There’s no getting around it, these years are tough.
Personal space is limited and your child may literally rely on your help for almost everything!
The suggestion to take time for “self-care” may actually make you laugh out loud. (Or cry, depending on the day.)
Maybe you’ve tried a few things, but you can’t be consistent. Or, maybe no matter how quiet you are in the morning, your child is immediately by your side, eliminating any hope of a moment of peace before the chaos of the day.
Rather than thinking about self-care as one Big Event, let’s think of self-care as small moments throughout the day.
(Of course, if you can get away to a yoga class or take a night out with your friends, that’s awesome! Do it!)
Self-Care for Busy Parents
Here are some things you can do – even with small children in the same room, a baby on your hip, 20 unanswered emails, or a messy kitchen.
- Take 3 good cleansing deep breaths
- Close your eyes and visualize a calming scene
- Study the details on your child’s face, a photograph, or a tree outside your window
- Massage the arches of your feet, the palms of your hand, or your neck
- Stretch your arms up, bending side to side, or standing tall
- Roll your shoulders up and back
- Sip hot tea or coffee…and really appreciate the flavor
- Eat something slowly, savoring every bite
- Pop in some earbuds and rock out to your favorite song or podcast
- Color or doodle
- Tense and flex the muscles in your body, one at a time
- Smell something beautiful, soothing, or that brings good memories
- Tell a story about a time when you felt relaxed or happy
- Wrap your arms around and give yourself a big hug
- Write down 3 things you love about yourself, your child, your family, etc.
- Rewrite your to-do list, adding at least one thing you actually WANT to do
- Smile. Hold it for at least 10 seconds.
Here are some suggestions from parents on my Facebook page:
- Sing something in an opera voice, beatbox, or “whale voice” (like in Finding Dory)
- Pick a sunny spot and stay in its warmth for a few minutes
- Apply sunscreen
- Listen to music (soothing or upbeat)
- Have a dance party together
- Sing – silly made up songs or real songs
- Leave coloring placemats, colored pencils, and pens on the table to encourage a random coloring break
- Stand on grass with bare feet
- Eat chocolate (or ice cream sandwiches) while hiding in the bathroom
- Rub a nice smelling lotion on your hands
- Lie on your back and put your legs straight up the wall
- Wash your face
- Apply fast drying nail polish!
- Deep breathing while imagining yourself calm and in a nature scene
- Use the Headspace App
- Turn on a video for the kids
- Do yoga together
- Blow bubbles
- Ask your kids to apply lotion to your hands or brush your hair
- Light a candle
- Use one or two-word mantras as your computer password: smile, peace, honor, serenity
- Or, check out this list of one, three, or five-minute ideas
Don’t stop now!
Add to this list.
Star your favorites.
Write a few on a post-it note and stick them around your house.
Sprinkle at least 5 “mini” self-care sessions throughout your day.
Self-care is critical. And it’s possible.
Yes. Even, for you.
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