watch a Bob Ross painting tutorial just for fun or do something you enjoyed as a child- for example.. fishing!” -Yasmin

“This is a stressful time. As parents raising kids with special needs, we must try to take 15-30 minutes each day for self-care (walk, read, meditate, workout, stretch, light a candle and be still, etc.) -Tannis

“Going for walks in the park and bike rides. Finding moments of quiet time is so important.” -Susan

Other Ideas

  • Making sure you are taking care of YOU! Sometimes when it feels like there is no time, self-care might mean taking a few extra minutes to make sure you’re meeting your basic needs- have you eaten enough? Drank water? Got enough sleep? What do you need to feel better?
  • Listen to music that makes you feel good- this might mean listening your favourite songs in the car in between dropping off kids at school and activities, while walking the dog, or in the morning before anyone else wakes up
  • Schedule in self care-perhaps think of scheduling a self care activity daily, then something weekly, and something monthly.
  • Find movement that makes you happy and that you are able to fit in in your day (doesn’t have to be long- could even be a short walk around the block or a 5 minute stretch)






Photo By: Nathan Dumlao Retrieved From:

Looking for more supports?

Visit our Community Resources page here and search for what supports you are looking for. Some helpful search terms may be:

  • Counselling resources
  • Self-care for parents with children with special needs
  • Support groups for children with special needs
  • Support groups for parents raising a child with special needs

To learn more about how to use our database or website, please visit our how-to guide here.

Crisis Support

The Children’s Link Society is not equipped with a crisis response team. If you are in crisis, you can call the 24-hour crisis line:


The Distress Centre: 403-266-4357
Mental Health Help Line: 1-877-303-2642

Community Resources

The Children’s Link database contains more than 1,000 community resources that may be beneficial for families and professionals who care for and work with children and youth with special needs. To explore resource options, click the link below.