9 Tips for Self-Care Today
The hustle and bustle of everyday life can make it seem impossible to do things for our mental and physical well-being. In addition to being an adult and having our individual responsibilities, taking care of children can make self-care seem all that more overwhelming. But prioritizing self-care as a parent is an invaluable thing to model - both in honoring your very human need for comfort and in teaching coping skills directly. In honor of World Mental Health Day, we are sharing some tips on how to practice self-care – in even the smallest ways.
Take a Walk
Take a 10-minute walk outside. Practice mindful walking by noticing how your body and mind feel while you’re moving. Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice the colors of the leaves changing, the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of the birds chirping, or the feeling of the cool air touching your face or filling your lungs.
Take a Bath
Schedule 30 minutes to yourself to run a bath, grab a book to read, or listen to some calming music as you melt away the stressors of the day.
Limit Your Screen Time
Honestly, we all know screen time isn't that great. As news and social media is at our fingertips all of the time, it can sometimes be hard to step back and see how it can have a negative impact on our mental health. Taking a break from the tv or cell phone allows us to relax and reconnect with ourselves and those around us.
Pick Up a Hobby
Painting, dancing, cooking, gardening, woodworking, or writing are all hobbies that can allow you to have some fun. This also is a way for you to connect with your child if they enjoy the hobby too! Just make sure they're not too scheduled.
Yoga, HIIT, cycling, or boxing are just a few ideas. If you don’t want to go or are unable to make it to the gym, there are many exercise videos that can be found on YouTube that let you exercise in the comfort of your own home. Most videos range from 10-30 minutes, so pick a time, find something that interests you and move your body.
Schedule In Fun Time
Whether it's spending time with family or friends, taking the kids to the park or museum, going to watch a movie by yourself, or picking up your favorite treat, plan time that you can look forward to.
Get Enough Sleep
Bedtime routines aren't just for kids! It is well known that sleep is extremely important to our mental and physical health. Having a skincare routine, reading a book, drinking non-caffeinated tea, or listening to a guided meditation before bed can help you get that essential sleep. Stopping your screen time on your devices at least 30 minutes before bed is helpful in preparing your brain for bedtime.
Get a Confidante
Whether it's your partner, friend, family member, or a therapist, talk about your feelings and thoughts. Sometimes it can be hard to share what’s on your mind or in your heart, but communicating with someone can provide relief when things just seem too heavy. Wanting to seek a mental health professional to express your feelings doesn't mean you’re failing; it means you’re human and you want some help.
Give Yourself Some Grace - and a Break
It can be very easy to think of all the things that went wrong in a day. We set up expectations for ourselves that are impossible to maintain every single day because we are human. As parents these expectations can feel even heavier. Remind yourself that you are doing your best.
That meal plan isn’t working out because you forgot to defrost the meat? Order out or serve a frozen meal. You just want a few more minutes to finish some work or time to yourself? Let the kids play in the bath a little longer. Do you need time to relax and rest? Skip the chores. Show yourself compassion by forgiving yourself and not punishing yourself for mistakes.
When we put ourselves first, we can feel selfish, guilty, or ashamed, especially when we have children. It can be hard to try to pour from an empty cup, so before we can pour into another person’s cup, our own cup needs to be filled. To enjoy time with those we love and care for, we need to take time to love and care for ourselves.
If parenting is taking too much out of you and you find yourself needing a fresh perspective, talk to our parent coaches. We can help reduce stress by guiding you to becoming the parent you always wanted to be.
Happy World Mental Health Day!