You can't afford not to take care of yourself
We hear the term "self-care" thrown around a lot. In the therapy community it gets used all the time (both in terms of clients and the therapist). Often times, as a parent, we get so caught up in juggling so many balls that we forget that the juggler needs to be in tip top shape to continue juggling those balls.
Do you ever notice that when you have neglected your own needs that you struggle more as a parent. Maybe you forgot to eat because you were running around and taking care of the kids. Maybe you haven't been sleeping or haven't given yourself time to unwind. In order to be the best parent we can be we have to take care of and nurture ourselves. Only when we are taken care of can we effectively take care of others.
Think about it. When we are stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, hungry, tired, etc. we aren't able to be present, patient, nurturing, loving, and connected with our children. Children tend to act out when they are seeking connection so when our own burn out causes us to be disconnected, our children will surely highlight this with their behaviors.
You can't afford to not take care of yourself. It isn't being selfish. It is necessary to be the best version of yourself. If it seems like an impossible task, start small. Just ten minutes of quiet time doing something that fills you up. We need to nurture our body, mind, and spirit to be whole, so think of what may fulfill each of those categories for you. Find what works for you. As you explore ways to nourish yourself please know that self-care is not distraction. While watching TV allows us to tune out it isn’t really nourishing us. Self-care activities should make you feel good and rejuvenated. They should help you feel calm, grounded, and refreshed.
Physical activity :a walk, yoga, gym class, etc. Choose what works best for you.
Connecting with friends: Maybe it is a weekly phone call or a coffee date. Connect with those you care about and whose company you enjoy.
Mindfulness: this can be anything keeps your attention in the present moment. Being still for a few moments, sitting outside and listening to nature, focusing on your breath, really focusing on that amazing cup of coffee. Just small moments where you are focused just on the moment.
Spiritual services: For some this may be going to church, or yoga, or any other way that you find you connect with your spirit and spiritual side. Whatever speaks to you is fine.
The ways in which we can engage in self-care are endless. Get creative. Experiment and see what works best for you. Even if you only squeeze in small moments, you will notice a difference and your children will too.
Claudia Glassman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, and Parenting Coach. Mighty Oak Parenting was started as a way for her to share all the things she learned from being a therapist as well as a parent. Her vision is to share her knowledge about children and parenting as well as to bring awareness to the importance of the relationship that we have with our children. Her coaching offers support and guidance with no judgement. If you are seeking to become a better parent and to find more joy in your relationship with your children, email me today