In military families, self-care is important. But what does it mean? What role does each family member play in supporting each other? Consider for a moment a military family that could benefit from a self-care plan. Is the family living with service personnel who may have PTSD, traumatic brain injury, loss of limb, or increased stress? Perhaps a family is struggling to cope with living overseas and away from a strong support system. Or perhaps parenting has been a long struggle and the children are not adjusting well.
A self-care plan is a strategy in which the family collectively agrees to engage in activities that will support the needs of each member of the family. Each family member should think about something they might do to take care of themselves individually, but also that would help take care of the family. For example, perhaps a family has been experiencing a high deal of stress due to a spouse’s deployment and the remaining parent and children do not engage in playful activities with each other. In a self-care plan, they all agree to build in personal fun time (e.g., the children have at least 1 hour of fun time a day) and family fun time (e.g., family picnic, game night).
For this assignment, think about a military family who could benefit from a self-care plan. What would you put into the plan and how would you support the family to follow through?In a 2- to 3-page paper, develop a family self-care plan.
Imagine a military family experiencing an issue in which they could benefit from a self-care plan. Include the following in the plan:
- Describe the issue
- List the key players in the plan (e.g., extended family, children, spouse, significant others)
- Referencing one of the activities in the Appendix of your text, how might it help you gain information to develop coping strategies to assist your family? Describe two strategies you might recommend and explain why.
- Describe when the plan begins and explain any changes (if applicable) upon the military service personnel returning from deployment.
- Explain the role of communication in the plan.
- Explain how you might create buy-in from the family.
- Explain how you might encourage the family to seek support if they need it.