As soon as you become a parent, something kicks in and that newborn is suddenly the focus of your life. This makes a lot of sense; babies can’t fend for themselves, they can’t move, they can’t feed themselves or wash themselves, and they need to be constantly taken care of. You are responsible for every aspect of their wellbeing. Self-care is really important for your mental health.
Yet, does this mean that you need to neglect your own self-care? Do you have to wait until your children are old enough to be left alone (or at least go to school) before you can start to give yourself the time and attention you need? The answer is that it shouldn’t mean this at all, and although it might be hard to carve out some time for yourself, it is also absolutely necessary; after all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. In other words, you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself. Here are some of the best tips for caring for yourself.
Meditation is an ideal way to give yourself the self-care you need when you are raising a family. This is because:
- It is quick
- It is easy
- You can do it anywhere
You just need around 10 minutes a day to meditate, and the difference if you do (perhaps when the kids are napping or eating their dinner, for example) is going to be huge. Your mind and body will be reset, and you’ll find that you are in a much better emotional state; you will be calmer and more focused, and the problems that you had before will seem smaller, or at least more manageable.
Self-care isn’t about being selfish, but it is about doing things for yourself that will make you happy and help you feel good, even when, as a parent, life is hard and you can sometimes feel overwhelmed. Treating yourself on occasion is not something you should ever feel guilty about; in fact, it is something that could even be entirely necessary to giving you a good quality of life, and enabling you to be a better parent because of it.
Your treats can be as large or small as you feel comfortable with. It might be that you buy a ‘guilty pleasure’ magazine at the checkout when getting your weekly shop, or perhaps you want to sign up for a monthly scentmagic.com subscription box so that you always have something you can look forward to. Maybe you’re planning a spa day, or you want to get a takeaway instead of cooking. The treat itself is up to you, but the important part is arranging it and enjoying it.
Self-care doesn’t have to involve spending any money; it can be done entirely for free. Simply going outside and breathing in the fresh air can be enough to reset your mind and make you feel calmer and more present in the moment.
Going outside also means you can take your child with you if need be. You can both enjoy nature and feel more at peace because of it – go for a walk around where you live, or visit a country park. Maybe you could take a trip to the beach. Whatever you do, enjoy your time.
Margaret GALLAGHERAugust 13, 2020
Meditation really does HELP – practice is the key