Self-Care Tips For New Or Busy Parents (Realistic Version)
While parents are fully invested in raising healthy, happy, and strong children, it can be easy to put our own needs last without even realising it. But it’s important to note that when we take care of ourselves, we are also able to meet the needs of our family – making self-care anything but selfish.
Even when it feels like you don’t have a minute to spare, there are simple ways to gain back a sense of you while parenting. Since going on a long-weekend girls trip or fishing every Saturday may not be in the cards for you right now, here are seven self-care tips for parents to try that are actually attainable.
1. Adopt a 5-minute morning routine
As a busy mum or dad, your six-step morning skincare routine or quiet coffee on the porch may not fit in your lifestyle at the moment. But this doesn’t mean you should abandon a routine altogether. Instead, create one that’s only a few minutes and do it when it suits you, whether that’s right when you wake or after you put baby down for their first morning nap.
Ex: Brush teeth, brush hair, change out of your pajamas (even if it’s straight into another tshirt), and done! Add more steps along the way if you feel some time opening up.
2. Plan activities you enjoy
Parenthood is full of toys and games with your little ones, and chances are there are some you love and some you don’t. Even if it’s your child’s favourite game right now or it’s an activity you saw on Pinterest that you feel you’re supposed to be doing, you’re allowed to put those aside sometimes and pick and choose activities that you’ll enjoy as well (ex. family movie night, arts and crafts, or throwing a ball in the yard).
3. Turn up the music
Even when you don’t get a second to yourself, music is proven to be a powerful tool that can lift your mood and energise. If you are the parent who drops your children off at school or the one who stays up to do the dishes at night, create a playlist full of songs that you love and play it when you’re doing other necessary tasks.
4. Get outside
Even if it’s just for a few minutes, try to get outside for some fresh air each day. This is a great way to take care of your mental health while also benefiting the rest of the family. You can bring your baby out on the porch for some tummy time, let your kids run around with the dog while you just watch, or schedule in family bike rides for a healthy routine.
5. Tag team with your partner
Working with your partner and alternating your schedules every now and then can really help you indulge in some me time. If you want to go to the grocery store by yourself or just read a book in the afternoon for 30 minutes, schedule it in with your partner ahead of time. This way, you’ll both know when one parent has to take on baby duty. By rotating these times in with your partner, you’ll get some time to yourself and so will they, which is an important form of self care.
6. Say daily affirmations
Simply put, parents are hard on themselves which makes it difficult to focus on getting enough self-care. One of the best things you can do for your mental health is tell yourself daily that you are the best parent for your child and you are doing everything just fine. Once you lower your expectations even just a little and get into a routine of consistent affirmations, you’ll start to feel a weight lifting from your shoulders.
Self-care is extremely important for mums and dads to not completely lose themselves in parenthood. So if you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, try adopting some of these self-care tips to become the best mum or dad you can be. Once you start taking care of your own needs, you’ll realise it’s easier to also take care of your family’s needs.