Advice for Busy Parents: Fitting Self-Care into Your Schedule
It’s relatively simple for singletons and couples to include self-care into their day, but for working parents or stay-at-home ones, it seems like there’s never a spare moment to do so. We hear you!
If you’re a parent and struggling to find a solution for taking better care of yourself, here’s some advice on how to do so.
Accept Help from Others Even When It Is Imperfect
Being a parent, you don’t have time for everything. So, if someone offers to help, think twice about turning it down. Even if they don’t do everything the way that you would (or even how you’d prefer it to be done), accept the assistance willingly and thankfully.
Because it’s one less thing that you have to physically do yourself. If you can live with the kids learning to put away the washed bed linen, pillowcases, and tee-shirts with a few extra folds where there shouldn’t be, live with it. They need to practice, and it’ll be a teachable experience for them. And you’ll have extra free time.
Pace Yourself Wherever Possible
Just like with accepting help from other people, pacing yourself throughout the day is important too.
Trying to cram too much into a single day when the next two days are far less frantic is unfortunate and usually avoidable. Figure out how long each task will take to complete. Then add in a buffer for miscalculation.
Add in break-times to decompress, lie down for a 15-minute break or sit quickly zoning out with some peaceful music. After all, an exhausted parent isn’t going to have the patience to be an effective one.
Make an Appointment for Your Exercise
Create an appointment in your calendar app that blocks out exercise time at least four days a week. Add an alarm to remind you a few minutes ahead of the time slot too.
Make it a routine to look at your calendar each morning to prepare yourself for appointments and other priorities. Only add items to the calendar that are musts. Treat your calendar as sacrosanct.
Develop a faster exercise routine that gets the most results for the shortest amount of exercise time. Look for impactful exercises that put your body through its paces. Included with this are products like a sauna vest suit that can help you work up a sweat even in a short 15-30 minute workout – there are different options to fit your needs.
Remove Negative People from Your Life
Negative people are energy vampires. They bring you down, sap your energy, and leave you feeling spent. This can happen when they get in touch in the morning or half-way through the day.
Consider which people are worth keeping in your life. Even with the ones you wish to maintain as friends, decide which people you need to reduce the frequency of contact to make it manageable.
Once you’ve done this, it’ll clear your mind and make it possible to deal with any crisis that arises because you’re not so stressed.
Stop Neglecting Your Sleep
When short on time, cutting back on your sleep is one solution but it has the same effect as burning the candle at both ends. If you’re doing that, it’s time to stop!
We all need 7-8 hours of sleep. If you’re being woken up by young children, then the interrupted sleep pattern will hurt your energy levels even if you’re still getting the eight hours. If so, follow the advice earlier about pacing yourself by taking strategic naps in-between tasks.
Being a parent is a multi-year marathon, not a sprint. Running yourself ragged won’t work even in the medium term and will be a disaster long-term. Find ways to recharge during the day and include periods of rest to stay the course.