Parenting is challenging. And draining and exhausting, but also filled with its own rewards. These rewards can be enjoyed when you are healthy and happy with yourself. And the best way to maintain health and happiness is through self-care. Taking care of yourself allows you to be a better parent, a happier and healthier person, and in return you family will also enjoy the benefits. Self-care teaches you how to be the best version of yourself.
Self- care encourages you to maintain a good relationship with yourself so you can then pass on those good feelings to others. Taking care of yourself helps you better cope with stress and learn what is important to you. This can mean teaching your children the value and importance of giving. When you feel happy, it’s easy to give and it becomes an easy way to teach your children to give as well. Role modelling is the best way to teach your children when they are young. Having conversations about the importance of giving becomes more important as they get older. Teaching your kids to enjoy the good feelings they have from giving and helping others is the best lesson.
Most people site lack of time as a reason to ignore their own health. Yes, taking care of yourself takes time, but think of the alternative. Not taking care of yourself has potential adverse health affects. Engaging in a self-care plan has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness and improve energy and more. All of these are important to help you be present and enjoy life as a parent. And as a parent, who doesn’t crave more energy, less stress and improved concentration? In as little as 5 minutes a day, you can start your road to self- care and improved happiness.
If this is new to you, start small. Choose a time of day when you can get 5 minutes to yourself, it could be first thing in the morning, the middle of the day, after supper or before bed. Whatever time it is, make sure it works for you and you can start to make it a daily habit. Over time, you can increase it to 10 or 15 minutes. Forming the habit of looking after yourself is the first step.
Here are some tips that you can incorporate into your self-care plan:
Meditate – not just for committed yogis anymore, mediation can be as simple as a 5 min break to sit still, focus on breathing and relax your mind. Mediation apps are widely available when you are ready to be guided through a longer meditation.
Spend Time in Nature – a walk through the woods or a local park can have amazing relaxing effects. Enjoying the great outdoors is good for your health and your soul and changes the focus to the world around us which is good for your mental health.
Listen to Music – music can speak to you; it can relax you or stimulate you. Whatever type of music you enjoy, find time to listen to it and enjoy the happiness it creates from within.
Read – books can be an escape or an education. Make sure whatever type of book you choose, it helps you relax and unwind. Share books you enjoyed with others or join a book club – online or informally with friends – to delve deeper and have conversations about something fun or meaningful.
Gratitude journal – take 5 minutes every day to jot down the gifts in your life. The act of thinking about gratitude is enough to lift our spirits and give us feelings of happiness for all the good in our lives.
Exercise – any amount of exercise can improve physical and mental health. Start small, stretching or walking, and keep improving and your mind and body will improve with you.
“Me Time” – sounds selfish or frivolous, but is the complete opposite. Me time is mental health time that is no longer considered an “extra” but a necessary part of life. Whatever it is you want to do to relax, unwind and de-stress – make the time to start doing it today.
Finding a life balance in yourself can keep the whole family balanced. When you are happy and healthy you will be able to help your family be healthy and happy. Giving is an important part of that balance and it becomes easier to teach this to your children when you have time to practice giving as well. And giving makes you happy. It not only releases endorphins, but it reduces stress. Incorporate giving into your self-care plan and the world around you also benefits.
Want to learn more about giving and happiness? Check out 365give and start today!