“Mom! I’m hungry!” “Daddy, I’m sick!”
We’ve all been there and heard those words yelled by our little ones. Then, we quickly worked to make sure that their needs were met: fed them when they were hungry, comforted them when they were sick or scared, and soothed them when they were sad or angry. Often times, we were hungry, sick and tired too, but our children’s needs took priority.
Let’s be clear: your child’s needs are important and should not be ignored. But, it’s important that you make your physical and mental health a priority too. Since August is National Wellness Month, we thought it would be a great time to help our Georgia Parent Power caregivers find ways to stop making self-care an afterthought. Try some of these tips to increase your well-being:
Breathe. Sounds simple, right? After all, you do it every day all day without even thinking about it. Today, we want you to think about it and release a little stress with every breath out. Try the 4-4-8 technique: Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, taking it deep into your abdomen. Hold your breath for a count of four. Breathe out through your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of eight.
Go outside. Take a walk, lay on the lawn or in a hammock, read a book under a tree, meditate, or just sit quietly.
Make a weekly appointment for something you love. Maybe it is a spa treatment, time with friends, a movie, or simply shopping by yourself.
Trade child care with a friend on a regular basis. Take turns hosting play dates which will allow the other parent a few hours to take care of chores or do something that benefits their physical and mental health.
Schedule dates with your spouse. It’s important for you two to take time to reconnect and do activities that aren’t centered around your children.
Hydrate. Water keeps your brain working, helps your joints, keeps you looking young and your body needs it. Buy some tea that you enjoy and is for you, and you alone. Or, maybe it is flavor drops that only you know about and use.
Keep a gratitude journal. It can be one sentence, short and sweet, or map out 20 minutes each day where you are free to write whatever your heart needs.
Join a gym. Take a yoga class. Subscribe to a YouTube fitness program that makes you feel good.
Go to the doctor for your annual fitness exams. You make your kids do it, so it is only fair.
See a therapist if you are having anxiety, can’t let go of worries, or feel depressed.
Take a mental moment to decompress after work and before picking up your child from child care or walking into the house.
Make sleep a priority.