Self care for parents isn’t just important, it’s essential. We all need to take care of ourselves but that can be difficult as we take on the responsibilities as parents. These tips and strategies will help even the busiest of parents.
Being a parent is more than just feeding and sheltering children. It is a career that requires having a multitude of skills. A parent is a supporter, sponsor, cleaner, therapist, cook, friend and among many other things.
We were all children once and we probably thought of our parents as these beings that are just there to take care of us. That isn’t true though. Parents need quality personal time and we all realize this once we get older.
Self care for parents almost doesn’t seem like a real thing, but it is and it is crucial. Being the best parent ever means giving yourself time to breath, process and recover.
Why is self care for parents important?
Taking time for yourself is NOT selfish, especially as a parent. There is a lot of shaming that takes place on this internet and even indirectly. Parent shaming is a real thing, but must be ignored.
Self care for parents is the least selfish thing you could do. Incorporating a little bit of me-time every day is extremely beneficial for not only you, but your family as well.
Self care is taking small chunks of time in order for you to breath, process, and restore energy. This is how you keep yourself happy and if you’re happy you’re family will be happy. We all need to recharge our batteries sometimes!
Self care for parents tips & Strategies
Now that we know just how important self care is, lets look at some tips and strategies that you can start implementing into your life today!
Self Care Tips
First, here are some tips & activities you can do that are proven to be beneficial to your health. Even if you do 1 or 2 of these, that’s enough to gain the benefits.
- Journal – Writing in a journal is like free therapy. This is where you can process and reflect all in one. Journaling helps improve move and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It doesn’t have to be a long or elaborate journal entry, brain dumping is just meant to get whatever is on your mind out in the open.
- Exercise – It is recommended you get 30 minutes of exercise each day. You can do this with 5 minute intervals, going on walks or by dancing. Exercise is an efficient way to release endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.
- Read – Reading a good book or magazine is an excellent way to escape and get your brain activated. Additionally, reading before bed can help improve sleep!
- Hobby – Doing something you love like drawing or playing an instrument will enhance your life. It can help you destress and can actually reduce high blood pressure.
- Music – Listening to music can affect our mood on so many levels. When we listen to something happy and upbeat, we can’t help but feel the same. Listen to your favorite album in the mornings, while you exercise or whenever you get the chance.
- Nature – Get into nature! This will help build connection, reduce anger, anxiety and stress. All you need to do is go for a walk, go to the beach, on a trail or even take time to go camping.
- Meditation – Breathing exercises, yoga and other forms of meditation are great for increasing focus, improving self-awareness, mindfulness and can lower stress. A quick 5 minute meditation break goes a long way!
- Spa Day – If you can get a massage or a manicure, do it! If not, make your own! A tub of water, salts, essential oils and maybe some healing crystals can help revitalize your energy and bring you some soothing vibes.
- Positive Affirmations – Spend time writing or saying positive affirmations. They can be about anything you want or need at the time. These statements, when said enough, become real.
- Unplug – After work or on weekends, take a step back from technology. Not only does spending too much time on computers and phones contribute to more stress but they also affect your physical health. Take a few hours to live in the moment.
Self Care For Parents Strategies
Lastly, lets look at how you can implement these self care tips into your life!
- Family Walks – Get exercise, go into nature and spend time with the family all in one. Going for family walks can help strengthen connection and even open doors for new communications.
- Family Dinners & Gratitude – Go around the table at dinner time and everyone share what they are grateful for. This can even be sharing affirmations and mantras with one another. This is another way to improve family bonds and encourage discussion.
- Listen to Music – Start each morning with an uplifting album and end every day with a softer more relaxing album/playlist. This not only will be a way for you to share a bit of yourself with your kids, but you’ll also get to listen to your favorite artists.
- Spend Time With Friends – When we become parents, we see our friends less and less. Ensure you are spending time with your friends each month, if not more. This will give you new perspectives and a break. Hanging with friends is a way for you to be yourself, share your stories and listen to others.
- Make Time For Hobbies – This doesn’t need to be something you do everyday, but once or twice a week for 30 minutes is very beneficial. Hobbies allow us to be creative and tap into our authentic selves which comes in handy when parenting.
- Alone Time – This is so important. We all need alone time and that is ok. Carve out some time everyday or every other day where you can be completely alone.
- Meditation – This can be part of your alone time and you may even be able to include your family too. If everyone can sit still, in silence for 5 minutes, you will all feel the benefits. Just breath and think.
- Watch a Funny Movie – Laughter is the best medicine, so watch something that makes you laugh! This is something you can do with the whole family as well. Laughing releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are vital for a good mood.
- Date Night – Schedule a weekly or bi-weekly date night with your partner. This will allow you to interact with adults and reconnect with your loved one. Spending one on one time with your significant other will strengthen your bond and allow each other to let loose.
- Unplug – Just as stated above, take some time away from electronics and just live in the moment. It’s good for your health and your connection to the real world.
Work-Life integration & Self Care
Work life integration is a practice of bringing all aspects of life together. It looks like joining work, personal, romantic and family all into one mixture. Unlike work-life balance, there is no choosing one to make up for another.
For example, when driving to work, make time to call a loved one or even repeat positive affirmations! This way you are multitasking but in a way that won’t exhaust you.
Another example of work-life integration is taking 5 minute breaks for every 2-3 hours of work. These breaks can be for checking emails, having a snack or even doing stretches.
Bring work and life together is a form of self care! Work life-integration is an ongoing practice that should be utilized every day. Ensure everyday has moments for you, your family, work and romance by taking little steps and changes each day.