Want to Up Your Parenting Game? Try Self-Care
July 12, 2022
by mikkie mills, guest contributor
As a parent, you're no stranger to busyness and exhaustion. No day is ever the same, something always needs to be done, there are always needs to meet, and it often seems that there's not enough time for everything.
However, it's important to look out for getting caught up in being so preoccupied, especially when it comes to the state of your overall well-being. While you might go through your days following a routine that works just fine for your family, don't forget how important you are as well. Here are some simple ways to make self-care a regular part of your day.
Create Quiet Moments
If someone were to ask you how much quiet time is in your day, what would you say? While juggling all the responsibilities of parenting along with everything else you have going on might not exactly present much quiet time at all, it's important that you identify times when it is possible.
For example, this could mean adjusting your usual bedtime so you're able to wake up earlier. If you have early risers in your home, getting up before them could give you the chance to come alive, prepare for the day, and just be with your thoughts for a while.
Finding ways to treat yourself kindly during this time is also a must. Whether you use this time to exercise, enjoy a delicious cup of coffee with collagen protein or journal some thoughts before the day begins, there are plenty of ways you can work self-care into your mornings.
Set Boundaries and Say No
Do you ever feel like you're obligated to do something? Are you afraid to turn down an invitation or say "No" to a favor? While this might not be the first thing you think of when you ponder self-care, allowing yourself the freedom to be choosier in how you spend your time and use your resources can be very empowering and comforting.
Establishing boundaries isn't something that will happen overnight, but with regular practice doing so will make protecting your time less of a struggle. Think of what a relief it will be to take control and ownership over your own time. No more doing things you don't want to do or simply don't have time for. No more running yourself ragged or having feelings of resentment. This is self-care at one of its finest points.
Oftentimes, some of the simplest things in life have the most impact. Sleep is one of them.
Yes, sleep is something that everyone has to do. However, there are ways to approach it to ensure it's more than just part of your routine. Making it the most restorative, relaxing, and pampering experience possible is another excellent form of self-care.
When you're well-rested, life is good. Patience becomes better, outlooks become brighter, there's more energy, and health improves as well. While these are all important things for everyone, they're especially important for busy parents.
Fine-tuning your nighttime routine, or establishing one if you don't have one yet, should be the first step in turning regular sleep into self-care.
Do you ever feel smothered? Do you find yourself saying that you just need some time to breathe? Maybe you're touched out. These are all common occurrences in parenting. However, just because they're common doesn't mean you have to endure feeling this way. Giving yourself space is another way to implement self-care into your days.
The trick is to not feel guilty about taking time to yourself. It's also important to remember that everyone's needs are different. Paying attention to the cues your body is giving you will help you determine how to best meet your needs for space.
Parenting is a hard job. Taking good care of yourself will not only make you feel better but can also make you a better parent, so it should be considered a non-negotiable. What will you do for self-care today?
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones around or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
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