In the lead-up to the new baby arriving, you might be wondering what it might be like? Are the late nights really that late? How many times will your baby wake up? Of course, there is a lot of love and exciting things that are going to happen too!
When you have children, they very quickly become your world - of course, they do! You want to make sure that they have everything they need to thrive, grow and be happy.
Somewhere in that, many parents start to let themselves fall into the background. Time for hobbies gets overtaken by after-school activities, and late nights working on side hustles might become late nights catching up on the washing.
Life changes in so many lovely ways, but self-care for parents is one of the best ways that you can take care of yourself while you take care of them too.
So what can self-care look like for parents?
Taking care of your health is one of the most important ways that you can take care of your family in the long term. When you ensure that you are personally doing checks on your body, you can act quickly if you need to.
When you know your body well, you can discuss things with your doctor quickly and make decisions about things like orthopedics, dental, oncologists, and any other big decisions.
When life is busy, finding some space to think can be tough. In fact, often, we might not realize the last time we had a few moments of peace. It could be any time of the day, but what matters is that you have a few minutes at least.
Many parents find that making time for meditation can help them to feel calmer and more at peace. Even 3 minutes of breathing or guided meditation for a few minutes can help you to clear messy thoughts and focus on the day ahead.
Did you know that people who keep a gratitude journal are often described as happier and have a higher quality of sleep!? That is just one reason to make sure that you pay attention to the things around you that fill you up.
Some days are harder than others, and it can feel pretty heavy. To help shake those feelings, write a gratitude journal every day with a few things you feel blessed about. It can be anything from personal achievements for the day to clearing the washing pile.
Being out in the woods or at the beach profoundly impacts our children and us too. Green spaces help regulate our stress levels, get some fresh air, and work our bodies out in an enjoyable way.
Not everyone has green spaces nearby or accessible to them, but you can bring nature into your home with plants and flowers.
Studies show that patients who had access to a window view or images of green landscapes reported feeling better and had a reduction in their pain levels.
When possible, plan a once-a-week walk by yourself - or with the kids, if that brings you joy - somewhere that is green, woodsy, or near water.
You’ll feel incredible for it.
Simplify the to-do list
If you have a habit of piling your to-do list miles high and feeling bad at the end of the day because you didn’t achieve everything on it - let’s reframe it.
Often we add as much to our to-do lists as possible rather than focus on the stuff that is urgent and the things that need to be done. And, rather than be annoyed that you didn’t complete the list, tick off the items you did complete - because that gives you the sense of satisfaction that a to-do is designed to do.
To-do lists that are well made can release a lot of the mental load you carry, which frees up some more energy.
Being plugged into your mobile phone or laptop all day means we are accessible to everyone. We often give a lot more energy away than we notice by doing this. Disconnecting from technology for a few hours every evening and maybe a whole day at the weekend gives us a chance to decompress and only be accessible to the family we share a home with.
If you don’t want to disconnect, then turning off notifications for a while can help reduce the pressure to respond.
When you take care of yourself, no matter how that looks, you are in a better and healthier position to take care of those around you.
Perhaps you are looking to make some positive change in your life, here are more tips to help: Healthiness Starts With Happiness