Time is precious for any busy parent. There never appear to be enough of it. And when you think about your priorities, making time for self-care perhaps falls near the bottom of your list —below work, kids, home, and family.
However, if you don't make time for yourself, you may end up causing more harm than good. Stress, fatigue, burnout, and even illness can take more of a toll when you aren't getting what you need. So, taking care of your spiritual, physical, psychological, and social needs will help you to be the best parent you can be. Even if you think you don't have a single second to devote to yourself, it's critical to set aside some time for self-care. While there are numerous different self-care strategies for parents, it’s essential to experiment with them to figure out which strategies work perfect for you.
Here are five simple self-care practices you can start right away:
- Take advantage of early mornings
One of the simplest ways to ensure that you don't miss out on #MeTime is to start off early in the day. Go for a jog, meditate, read a book or have a quick DIY massage therapy at home.
- Sneak exercise into your day
It might be difficult for busy moms to stick to their regular workout schedule. One method to resolve this issue is to choose outdoor activities that you can do with your kids to stay physically active. For example, you can go swimming or cycling with them.
Even easy exercises like crunches, jumping jacks and squat jumps can help you stay fit and energized.
- Prioritize sleep
Getting enough sleep is a fundamental yet essential self-care habit. It reduces stress, improves cardiovascular health, enhances the immune system, and improves memory, among other things. Meanwhile, not getting enough sleep on a regular basis hinders cognitive performance and puts you at risk for significant health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Don't skip on sleep, even if you're tempted to finish a few extra tasks while the kids are sleeping.
- Get connected
Don't let your hectic schedule prevent you from spending time with your family and friends. If weekly date nights aren't possible, make an effort to schedule some time to connect on a regular basis. Make the first Friday of every month a date night, or organize a coffee date with your buddies once a month on Saturday morning. Make a aim to invite neighbors over for dinner at least once a month—and plan on pizza and a movie with everyone's kids, so you don't feel the need to full-on "entertain."
- Invest time in your health
Be honest, when was your last full body checkup? Keep in mind that your health and well-being are just as important as your family's. So, make time to get your flu shots, dental exams, and annual check-ups. In addition, be aware of what you feed your body. consume whole foods such as cereals, nuts, lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables. reduce your caffeine intake and drink a lot of water.
Remember that you matter: It's easy to lose yourself in the midst of being a parent, but it's important to remember that you're allowed to have time solely for yourself. You should do things you always liked to do or wanted to try.
Don't overlook the most fundamental aspects of self-care: Get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. When it comes to keeping your home tidy, don't expect perfection, but do keep up with the basics—dishes, vacuuming, and laundry. Incorporate self-care strategies into your daily routine. Keep in mind that the times when you’re thinking you don’t have time to take care of yourself are probably the times when you require to practice self-care the most.
If you’re feeling a lot of anxiety and stress or you think you may be depressed, talk to your physician. A referral to a mental health professional may be beneficial to you. On the other hand, your doctor may want to rule out any physical health issues first.
In addition, be realistic when setting daily goals and evaluate your priorities on a regular basis. And last but not least, please don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it - whether it's from your parents, partner, friend, or counselor.