Self-Care Ideas While Being a Great Parent
Parenting may be joyful for some and hard for others. Whichever part of the spectrum you fall in, there is no denying the fact that, at times, parenting can leave you tired and exhausted. It is not just the physical labor in parenting that can be draining; the mental load of never ending to-dos and the emotional toll if the child is feeling unwell, picks up some bad habits, or has been in a fight at school/home/neighbourhood can translate into a stressful parent.
Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, or a working-at-office one, the daily grind of chores, caring for family and home can leave you with an incredibly full plate with no room for self-care. Our society is adept in shaming parents who want to take time out to look after themselves. It is especially true for mothers. If the mother tries to indulge in self-care or carve out some me-time in her already hectic day, there will be enough and more people who’d promptly label her as insensitive, selfish, uncaring, and what not. Self-care/me-time should not be seen as some guilty pleasure. On the contrary, it is what can make you do a much better job in caring for your loved ones. The saying, “One cannot pour from an empty cup” rings true in this situation. When you take time to replenish yourself, it allows you to serve others from the overflow.
So, it’s essential to carve out some time doing something that interests you, engages you, and makes you happy from within. We, at Whizpa, bring to you a list of ideas that you can use to get the most out of your ‘me-time’ that will consequently enable you to become a much better parent:
- Steer Clear of the Digital Screens at Home - To stay away from gadgets may be hard given that most of the business these days happens online. Be it shopping for groceries, clothes, or home furnishings, there are plenty of options online to choose from. Not just that, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max pack a lot of interesting shows as well . While all of this can be very entertaining, most of the parents agree that using online viewing for me-time rarely leaves you refreshed. It often leaves you with a headache or you can end up going down a black-hole and may feel like you wasted your precious time.
- Connect with Nature – It is advisable for parents to spend a few times each day outdoors. It is enriching to focus on the sensations around you — sights, smells, sound — this helps you be present in the moment. Go for a walk alone in the parks or water-fronts around your residence, go for a short hike up the hills, do some stretching, or simply sit on a bench outside and soak in the views around you. Nature is therapeutic. And it’s free. If walking is not your cup of tea, go for a drive. Play your favourite music, roll the car’s windows down and drive around for a while to unwind.
- Go Creative with a Journal – You could consider journaling your day, try doodling, express your thoughts about your life’s purpose, attempt poetry, etc. Try to disconnect your brain from household chores and every little worry and focus on how your fingers, pen or pencil feels against the paper and be engrossed with it. Devoting your time to writing about your feelings or doodling can rest your mind and help ignite your creativity.
- Revive and Maintain Your Social Connections - Connecting with others outside your immediate family is also an important part of self-care. You could plan a lunch or drinks date with a friend. You could find a place to dance your heart out with your friend by cranking up the music. In current times, while travelling is restrictive, try a video group chat with your friends who might be spread across different parts of the world.
- Spruce Up your Appearance – If you are working from home or stay-at-home parent, chances are that you are not investing time in your appearance at the moment. It is guaranteed that taking that 20-minute uninterrupted bath, doing up your hair, indulging in some skin care, wearing some freshly ironed clothes can make you feel more put together and in control of your life.
- Get Hold of A Book – Carve out 30 minutes a day for a book that you have been wanting to read since long. Make yourself a cup of coffee or whatever your favourite beverage is and start reading a chapter from a book you never got a chance to earlier. Disconnect yourself from your to-do lists and immerse your attention fully into your book. The family will survive for half an hour while you take time to refresh yourself.
- Pamper Yourself – Parenting can be physically exhausting and you need a release of the tension in your muscles. You could go for a massage and feel all stress melting away, a pedicure can help ease up the muscular tension too. Buying yourself a dress by going to a shopping mall, having a meal outside with your partner/friend, going for a hair makeover could also do wonders for your mood which translates into being the better parent to your children at home.
- Serve Others Outside the Family – Sometimes, we need to give to a cause we truly care about to be able to feel better about ourselves. When we work for others, we are able to see our role clearly in the community and the world. That appreciation from others also gives us the much needed replenishment of our souls. If you are the religious/spiritual type, you could think about getting involved in devotional study circles or practices.
You can start with whatever works for you. Whether it is a daily 15 minute activity or scheduled appointments dispersed through the month, you need the time out to rejuvenate yourself. Self-care should not cause you guilt or stress. It is a necessary self-preservation investment. You require and deserve all the support and you can be a better version of you for your family. It’s really a win-win for all. Your sanity and happiness will keep your entire family energised, productive and happy at the same time.
Do let us know which self-care idea will you try first?