What is it and describing the process of development
#Selfcare Pairs is a resource for mental health professionals and parents alike. It helps teaching children and young people about the variety and importance of self-care in a fun and playful way. Learning about self-care supports mental well-being!
#Selfcare Pairs is based on the common children’s game memory or pairs. The cards have pictures of potential self-care activites on one side and each picture appears on two cards. The game starts with all the cards of one set face down and players take turns to turn over two cards. When you find a pair, you can keep it and have a conversation about the images. For example,
- “What activity do you think this shows?”
- “Do you like this activity?”
- “Would this be a self-care activity for you?”
- “When was the last time you did this?”
One box of #Selfcare Pairs contains 62 cards and a booklet. The 62 cards are colour coded, split into two suggested age groups: Yellow frame is 6–12 years, Green frame 13–17+ years. With your purchase you will be able to download a free digital copy of additional conversation tips for each #Selfcare Pair.
The process of development
In October 2021, I found myself discussing the very important topic of self-care with a client. Self-care is fundamental and paramount to mental well-being. When working with children and teenagers it is very common to hear the answer, “I don’t know…” or “Having a bath!” when you ask what their understanding of self-care is. Self-care is so much more than this!
Personally, I define self-care as an activity that one enjoys doing, which is fun and/or relaxing; doing something good for yourself; looking after yourself mentally, physically and emotionally.
Simply talking about self-care or going through a list of “Pleasant Activities” was not good enough to fully engage with the topic. When trying to create a personal list, children often avoid writing out of fear from making spelling mistakes, and teenagers respond with, “Oh my god more writing…!”, comparing sessions to school (The LAST thing I want them to experience!!!).
When searching the internet for materials that might be more engaging the best I could find were simple picture cards to look through and to discuss. Again, this did not feel good enough to me.
Only a couple of hours later my brain had been going one million miles per second and had created a document outlining the idea of #Selfcare Pairs.
In the following months, I used every spare minute to go through lists of activities, notes from sessions, and training material to compile suggested self-care activities. I paid very close attention to what activities current clients suggested for their own self-care.
I wanted to create an audience-led resource. Thanks to my Masters studies at King’s College, London I knew how important involving the target audience is, when developing resources. During my Masters I also learned how to collect rich qualitative and quantitative feedback regarding materials.
Once I had settled on the list of activities, I had to find an illustrator to help me. Unfortunately, illustration is not one of my strong suits (yet? 🙃). Luckily, I found Linda van Sinten — Creative Elephant, who was very patient, professional and created the amazing illustrations. Thank you for working with me!
I produced a prototype using my printer and a laminator to test the game with clients and parents and to collect feedback from colleagues.
I repeated the client feedback process with the illustrations multiple times, to make sure that the illustrations were attractive to all ages #Selfcare Pairs was intended for.
In essence, #Selfcare Pairs was developed in clinical practice for children and young people with children and young people. Their involvement and feedback in the process was paramount whilst developing the game!
In the meantime, I scoured the internet for information on how to produce a game. After a gazillion changes, correcting many mistakes, adjusting resolution of images multiple times and a vast number of other tiny bits the development of the game was completed roughly in April 2022.
For the last two months I have been working on the website, shop and Instagram for the game as well as setting myself up for shipping the game.
#Selfcare Pairs is now available!!!! 🥳🥳🥳
I hope you will enjoy using #Selfcare Pairs!
Checkout our Instagram and share your ideas of how to use the game and pictures of your self-care activities using the hashtag #SelfCarePairs
Thank you for your support!
Lukas Dressler (he/him)
Integrative Psychotherapist (MBACP)
for Children and Young People