Parenting might possibly be the toughest job out there! Amidst the beautiful chaos of parenting, self-care may not always come easy, but it's essential. How can you be expected to take care of your kiddo if you're not feeling up to par yourself? We know it can be tough to balance everything you have on your plate, so here are a few tips to help you prioritize self-care in your day-to-day life.
- Recharge and reconnect: Parenthood is busy. When possible, try to carve out moments of "me" time throughout your schedule. Reading a book, getting your sweat on at the gym or even meeting up with a friend for coffee does wonders for your well-being. Find time during your day to remind yourself that you're human and have a life beyond your little ones — even if they are one of the most important parts of your life. Recharge time can look different for everyone. Some parents may need quiet time to rest, while others might need to get out of the house and be active to burn off some energy. Just know that whatever you need, it's normal.
- Join a community: As a new parent, there may be times when you feel isolated. Your world has completely changed overnight, and it can be very daunting to suddenly be in charge of a small human! Finding ways to connect with those around you makes all the difference. If you're lucky enough to have friends and family who are local, take advantage of their company. If not, look into local support groups for new parents. Connecting with a community of parents who understand the ups and downs of raising children can make everything seem a little less overwhelming.
- Explore hobbies and interests: When your little one enters your life, they become your entire world. Your needs go on the back burner for the time being to ensure that they have everything they need to thrive. However, it’s important to make time for things you’re passionate about. Whether it's a yoga class, a long walk, painting or even cooking, find time to do the things that bring you joy. When you're feeling happy and fulfilled, your kiddos will benefit from your positive energy and spirit. It's never too late to find and enjoy new activities too — who knows, pickleball might be your calling!
- Get enough sleep: When you have a little one who wakes up every couple of hours, it can be tricky to get a good night’s sleep. But the truth is, sleep is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself! It helps both your mental and physical health by giving your body time to recharge and replenish. It may not be realistic to get a solid 8 hours every night, but try to fit in a 20-minute nap whenever you can. Your brain and body will thank you for any extra shut eye you can manage!
- Treat yourself: Have a spa day. Go get a massage. Get two scoops on your ice cream cone — and make it a waffle cone with sprinkles! At the end of the day, you are the one in charge of your happiness. Take the time to do something special for yourself because you're a parent and you're doing great, we promise! Don’t be afraid to ask someone to step in and take over for a few hours so that you can take your well-deserved break: your spouse, your parents (the grandparents), a friend, a relative or even a babysitter. It could be a whole spa day with a manicure, pedicure, facial and more. Or it could be something a bit simpler like buying your favorite treat when you’re out getting groceries.
One of the most important things to remember as a parent is that prioritizing self-care is not selfish! It’s a necessary step to parenting because it assures that you're happy and healthy enough to give the best to your littles. It’s also a great way to set an example for your kiddos from a young age so that as they continue to grow, they will learn to prioritize their own self-care as well.