In a post for My Self-Love Supply, I explained why self-care is so important for parents, ” Why Parents can’t afford to skip Self-Care“. I also shared my reasons earlier this year. We can be more flexible, joyful, playful, connected, and loving parents if we deliberately turn some of our nurturing towards ourselves.
These benefits can only be realized if you create a self-care program that is right for you. These six steps will help you create a meaningful self-care program that aligns with your interests, values, and needs.
DO SOME RESEARCH
While manicures and bubble baths are great, self-care goes beyond those. There are nine self-care categories. These include physical (exercise and sleep), mental (emotional, psychological, occupational and environmental), spiritual (community events, volunteering), and intellectual (and many more). To avoid getting overwhelmed, pick one or two areas to focus on.
REFLECT ON WHAT FUELS YOU UP.
Many parents don’t know where to start after making time for their children. The things that made us happy as children often get lost as we age and become more demanding in adult life. This is a great way to think of things that will make you happy, such as art, music, building or storytelling.
It doesn’t matter if you share your goals with a friend or take some time to think about them. Self-care is vital. You’ll be glad you made a list of the things that bring you joy. These are acts of self-kindness. Self-care includes taking care of yourself, even if you don’t love it. However, these things can help improve your health. Setting limits on technology, exercising regularly and tidying up your home are all examples of self-care. A plan will make it easier to care for yourself in stressful situations. Get a free self-care menu and 50+ ideas here for inspiration.
Remember that the little things are big.
Self-care snacks are an easy and enjoyable way to incorporate self-care into your everyday life. It’s not always possible to be with our partners, friends, and ourselves. Therefore, having little self-care routines that you can do with anyone, anytime, is helpful, especially for parents with young children. Take two deep breaths and compliment yourself. Text a friend, take a moment to breathe in gratitude and then close your eyes.
INVOLVE YOUR COMMUNITY.
Sometimes we can be our worst critics and beat ourselves up when we don’t have a good day or are not practicing self-care well enough. It is important to get a reality check from friends and family and receive encouragement from therapists. Talking with parents who can relate to your self-care struggles will give you unique ideas and keep you motivated about your health.
SELF-CARE IS ON YOUR CALENDAR.
Self-care can be beneficial for our physical, mental, and social health. Schedule it as you would a doctor’s visit. Suzy Reading, a psychologist, says that self-care is “health care”. This makes it easier to be accountable and allows you to make time for your health.