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Parenting Self Care

Amber Brandt  |  January 23, 2024
"Self-care" has become a buzzword that’s often linked to single, 20-somethings splurging on salon services, watching romcoms, or taking bubble baths – but true care that gets to the heart of who you are, may look differently… especially if you’re a parent.
Many parents feel like it’s frivolous, indulgent, or even selfish to carve out space for themselves, especially if it may lead to spending some money. But true self-care is about doing things that improve your physical, mental, and even spiritual well-being. It’s not a luxury, but a necessity. It’s about valuing yourself (and your loved ones!) enough to take care of you. When your needs are met, you can show up as your healthiest, best self, parent more intentionally, and be the role model you hope to be. Plus, when you demonstrate good self-care, your children will learn to emulate it.
Consider the airplane analogy. When you board a flight, the attendant always stresses that in the event of an emergency, you should put your oxygen mask on first before turning to help your child. Of course, your children have real needs that should be met in a timely manner, but you can only meet their needs when yours are being met. That said, for some parents, a relaxing, hot bath really is the reset they need to clear their head and parent well, but if not, here are some other ways to care for yourself and be recharged:

Ideas for Intellectual Self-care
  • Go to the library or join a book club.
  • Find a new podcast.
  • Do an art project or craft.
  • Pick up an old hobby that may have fallen by the wayside.
  • Journal or write.
Ideas for Emotional or Social Self-care
  • Spend time with friends.
  • Spend time alone.
  • Allow yourself to cry.
  • Find something that makes you laugh.
  • Carve out a weekly date with your partner.
Ideas for Physical Self-care
  • Exercise.
  • Get some sleep.
  • Feed yourself nourishing foods.
  • Cuddle or hug someone you love.
  • Make yourself a cup of something warm and actually sit to enjoy it.
  • Make your bedroom a cozy retreat.
Ideas for Soul Self-care
  • Volunteer.
  • Practice gratitude and wonder.
  • Give to a cause you believe in.
  • Meditate, practice mindfulness, or pray.
  • Spend time outdoors.
  • Take a break from electronics.
Acts of self-care don’t have to be elaborate or spendy – the important thing is that you make space for them at all. When you read the list above, what jumped out to you? Make some time for it this week (and don’t feel the least big guilty about it)!

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