As a parent, your needs are always secondary to your child’s. However, too many parents use this as an excuse to neglect their own needs, run themselves down and (ultimately) make themselves ill. So, to help address this unhealthy habit, we are sharing our advice on how to prioritise self-care as a parent.
1. Understand that you can’t pour from an empty cup
Before we dive into how to prioritise self-care as a parent, it’s important to discuss why self-care is so important.
The truth is, you cannot be the best version of yourself if you’re unhealthy and unhappy. So, if you want to be the best parent possible, you must start caring for yourself (as well as your child). Only then can you become your most loving, caring and attentive self.
2. Nourish your body
If you want to learn how to prioritise self-care as a parent, you need to start developing healthy habits. After all, self-care isn’t about long baths and bottles of wine – it’s about prioritising your mental and physical well-being each and every day.
So which healthy habits do we recommend?
Firstly, regular exercise. Whether you go for a walk or do a home workout, exercise can help boost your mental and physical health.
Secondly, nourish your body with vitamins and minerals. It will help promote immunity and boost your energy levels. (Plus, leading by example is a great way to get your children to eat their veggies!)
Finally, prioritise your sleep. Good quality sleep is essential to your health and well-being. So aim to get as much sleep as possible! (Even if 8 hours is unattainable.)
3. Schedule time for yourself
Scheduling time for yourself may sound selfish when you have a small child to look after. But it’s actually incredibly important for your mental and emotional well-being. So, don’t let guilt get in the way of your health!
Instead, start filling your free time with things that make you feel good! Whether that means taking five minutes to phone a friend or twenty minutes to read before bed – the aim is to do something you enjoy every day.
4. Socialise (often)
Parenting is an all-consuming endeavour. So it’s not uncommon for parents to feel lonely at times.
Instead of suffering in silence, prioritise connecting with others! Whether you plan dinners, day trips or play dates, the key is to surround yourself with positive, supportive people. After all, who better to boost your mood and promote your well-being than your loved ones?
5. Set boundaries
Our final piece of advice for any parent trying to prioritise self-care is to begin implementing boundaries. Why? Because people-pleasing is a losing game that (inevitably) leads to burnout.
So, instead of putting others first, start making decisions based on what is best for you and your child. For example, if you’re already stretched too thin at work, don’t feel obliged to take on additional responsibilities! Instead, respect your need for rest and politely decline the offer.
Self-care = self-respect
Learning how to prioritise self-care as a parent is not easy. But it is necessary. So don’t allow guilt to get in your way! Instead, respect your body, respect your mind and focus on becoming the best version of yourself. After all, the more you care for yourself, the more you can care for others.