Treat Yourself: 8 Much-Needed Self Care Tips for Parents
The role of a parent is not an easy one. You’re tasked with the impossible responsibility of ensuring everyone’s needs are seen to all the time—often at your own expense.
When you become a parent, your sole focus becomes your children, which can be exhausting. Even as kids grow older and can take more personal responsibility, relearning how to prioritize your own needs can be a strangely difficult process.
The solution is a series of small, consistent acts of self-care that will eventually lead to a happier, calmer, and more balanced life. They may take some effort initially, but the payoff is priceless.
Here’s how to show yourself some love!
- Keep A Calendar
You’ve probably tried this before, and if you’re reading this, chances are it didn’t catch on so well. But don’t be deterred. Because, in reality, you need structure and organization to feel more in control of your life.
Keeping a calendar helps to provide an outline for the next few weeks and months, thus enabling you to configure your time and energy in the most efficient way possible. That means less rushing, less chaos, and more time for you.
Calendars are great because they also give you somewhere to offload all of the tasks, plans, and events happening in the next while so that you no longer have to be burdened with them.
Add a notification reminder on your phone, and bam! You’ve got the best personal assistant one could ask for—you from the past—your future self will thank you.
- Find An Exercise You Enjoy
You’ve heard this advice a thousand times before, but perhaps you need to be reminded of just how much it can help.
Exercise boosts your mood, reduces stress and anxiety, keeps you healthy, and gives you that much-needed sense of self-confidence that all of us require for general well-being.
Finding a form of exercise that you find fun (and maybe even a little bit silly) is a good way to reintroduce joy to your schedule. Group dancercise, swimming, or tai chi are all simple, enjoyable physical activities that don’t require much time to complete.
You don’t need to exert yourself to the point of exhaustion—what’s more likely to stick are activities that you genuinely find fun and gratifying. If you break a sweat while at it, even better!
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- Get Out The House
Parents tend to spend most of their time either at home, at the grocery store, or playing taxi. But everyone needs a bit of social or solo reprieve every now and then.
Getting out of the house to do something purely for your own benefit is another way to meet your personal needs.
It doesn’t matter where you go. It could be to see a film, walk on the beach, or simply go for a long, relaxing drive.
The temporary break and fresh perspective will be a welcome mind-refresher, and you’ll come home feeling a little lighter and brighter.
- Buy Yourself Something Nice
Spending a little bit of money on yourself is a wonderful gift everyone deserves, especially during periods of high stress.
Birthdays don’t count.
We’re talking about a well-earned self-present or experience that lifts your mood and reminds you that you’re worth spoiling from time to time.
A new yoga mat, a beautiful new outfit, or even a trip to a fancy restaurant are all ways you can rekindle your relationship with yourself and feel more like a human being. Because, let’s be honest, parenthood can often make you lose touch with yourself a bit.
You’re a multi-faceted individual with style, ambition, and personality. Remind yourself of this by occasionally spending some of your hard-earned cash on a special treat.
- Carve Out Alone Time
Alone time is really important for our mental and emotional health.
We all need the peace and quiet of our own company to process what’s going on in our lives and spend time reconnecting with our wants, needs, and aspirations for the future. Maybe you simply need to rest.
The beauty of alone time is that you get to choose how you spend it. By setting aside even just an hour or two every few days, you can recharge your energy levels and come back feeling fresher and stronger.
- Spend Quality Time With Your Partner
Spending quality time with your partner is every bit as important as spending quality time with yourself.
If you’re married or co-parenting, how the other person is doing will inevitably impact your life. You need time to check in with each other and ensure any issues are addressed healthily.
Marriage and parenting issues will weigh you down if left unresolved.
Putting in effort with each other to communicate, relax, or engage in a mutually enjoyable activity will ultimately make your own journey of self-care far more manageable.
- Talk To Your Friends And Family
Your friends and family are there to support you, so let them.
When you need to vent or talk about a difficult topic, don’t bottle it up inside you.
We often don’t express how we feel about what we’re going through, especially when it’s related to menstruation, menopause and hormonal changes, or a particularly personal issue.
Change this by talking to someone you trust.
Sometimes, a cathartic conversation with your bestie or your own parent is all you need to re-energize and keep going.
- Give Yourself Permission To Practice Self-Care
There’s a fair amount of guilt and shame associated with practicing self-care as a parent.
Society tells you that if you don’t dedicate every spare second you have towards your children’s wellbeing, you’re somehow failing as a parent. But this could not be further from the truth.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
If you aren’t taking care of your own basic needs, you can’t take care of others. In this sense, practicing self-care is an act of love to those around you too.
When you’re rested, clear-headed, and energized, you become the best version of yourself—as a parent, as a friend, and as a partner.
Give yourself permission to look after yourself. After all, nobody else is going to!
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NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Nannocare. Nannocare is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the author of this article, or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates.