As parents, we often feel pressured to give so much to our children that we forget to take care of ourselves. To ensure that you are able to take care of your child/children, here are some things to think about to help make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Stress can lead to physical effects like a weaker immune system and high blood pressure. It can also result in depression and anger management issues.
Here are some fundamental ways to make sure you reduce stress:
Get support. Your spouse can be your greatest support, but sometimes you may need others. It can be family members and friends. You may want to find a support group where you can share your frustrations as well as your joys. There might be members in your faith community whom you can seek out.
Ask for help. Don't be afraid to let others know that you can't do it all alone. They may not realize or understand how emotionally and physically taxing it is. Tell them how they can help—e.g., listening, helping with housework, watching your child for a few hours—so that you have time to replenish yourself.
Give yourself personal time—every day if possible. Try taking a walk, writing in a journal, reading, soaking in the tub or any other activity you enjoy. Just make sure you take at least a few minutes every day.
Take care of your health. Make sure you are eating food that is healthy, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep. Doing meditation or yoga can help you feel more relaxed and refreshed. If you're sick, it's harder to care for your child.
Cry. It's okay to cry. It can help you with that much needed relief! Crying provides health benefits by eliminating harmful stress hormones.
Remember to give yourself room to breathe, replenish, and pull yourself together. By taking one small step toward better self-care, you’ll soon realize how beneficial that special focus can be and what an impact even one little change can have on your physical and mental state. Doing these things to help yourself can be the greatest gift you can give you and your child. You will be a stronger support for your kids when you are not running on or close to empty.
Visit the section on Navigating Daily Life on this website for more helpful information.