School is in! A new school year may be to some the same old thing. It may simply be a continuation of last and the year before. However, for some parents, a new school year includes fears and uncertainty about homework, school and social anxieties and host of other things. In managing these problems with our children we need to find ways to take care of ourselves. This is what I wanted to touch on today. Below you will find several suggestions for self care for parents.
Self-care is a Me-First Sensibility
You need to make it your business to take care of yourself. There are many people who are so busy taking care of others that they neglect taking care of themselves. Today’s parent has a lot on his mind, He says things like “I just don’t have time.” The reality is that self-care is a me-first sensibility. You have to put yourself first. You have to make a decision in your mind that taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of others or of taking care of your family. This may be a sensibility that some people are uncomfortable with.
Self-Care is an intentional Activity
Self-care is intentional. It’s something that you really should be doing on a regular basis, preferably daily. The problem is many times parents don’t have a self-care routine or don’t think about their mental and emotional wellness until it’s a critical issue. It is not accidental. Parents are intentional about their jobs, taking care of family and house, and many other aspects of their lives. They should intentional about their self-care routine as well.
Self-Care Means Having Fun
You need to have some fun. But its hard to have fun when you’re worried about your children. You need balance. This means you need to find ways to have fun that are unrelated to your work. You need non-work recreation. Find a hobby, spend fun with your family, exercise, play golf or tennis, read books, etc.
Self-care Means Logging Off
Parenting never ends. This means pressure to be a great parent is always there. It might means being constantly engaged in the struggles of your children. There needs to be a time that you are disengaged from the parenting worry. You need this time to care for yourself so you can be present with you family. As parents, this may seem like a difficult thing to do. However, it is possible to have the balance of time being engaged and logged off.
Self-Care Means Taking Sleep Health Seriously
Being a parent is hard work. All the pressure is on you. Parents worry about their significant others, finances, and children. That is a lot of pressure. This pressure can affect sleeping habits. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. However, it is possible to develop good sleep habits. Good sleep health means that in general we go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This might seem difficult to do but with good self-care habits, you can develop good sleep habits as well
Being a parent can be can be a difficult stress-inducing experience that many people may find overwhelming. It is a challenge to maintain a healthy life and a family. It is possible though to have both. However, it requires an intentional decision to care for your cognitive, emotional and physical self. Click here for the companion article on parenting during school.