Parents, can you remember the last time you did something for yourself? Big or small. Do you actively prioritize your own self-care? Believe it or not, consistently taking care of your mental health will drastically affect the relationship with your child. Taking the time to show yourself some love will recharge your battery so that you can continue to be there for your family in the ways that they need. Now, I understand that it can feel nearly impossible to find a free moment to yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help so that you can have this me-time and in turn, be a better parent to your children.
Self-care can range from a morning walk outside to a weekend getaway. Whatever makes you feel sane, grounded and equipped to be the best version of yourself is worth doing. If you need some inspiration, consider trying some of these self-care tips!
Self-care starts with being mindful. Become aware of when you need to show yourself some extra TLC. An exhausted, mentally drained parent can’t compare to an energized and attentive one. Checking in with yourself will better improve your mental state as you become mindful of your thoughts, feelings and surroundings. Based on the way you are feeling, you can better determine the kind of self-care your body and mind need.
Remember all of those hobbies and interests you used to spend your free time doing? When you became a parent, I’m assuming many of those took a backseat to the hobbies and interests of your child. Did you use to enjoy painting, sewing, bike riding or playing a musical instrument? If so, try getting back into it. You could even find ways to do them with your family. Bringing these little joys back in your life can make a huge difference. They can work as a stress reliever and give you something to look forward to.
Being a parent AND having alone time? Never heard of it. But, imagine how much more relaxed and recharged you would feel even if it was fifteen minutes a day that you dedicated completely to yourself. Now, I don’t mean taking this time as your chance to catch up on all of the household chores. I mean really take this opportunity to relax. Whether that means meditating, taking a bath or just laying down. Listen to your body and your mind and do what you feel will benefit you most. If you need to, sit down with your kids and plan out some time where they get to entertain themselves while you get your alone time.
Again, being a parent and getting enough sleep? Sounds too good to be true. Let me remind you of how important your sleep is and the impact it has on your parenting. Besides the obvious, grumpiness and eye bags. Lack of sleep can make you just as dangerous as a drunk driver. Your reaction time is delayed and your attention, concentration and problem-solving skills are greatly impaired. It can even affect your memory. Not to mention lack of sleep has proven to put you at risk for heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and other serious health problems. It is recommended that adults get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you aren’t even getting close to this, try to make it a priority and get on a consistent sleep schedule.
By actively prioritizing your own self-care, you will set an example for your kids. Teaching your children to be mindful of their mental health will benefit their overall well-being. Talk with them about the importance of taking care of themselves both physically and mentally and find ways for them to practice their own self-care. As they continue to grow and develop, they will have built a strong foundation of self-care habits. Creating a home that values everyone’s mental health will result in an environment filled with healthy-minded individuals.