Taking the time to care for yourself is not selfish: it's the fundamental aspect of fostering a healthy and fulfilling family life. Busy moms and dads often feel as if self-care is indulgent, and it easily becomes the last item on the long list of priorities every parent feels shackled too.
However, self-care is essential for parents to maintain physical and mental health, prevent burnout, and foster positive healthy relationships. To give, we must feel full ourselves. Your cup can not be empty and effectively care and respond to the little (or big) people in your life. When we are frustrated and tired, we usually give frustrated and tired responses to all the questions, activities, and tasks that life throws our way daily. When we take time to prioritize our mind, body, and soul; taking care of others comes a little easier and will likely be laced with a little grace and gratitude.
Here are 10 easy ways to emotionally and physically care for yourself. Keep it simple, pick one or two, and start prioritizing your YOU!
Establish a self-care routine. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly … put it on your calendar and make it a priority. Make this time sacred and mandatory.
Prioritize nutrition and exercise. Eat a healthy balanced diet. Meal prep and plan menus with your kids. Keep your nutrition and exercise needs in mind, not just your kids. Hydrate!!!
Prioritize sleep, rest, and relaxation for important brain health. Give your mind and body time to rejuvenate.
Set boundaries with your relationships, calendar, tech time, and especially work.
Connect with others. Find time to meet a friend for a walk, coffee, exercise class, or even a FaceTime happy hour with a friend from another state. Healthy positive relationships are easy and essential ways to care for ourselves. Stay away from gossip and negative people.
Take time to dream and create. Get a hobby. Sketch, paint, have a garden, craft, write poetry, play music, dance.
Get into nature. Discover the outdoors with fresh air, sunshine, and animals. Walk your dog, watch the birds, go fishing.
Journal your thoughts. Find time to dig into your thoughts and feelings on paper. Release thoughts that might be holding you back or keeping you trapped in negativity or resentment.
Practice daily prayer. Find intentional time to nurture and feed your soul. Pray, meditate, or listen to spiritual or instrumental music. Practice and nurture your own faith life.
Find an emotional/spiritual accountability partner.