As parents we want to believe that we are superheroes and can keep on top of everything. But we all know that is far from the truth and that there are times we need help and it’s OK to ask for it. Even if it’s hard to admit you’re struggling – DO IT. You deserve to be cared for the way you care for everyone else.
Parenting is a hard job, and one for which we receive no training. Like life itself, it is full of ups and downs.
Parenting is a demanding job that involves a lot of physical and emotional energy. Let’s take some time out to talk about your wellbeing and how you can “help yourself”.
Wellbeing is more than your physical health – it involves your emotional, social and mental health too.
Safety instructions on planes instruct you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others, it is an important metaphor that signifies the importance of taking care of yourself – it is difficult to help others if your own life is full of turbulence.
Your car uses fuel whenever you are using it. When the tank is getting low a warning light comes on to remind us to fill it up. Unfortunately, people aren’t like that. We don’t have a warning light in our brain that tells us to “fill up”. And filling up is not as easy as stopping at a gas station now and again. But we can fill up our tank every day with small gestures to ourselves that remind us about “self-care and it’s importance”.
Self-care is a constant process for humans and involves a lot of different, small things such as enough sleep, a healthy diet, regular exercise, connecting with others and relaxation. Having healthy resources and avenues to unwind can be better for the whole family. Juggling between being a cook, cleaner, homework help and a driver, a working parent can easily forget to take care of themselves.
Taking care of yourself is the first step in being able to care for others and in avoiding that empty tank. Here are some self-care tips to help your family:
• Read a book: Anything you like, a magazine, a book on parenting, a love story, or any other topic of your choice. A cup of tea or coffee will add to the moment
• Take a warm shower: Pamper yourself with a warm shower and if possible, a massage. It will detoxify your body and be a good stress reliever
• Take a walk: Walking can be a very good exercise for your mind and body. Choose an area which is silent and has lots of greenery. The clean air will make you feel fresh
• Eat something you relish: Treat yourself with food you like. Cook for yourself or order something good for you
• Watch your favourite movie: If you don’t have time to go to movies, watch an old movie and remember the good old times at home. If you don’t have time for that, at least listen to your favourite songs. This is always a mood lifter
• Do things that you enjoy or find relaxing
• Take a break from your daily chores – find time for something that brightens your day
• Talk to friends and family. Reach out. Life is all about spending time with people you love
• Meditate and plan time to yourself
• Call our free Parent Helpline: If you are feeling overwhelmed our trained telephone support workers are here to listen and provide support on any of your parenting concerns (0800 568 856)
Written by Parent Help
September 10, 2019