As parents, we are often guilty of putting everyone else in the household above ourselves. We can get so caught up in taking care of our children, and our jobs, that we can forget to take care of ourselves. In fact, a lot of the time self-care is the absolute last thing that we think about. However, neglecting ourselves can lead to us feeling stressed, and overwhelmed. These self-care tips for busy parents can help you keep yourself calmer and less stressed.
Studies have shown that spending even just a little time outside in nature can have a hugely beneficial effect on your mental health and stress levels. So going for a short walk outside is a great way to take time out from your busy schedule and focus on yourself for a while. If you don’t have access to any green areas, try bringing the outside inside. You can buy some plants, and dot them around your home. If having living plants to take care of fills you with stress, try fake plants instead.
It doesn’t have to be a book club but joining a group of people with similar interests to you can help you relax. It also reminds you that you are a person in your own right, with interests of your own. There are online book clubs, movie clubs, forums, and groups that you can join, but sometimes a face-to-face group can be a little more involving.
If your daily tasks are starting to get on top of you, make a list of them. Every time you finish a task, check it off your list, or put a line through it. This way you can see the tasks you’ve completed, which will give you a sense of accomplishment. It can help you feel a little less stressed to see that you’re getting stuff done.
Declutter your bedroom and think about re-decorating. Buy some new blankets, cushions, and bedding. Make your bedroom into a place that you can relax and recharge in. Make it clear to everyone in the house that when you’re in your oasis, they need to be quiet, and leave you alone for a period of time.
Parents can spend so much time taking care of their children’s social engagements that they often neglect to make time for their own. Make sure that you take time to do something with your own friends. Meet for a coffee, or a walk together. Do something with your friends that’s adult related and isn’t centred around your children.
Meditation can take as little or as long as you want. You can find guided meditations online that can help you learn how to meditate. If you’re a beginner to meditation, you might want to start by practising some breathing exercises in a quiet space. Even spending two to three minutes doing some deep breathing can help reduce your stress levels.