Deepening Self-Care

by Jennifer Perry, MSEd, MA, LPC

We all know that self-care is important. Perhaps you’ve heard the metaphor about the oxygen mask and putting your own on first. Or the saying that you just can’t pour from an empty cup. For caregivers and everyone else, it is imperative that we make our self-care a non-negotiable. 

Because we matter. For those of us who are focused on caring for others, hearing that we matter may not be incentive enough to prioritize self-care.

Or it may feel at odds with our caretaking of others. But how we show up for others makes a difference. And prioritizing our own self-care helps us show up with love and energy.
Consider a parenting challenge faced daily in many homes: Bedtime. If you are grouchy because you haven’t eaten, are dehydrated, haven’t slept well, or are still carrying significant stress from your day, it may be very difficult to bring the same patience and care to your child’s nighttime protests. If, on the other hand, you are in a good mood and feel at ease, you are much more likely to bring humor and creativity to any conflicts that arise. Or at least to move through the challenge with greater calm and perspective.

Strong self-care allows us to live fully engaged, vibrant, resilient lives in the face of whatever ups and downs life is throwing our way. 

In my work as a counselor and parenting coach and in my own healing work, I have come to appreciate three dimensions of self-care. While most of us are familiar with the first, examining all three may be the most helpful in deepening our thinking and expanding our practice of caring for ourselves. 

The first dimension includes common self-care practices. These include exercise, diet, meditation, drinking water, spending time on hobbies, spending time with loved ones, giving yourself a treat, etc. Unfortunately, this list can sometimes feel like a weighty list of “shoulds” against which we measure ourselves, defeating the purpose and becoming a source of stress instead of a sanctuary.

The second dimension is less about specific activities and much more about the way we approach every task and moment in our lives and less about what we are doing.

» Read more 

Jennifer Perry is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Peaceful Parent Educator and Coach. She is passionate about mindfulness and loves her work helping people relate more compassionately to themselves and to others while learning how to thrive and build lives that they love. She can be reached at 215-292-5056 or 


Self-Care for Parents

By Katie K. May, NBCC, LPC

Sometimes as parents, we think that the focus needs to always be on our children. We might think that it's selfish to take time to ourselves, or that we can't focus energy on our own well-being until our children are emotionally balanced and their behavioral issues have been addressed. These beliefs, however, are counterproductive. Modeling good self-care and finding ways to recharge your own batteries are the best tools you have to effectively help your children manage their feelings and behaviors.

Below are some ways to incorporate self-care into your daily routine. 

  • Breathe. Take a 30 second vacation, close your eyes and notice the way that your breath feels as it moves in and out of your body. Do not underestimate the power of your breath.
  • Read. Steal 20 minutes of your day to indulge in a good book. Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and absorb the stillness around you.
  • Talk to a friend. Meet for a quick cup of coffee or chat on the phone on your way to picking up the kids at school. Finding ways to connect with others is what makes your life meaningful. Adult conversations help keep you grounded. 
  • Take a bath. Light some candles, play some music and draw yourself a warm bubble bath. 
  • Give yourself a time out. Lie in bed in the dark, or give yourself a one hour break from the glow of a screen. Life's demands can be overwhelming, especially with the added demand of being a parent. Giving yourself permission to take a break is crucial.
  • Exercise. Physical activity is a great way to help you balance your emotions. Take a walk or run outside and enjoy some fresh air. Or, join a group class for the added benefit of social connections. Moving your body helps to ease stress and unlock negative emotions.

When you take care of yourself on a daily basis, you become a better parent because you're better equipped to handle life's ups and downs.  

What will you do today just for you?  Share with us on The Resiliency Center's Facebook page to hold yourself accountable and inspire others!

Katie May is a teen therapist who hosts weekly groups for teens. Contact Katie at 610-813-2575 or and visit her website to learn more. 

Featured Program

Peaceful Parenting 10 week Program 

Is parenting more difficult than you ever imagined? Do you over-react to your child in ways that you feel horrible about later? Do you long for connection and cooperation with your child but find yourself relying on techniques that seem to pit you against each other, locked in a seemingly endless battle?

There is help. There is another way. Your job as a parent is one of the most important jobs you will ever have. And yet, no one teaches it in school and no one talks about the deep struggles many of us have with parenting.

You can learn the practice of peaceful parenting. You can learn tools and techniques supported by the latest brain science to infuse your parenting with more mindfulness, presence, attunement, and connection.

You can parent from a place of love, not fear; cooperation, not coercion.

A peaceful home is possible! Parenting is a journey, a practice. You can get support so that you can:

~ learn to address your triggers as a parent.
~ become your child’s emotion coach and learn an empowering communication style based on feelings and needs.
~ discover and articulate your family’s values and use them to set limits that peacefully stick.
~ transform anger and repair with resilience the inevitable ruptures that occur.
~ shift from a dominant, “power-over” paradigm to a peaceful parenting paradigm.

Are you ready to ditch the guilt and support yourself to become the parent you really want to be? Are you ready to learn how to set limits and communicate in such a way that you stay lovingly connected to your child?

Let’s do this together.

As a Parenting Coach, I am here to guide you to a new place. A place where you can experience the greatest peace, connection, and love between you and your child. I am here for you to radically shift the dynamic in your home to one of peace, harmony, and fun.

Jen Perry, MSEd, MA, LPC is a certified Jai Peaceful Parenting Educator and Coach. She is passionate about helping parents engage in self-care and “re-parenting” early triggers so that they can change old reactive patterns into new, connective responses that grow healthy parents and kids! Jen would love to answer any questions you might have about this program. She can be reached at (215) 292-5056 or  


Favorite Self-Care Activities from Resiliency Center Practitioners

Exercise, hikes and walks, listening to music, listening to comedy stations or stand up, indulging in really good food and desserts, treating myself to a manicure and/or pedicure, connecting with close friends, utilizing my support system, remembering to take a break and rest, scheduling out vacations and days off for relaxing, going on adventures. ~ Stacey Vinci 

The ocean always heals and rejuvenates me. I like a good nap on the beach. Even a day trip is helpful. I like to stay at a nice quiet place with a porch for peaceful meditation. My favorite place for a self-made retreat is the hermitages at the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Aston Pa. I bring my suitcase of spiritual tools, including favorite books, a journal, incense, singing bowl, crystals, jazz music, a picture of my mom, water colors, and prayer beads. Time for silence, contemplation, and communing with nature. ~ Tracey Smith 

My favorite way to relax is by vedging out and watching Netflix... is that healthy?  LOL.  Also, I give myself permission to take time and space alone... whether that means a walk, a trip to the food store or a drive.  I need to think my thoughts! ~ Katie May

Savoring a really delicious cup of tea, breathing it in and sipping it slowly. Taking a long walk in a nearby park, among the trees, listening to the creek running. Laughing with friends and colleagues and the children in my life. Reading spiritual poetry silently and aloud. ~ Elizabeth Venart

I LOVE to knit ~ I bring knitting with me everywhere! I also meditate, listen to music in the morning, listen to audiobooks on my commute, garden, sing, practice mindfulness, hike, dance while making dinner and try to get my kids to laugh. ~ Jen Perry

I have realized in recent history that having a diverse portfolio of coping skills is just as important as having a few really great ones.  That way, if our most preferred coping skill is lost for some reason (ie. injury, loss of a support, etc), we still have a lot to fall back on.  I also really benefit from practices for "slowing down" and energetic release – in addition to or instead of physical release activities. ~ Elizabeth Campbell

I self-heal, support myself, and re-charge when I go to Starbucks with a favorite book and enjoy my Chai Tea Latte with extra sprinkles of Cinnamon Dolce. In one of Brittiney's CEM classes (Connection, Expression & Movement), we focused on self-appreciation and each wrote a letter of kindness and encouragement to ourselves. I enjoy rereading this letter from time to time. I practice QiGong alone or with others. When I allow myself the time to flow and practice a little longer, it feels that much better. I take a bath and include drops of lavender and Epsom salts, telling myself, “Don't rush, stay a few minutes longer, indulge” and, in my mind's eye, allow the salts, the lavender, the soaking to heal my body and my soul. ~ Karen Steinbrecher
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September Events

Learn more about all of our offerings – and how to RSVP – by clicking on the program title on our online calendar or following the links below.

Beginner’s Meditation and Mindfulness

New Class Forming Now!  
Monday, 9/19, 5:30 -7 pm

» Contact Jen Perry to register or learn more at

Trans Teen Therapy Group

Currently accepting new clients

» Read the article for parents, “Gender Identity: Is this just a phase”
» Contact Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Stacey Vinci to learn more at or 267-989-9113.

The Greater Philadelphia Holistic Parents Meetup

2nd Saturday of the month
1-3 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Therapy Group

Mondays at 11am
Pre-registration required
» Contact Jen Perry at jen@heartfulness


Sound Meditation and Relaxation Experience

Every other Sunday at 7 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Teen DBT Skills Group

» Pre-registration required


Teen Therapy Groups

Girls and Co-Ed
» Pre-registration required


Rumi and Hafiz Poetry Evening

Monthly on Wednesdays, 7:30 pm
» RSVP on Meetup


Rest, Restore, and Move Class

Every other Tuesday at 12 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Interstitial Cystitis/Pelvic Pain Support Group

Monthly on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm



EMDR Consultation Group for Therapists

Monthly on Friday at 8:30 am
» Learn More

EMDR International Association Regional Network Meetings

Every other month on Fridays
» Contact Elizabeth Venart, EMDRIA Regional Coordinator, at 215-233-2002 or Elizabeth@ to learn more.


LPC Supervision Group for Therapists

Groups forming now
» Learn More

Philadelphia Writers Workshop

Tuesdays, 7-10 pm
Pre-Registration required
» Learn More


Morning Meditation

Mondays at 8:30 am
» RSVP on Meetup


Evening Meditation

Thursdays at 7:30 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Qi Gong Classes

Thursdays at 2:00 and 6:15 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Knitting Circle

Monthly on 2nd Saturdays 10-11:30am 
» RSVP on Meetup

» Learn about these programs and more on The Resiliency Center's events page and online calendar   

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Poem of the Month


by David Whyte

Enough. These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again 
until now.

Until now
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