I spend all day saying to children: ‘washing your hands is so important, get dressed and stay warm, you need a good night’s sleep and occasionally an early night, eat well to stay healthy, take an hour of quiet time to recharge, get outside to get some sunshine, fresh air and exercise’ while weeks can go by and I do none of those things!
Self-care can go right out the window when you’re a parent – at a time you really need it most! Looking after yourself and spoiling yourself will often come down to… none other than yourself – that’s right, no one else is going to do it for you!
You deserve to take time out for yourself, to treat yourself. You give up your time, energy, body and entire being to raising your family, and they want you to be healthy and happy in return.
If that hasn’t convinced you – they actually NEED you to look after yourself. When you run on empty, you know you cannot be the best parent. When burn-out arrives, picking yourself up takes a lot longer, it’s much harder on your family and your health.
Self care looks different for everyone but you may find it more helpful to split into two categories – the essential daily must-do, and the rest. This is because it is important to do something small each day to reenergise: a few moments to deep breathe, half an hour to read a magazine, putting your hot drink in a pretty cup, sitting in sun in peace, napping while baby does.
You also need to do something for yourself that is bigger – weekly craft class, exercises classes or gym time, catching up with friends, a new hobby, that haircut you’ve been promising yourself. A chance for you to pause, reflect, catch your breath, and then go back to being an awesome parent with your batteries recharged.
Like we teach our kids, self-care is very important for both our physical and mental health. Show your children how to prioritise it by modelling it yourself!