How to Care for You When the Kids are Sick

This past week has been a doozy for me! The Brockhoff family has officially begun Fall flu season, celebrating with a few acute care visits, sick kid calls from daycare, and a lot of tears from all members of the family. Despite how often weeks like this occur, I found myself unsure of how to find any balance in my life. Historically, I have coped by eating takeout, forgetting to shower, and sacrificing my own sleep in order to google ways to trick kids into taking cold medication. By the time we all said goodbye to our sicknesses, I felt so burnt out that I didn’t have the energy to pick up the pieces. 

 

At Reverence, we run groups teaching Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). An important part of this group is learning how to reduce our vulnerability and sensitivity to painful emotions. We cannot respond effectively in stressful situations unless we are in a good mental place to do so. In my own life, I did not have the patience for my son’s aches and pains because I neglected my own health. DBT tells us how to do this through the PLEASE skill:

  • Treat Physical Illness
  • Balance Eating
  • Avoid Mood-Altering Substances
  • Balance Sleep
  • Get Exercise

 

Marsha Linehan definitely took some liberties on what defines an acronym with this skill, but the content is very useful. If we are not taking care of our physical bodies, we will not be our best selves for our families. Newsflash: this is often why we end up sick when we are stressed. This cold and flu season, consider the PLEASE skill as a way to take care of your family and yourself. Happy sneezing everyone!