Self-care to Care for Others
By: Betsy Ranum, Front Office Staff & Health Coach
“Self-care.” It’s a term that’s growing in popularity in our stress-laden times. In fact, it may be the very reason you come to NEW. You know that when you take the time to care for yourself, you expand your capacity to be your best self—and to care for others.
On May 7, NE Wellness was thrilled to volunteer at a self-care themed event honoring people who live their values of caring for others: foster care providers in our community. St. David’s Center Foster Care services connects children with foster care parents, providing stable home environments for those who have experienced trauma or abuse—or have emotional, behavioral, physical, and developmental needs. St. David’s Center and Westminster Presbyterian Church collaborated to create this event for St. David’s Center foster parents, to serve just for one evening these individuals who every day share so much of themselves.
As the event’s keynote speaker Rani Zappa noted, self-care is critical for all of us, and foster care parents are no exception.
Not only does taking time for rest and relaxation improve physical and mental health and wellbeing, it is key to emotional regulation: the capacity to respond to stressors with resilience, rather than a short fuse. When caregivers model emotional regulation, says Zappa, the children in their care directly benefit by learning these emotional regulation skills themselves.
But self-care cannot be considered only the responsibility of the individual. The extraordinary demands of caring for children with complex needs, often compounded by realities of economic, racial, and social stressors and injustices, can make opportunities for rest and relaxation few and far between for foster parents. St. David’s Center staff and Westminster volunteers aimed to provide a relaxing evening for these caregivers, but also send them home with knowledge and resources to support them in caring for themselves.
Dinner and child care were provided by Westminster, after which foster care providers were invited to peruse self-care themed stations hosted by community volunteers. NEW’s Julie Lynch, LAc provided free short acupuncture treatments, along with information about acupressure, homeopathy, essential oils, and other holistic health approaches. Other offerings from expert community volunteers included complimentary massage treatments, easy do-it-yourself sugar scrubs and eye masks made with relaxing essential oils, yoga, and samples and recipes for simple healthy meals and snacks.
The evening ended with a raffle with gifts for every foster care provider. Among the prizes were gift certificates for community acupuncture, cupping, and infrared sauna sessions donated by NEW. The last self-care station to pack up was NEW, where Julie stayed to treat every last foster parent who wanted to try acupuncture as the church volunteers cleaned up and emptied out the room.
We were honored to be a part of this lovely event, and look forward to meeting the gift certificate recipients at NEW. We hope to be back next time!
To learn more about St. David’s Center and support their work with families and children: https://www.stdavidscenter.org/fostercare/ To learn more about Westminster's work in the community: https://www.westminstermpls.org/act/