Calling all busy parents! Here is one more task to add to your already super-jam-packed schedule of raising young children: TAKE CARE OF YOU! In fact, taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is probably the best thing you can do for your own children—it’s a win-win situation. When you feel good about who you are as an individual, your children reap the benefits of a parent who is healthy, happy, and present in the moment. Parent self care doesn’t necessarily have to mean booking an expensive all day spa session or planning a 3-day weekend getaway by yourself. It can be as easy as waking up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to lay on the carpet and stretch or spend an extra few minutes journaling and doing relaxation breathing. Short moments of “me time” like these can help boost your energy and clear your mind. You feel refreshed and more focused on the next moment to make a lasting memory with your young child.
Below is a list of my Top 5 at home ideas to TAKE CARE OF YOU:
1.) Diet and exercise. Do a quick inventory of your diet and exercise regime. Make small changes in your food choices to eat more healthy and get your body burning a few extra calories each day. No need to run out and join a gym and overhaul your food pantry. Just make a conscious effort to choose more fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Do you typically hit the couch after each meal? Try stretching or perhaps taking the kids on a quick walk around the block. There is an old adage, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This can relate to how your treat your body and mind.
2.) Deep breathing and positive visualization. Take a few moments in your day to focus on deep belly breathing and visualizing yourself being happy and content in the moment. If you can see it, believe that it is attainable.
3.) Journaling. Journaling can help you record your life-changing journey in parenthood. It’s a safe outlet for times of stress and can be inspiring when you revisit journal entries to see how you’ve grown and changed as an individual. Journaling is non-judgemental because they are your memories and you can record them how you want to. You don’t have to be a writer to journal; you can doodle, make lists, or just overall freewrite. If you’ve never journaled before, my advice to you is to start your journal out as a “present” journal, meaning record how you are feeling “in the moment” versus turning your journal into plans for the future. Journaling in the present gives you a benchmark for how you are feeling “right now.”
4.) Have you laughed today? Each day, deserves 10 minutes of unbearable giggling. Keep a light-hearted spirit that will always welcome comic relief. Besides, your children love to see you smile and your laughter sounds like music to them.
5.) Physically connect or reconnect with positive adults in your life. As parents of young children our outside adult relationships often suffer because of the high demands of our precious little ones. Social media can be helpful with posting pictures, facetiming, and email, however, we must make a more concerted effort to nurture and cultivate relationships with loved ones physically. It can be difficult, nonetheless, maintaining these relationships will help you to feel supported and remind you that you, too, are an individual. No matter how busy you are, your pre-parenthood friends miss you and want to see you.
Check out the resource links below for more easy ideas to take care of YOU!
The Parenting Hub would love to hear about what you do to take care of yourself as a parent. Please send your tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Take Care of Yourself for a Change
5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Emotionally While Raising Your Child http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/Take_care_of_yourself_emotionally
Self-Care for Parents
Taking Care of Yourself
Stress Management for Parents
7 Tricks to Help Stressed Moms Chill Out
Stress Management for Parents
Self-Reflection in Parenting: Help for Getting Through Stressful Times
A Parent’s Self-Care and Self-Reflection