A parent’s top concern is looking after their children and making sure they feel loved, supported, and cared for. But when things get stressful, they may let their own needs fall to the wayside.
However, self-care for parents is vital. If your energy is low, you’re not eating well, or are overwhelmed, you may find it difficult to parent effectively. It’s important to look after your own wellbeing in order to be the good parent you want to be.
Here are some self-care tips for parents to try today:
- Meditate – Whether it’s five minutes in a quiet space focusing on breathing deeply, or 20 minutes using a guided meditation from an app, meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and decrease blood pressure.
- Focus on gratitude – According to studies, keeping a gratitude journal can improve your length and quality of sleep. Keeping a gratitude journal is as simple as writing down a few things you’re thankful for each day, before you go to sleep. They can be large or small.
- Enlist help – Nobody can do everything on their own, and you shouldn’t have to. Ask a member of your household to help you with a certain chore, or call a friend to talk about your feelings.
- Audit your diet – A healthy and well-rounded diet gives you energy to keep going, and nutrients to help you stay well. Life is busy, but look for quick and easy ways to incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats into your diet.
- Spend time outdoors – Even a walk around the block can have benefits on your wellbeing. Try to be as close to nature as possible for improve relaxation effects.
- Think small instead of big – Instead of worrying about the week’s laundry and the dirty dishes and the unanswered emails, pick one small thing to get done. Large tasks seem less impossible when they’re worked on bit by bit.
- Reduce social media usage – It’s easy to feel like we always have to be plugged in, but setting boundaries around your social media and device usage can help you feel calmer, as well as set a good example for your children about technology use. Try sleeping with your phone in another room, or institute a “no devices after dinner” rule.
- Plan to have no plans – Making time in your schedule to do nothing can be an ideal way to relax. Whether you read a book, call a friend to catch up, or have a movie night with your family, the lack of pressure to be productive can help you relax.