As parents and caregivers, we do everything we can for our children. But sometimes, we need to think about ourselves too. Practicing self-care, especially during the holiday seasons, can keep us calm and healthy even in the most hectic times. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Carve Out Some “Me Time”
Yes, we know how hard this is to do. With everything going on in the world, how can you possibly set aside some time for yourself? We get the struggle, but it is important to carve out some “me time” to recharge your batteries. Even just five minutes of silence can do wonders for your mental health. So, try blocking out some time either before your child has gotten up for the day or after they’ve fallen asleep (if you’re a stay-at-home parent, you can also do this when they’re off at school). You can spend this time doing whatever you please—reading, napping, meditating, watching TV, you name it.
Make a to-do list and prioritize each task
Even if you carve out some “me time,” it can be hard to relax when you have so much that needs to be done. However, writing down your to-do list can relieve some of the stress associated with those tasks. Once you have your to-do list, prioritize each task, ranking them from most to least important. Do the most important tasks first and the least important tasks later in the day.
Get your sleep
This is another thing that’s easier said than done, especially for new parents. Nevertheless, how much sleep we get is directly tied to our stress levels. Adults should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night to stay mentally and physically healthy. But how do you get to that magic number? Here are a few ways:
- Nap throughout the day
- Skip some chores or ask family members to pitch in
- Sleep when your baby sleeps
- Split nighttime duties with your spouse
If you’ve been going through a rough time recently, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something nice. Splurge on a nice dinner or buy those new pair of boots you’ve been eyeing. A little self-indulgence can go a long way in boosting your mood and relieving your stress.
Talk to a professional
We all need a helping hand. If your stress is getting too much to handle, there’s no shame in seeking professional help. Many psychologists specialize in parental issues and can provide you with techniques to better manage your stress.