Sesame Street for Military Families is launching new digital resources in English and Spanish, highlighting simple strategies for self-care and emotional well-being in military families. These new resources have been made possible by the generous support of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which shares Sesame Workshop’s deep commitment to military families.
The pandemic disruption over the last three years has been challenging for children and caregivers, with added stressors negatively impacting their emotional well-being. This is especially true for military families, who regularly face disruptions in their routines in addition to the demands of military life like relocation and deployment, as well as military families in caregiving situations who can experience additional stress.
The new digital resources include five new videos featuring Sesame Street’s Elmo and his parents, Louie and Mae, and Rosita and her dad, Ricardo, who demonstrate the importance of self-care in ways that support emotional well-being for the entire family—from focusing on the positives of the day to being flexible with routines and ways to keep healthy in mind and body:
For military caregivers, self-care can be as easy as finding the little wins. In “What Went Well,” Rosita’s dad, Ricardo, reflects on his “went wells,” or three simple things that went well during the day. In order to care for others, you should care for yourself first.
Routines are important, but sometimes it’s okay to drop the routine and go with something easier. In Keep It Simple, Elmo’s mom, Mae, realizes she’ll have more time to spend with Elmo if she orders a pizza rather than cooking dinner. Every night can’t be a pizza night, but sometimes foregoing your routine to enjoy a special, spontaneous moment with your family is a great form of self-care.
Sometimes, being still and quiet is all you need for self-care. In Still and Quiet, Elmo and his dad, Louie, sit still and listen carefully to the world around them. Taking a few minutes to relax, focus, and listen can have a very positive impact on your health and happiness.
Healthy eating is a great form of self-care, especially if you have a plan. In Meal Planning, Elmo and Rosita use their imagination to plan healthy, colorful meals for the week.
Physical movement as a family can be an easy and fun form of self-care. In Daily Movement, Elmo and Louie have regular dance parties and chart their progress to make sure everyone in the family is moving throughout the week. Turning daily movement into a fun family game can make exercise feel less like a chore and more like a party.
“Prioritizing self-care and staying focused on the positive can feel difficult some days,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact. “However, the healthier the entire family is in mind and body, the more energy, patience, and support they will have for one another and their community. Every little moment of self-care can have a big impact. Sesame Workshop is here with resources and support for our military and caregiving families who give so much of themselves in service to their country.”
“AWS recognizes the sacrifices of veterans and their families, and we have a deep sense of gratitude to the members of the armed forces that protect the public way of life,” said Dave Levy, U.S. Government, Nonprofit and Healthcare at AWS. “We’re constantly looking for new ways to engage and support the military community. That’s why we’re thrilled to support Sesame Workshop on this new suite of digital resources, which is designed to help military families and their young children build resilience in times of separation and change.”
The new materials join a robust lineup of resources to uplift and support military families through deployments, homecomings, long-term family caregiving, transitions in health care, and much more. The resources are free to families and providers and available in English and Spanish at sesamestreetincommunities.org.