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The importance of self-care in the time of COVID-19

Apr. 7, 2020

When you’re a parent, self-care is often your last priority. But as we face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for yourself is more important now than ever.

If you are at home with your keiki and are trying to navigate the new normal of distance learning, stress, anxiety and emotion can run high. Here are some tips to help support your health and well-being in this time of uncertainty:

Make time for yourself
Under this shelter-in-place directive, we lose alone time that may have been part of our daily routine. So be intentional about creating time and space to decompress and recharge. Your “you time” can be taking a long bath, walking around the block, gardening or simply taking a quiet moment after the kids have gone to bed.

Prioritize healthy choices
The stress and lack of structure we’re experiencing can make it easy to slip into habits that feel good in the moment but can be bad in the long run. Try your best to eat balanced meals, get enough sleep, and include physical activity in your daily routine. Be thoughtful and intentional about how you’re treating yourself and your body.

Be realistic
This is a time to be forgiving both at work and as a parent. Avoid burnout by setting realistic expectations and giving yourself grace if you can’t meet them. Remind yourself that these are unprecedented times and that you are doing your best under the circumstances.

Manage your anxiety
With so much worry and uncertainty in the air it can be easy to absorb the fears and stress of others without even realizing it. So try not to keep the TV news on all day. And if you have friends who are prone to sharing worrisome news on Facebook or Twitter, practice some social media distancing.

Reconnect with things you enjoy
Make the most of this time by reacquainting yourself with hobbies or activities you enjoy but rarely have time for or learn a new language or skill. If having young keiki makes solo activities unrealistic, find activities you can enjoy together, like baking or creating artwork.

Be kind to yourself
Finally, remember that being kind to yourself will not only help you stay calm during this challenging time, but will also help ensure that you have the energy and strength you need to take good care of your ‘ohana.


Many in our community are facing new hardships and are struggling to meet basic family needs. We understand this reality and that student well-being begins with child and ‘ohana well-being. To support you, we have added a “COVID-19 Parent Resources” page to our Mālama Ola website listing resources to help families cope with their health and financial well-being during this difficult time.

If you have specific concerns, please reach out to our Mālama Ola behavioral health specialists or your child's school counselor.


Kūkulu Kumuhana: Native Hawaiian Well-being during COVID-19
Liliʻuokalani Trust

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus [VIDEO]
Child Mind Institute

mālama ola, malama ola minute, coronavirus

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