Taking care of yourself is as good for your family as it is for you. This eight do-able self-care for parents will help you get started. Whether you find yourself with a “free” hour or can barely find a minute, we’ve got practical and achievable suggestions to make the most of your time for some worthwhile self-love routine.
Self-care is not selfish; it’s one of the best things you can do for your kids. Not to mention, you definitely deserve it! These self-care tips can help recharge your batteries so you can keep being the best parent you can be.
From the moment you become a parent, your focus turns to taking care of your bundle of joy. As your baby starts growing into a toddler and beyond, you might find it’s difficult to return your attention to taking care of yourself.
However, a lack of self-care can create a downward spiral into feelings of stress and overwhelm, causing you to feel irritable, angry, tense, impatient, as well as affect your sleep and eating patterns. Above all, it can negatively impact your mental wellbeing.
It is essential to take time out to care for yourself, even when you’re strapped for time. While there are many different self-care strategies for parents, it’s important to experiment with them and figure out which work best for you.
Here are eight simple but effective self-care tips for parents:
Five minutes spent practising a guided meditation is proven to improve focus, self-compassion, mood, immune function and quality of sleep.
There are also many breathing exercises that can help reduce your stress in just a couple of minutes, which means that you can practice these even when you’re short on time.
Connect with nature
Studies have found that spending time in nature can be good for your psychological wellbeing.
A short walk in the park, a hike on a trail, or even time spent tending to your garden could help you feel more rested and relaxed.
Listen to music
Listening to music is not just entertaining; it’s healing as well. Some research suggests that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.
Whether you prefer the soothing sounds of Celtic music or your favourite songs from the 90s tunes, listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.
Join a (book) club
A club can serve several purposes. Joining a book club or any support group that meets in person will help you have regular social interaction. It will motivate you to set aside time to read, and it can help you have something to look forward to each week.
Write in a journal
Journalling is the act of keeping a record of your personal thoughts, feelings, insights, and more. It can be written, drawn, or typed. It’s a simple, low-cost way of improving your mental wellbeing.
Studies show that people who journal sleep longer and experience higher quality sleep (something every parent could likely use).
Spend time with your friends
Your social connections are an integral part of your self-care routine.
Spending more time with your friends and family is beneficial to your mental wellbeing, as well as your relationships.
Your good times are better with friends and family, and your sorrows are shared – so don’t overlook this important area in life!
Do a digital detox
Research shows that people who sleep without a phone in their rooms feel happier and better rested. These quick tips might be just what you need to feel more relaxed and calm.
- Unplug an hour before you go to sleep as well as after you wake up
- Set aside one weekend a month to step away from your smartphone
- Make it a rule to keep your phone out of your bedroom
Talk to a therapist
Parenthood is the biggest emotional roller coaster you will ever ride. Some days will bring you pure moments of joy. Others may leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Talking to an accredited mental health professional can give you a safe space to express your feelings and help you better understand your emotions, learn how to cope with daily stressors, and practise self-compassion.
When you feel like you don’t have any time to take care of yourself, that is likely when you need to exercise self-care the most.
These self-care tips for parents can easily be integrated into your daily routine and are just some of the ways in which you can practice self-care – you can do more or differently.
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