Why self-care is important

It is the summer holidays and if you are like most parents, the priority is on making sure your children are happy. But looking after yourself is important for a number of reasons:

  • Firstly you act as a good role model for your children to show that everyone needs to take care of their own needs, even parents!
  • You will have more patience with your children.
  • You will be happier and more likely to stay calm.
  • You’ll feel more willing to carry on caring for your children if you have re-charged your batteries.
  • You will be fitter mentally and physically if you spend time on yourself.

As a busy parent, how can you have ‘me time’?

It is useful to spend at least 15 minutes a day doing something you enjoy, such as having a chat with a friend or reading a magazine. It is also good to have a few hours away from your children each week.

Make a list of 20 things that you like doing. Then decide when you’ll schedule them into your day, so it’s more likely to happen.

Here are a few ideas to get you started

  • A cup of tea
  • Reading a good book
  • Spending time with good friends
  • Having a foot soak
  • Eating breakfast in bed
  • A candle-lit bath
  • Having a shoulder or foot massage
  • Writing a list of everything to be grateful for
  • Setting goals for yourself
  • Having friends round for a meal
  • Playing cards
  • Giving yourself a mini-makeover
  • Painting your nails
  • A bunch of flowers
  • Smell the roses
  • Your favourite meal
  • Dancing or just listening to your favourite music
  • Time to exercise
  • Going to bed early
  • A great film or DVD
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Lying on the grass watching the clouds
  • A walk in nature
  • Sitting in the sun
  • Stroking a pet
  • Spending time on your own interests

Another thing that can help you feel more like a human being: Learn to talk assertively using ‘I messages.’ For instance, ‘I feel annoyed when you leave the wet towel on the bathroom floor’.

It’s also useful to let your children know all about your work, thoughts, feelings, interests and hobbies so that they develop a healthy understanding that you are a person in your own right and not just a parent!

The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

Need help now? Ready to explore whether investing in some tailor-made parenting sessions would be right for you and your family? Book your FREE 20-minute call with Elizabeth here