April 28, 2020
5 Self-care strategies for sleepy parents
In busy family households, time is of the essence! From the crib to college, kids require a lot of time, energy, and care. As a result, many parents don’t have the time to pamper themselves regularly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to squeeze in some self-care.
In busy family households, time is of the essence! From the crib to college, kids require a lot of time, energy, and care. As a result, many parents don’t have the time to pamper themselves regularly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to squeeze in some self-care. If you’ve struggled with balancing your self-care while caring for your family, this one’s for you. Read on to learn our favorite ways to sneak a little self-care into your crazy daily life.
The importance of self-care
Let’s start by getting one thing straight: self-care isn’t selfish! Many parents struggle with the idea of taking time for themselves when they want to give their little ones everything they’ve got. This is completely natural, but it’s impossible to consistently provide excellent care for others when you aren’t taking good care of yourself.
Practicing self-care is a bit like tending a vegetable garden. If you make time to pull out the little weeds and water it a little bit every day, you’ll have a healthy bounty of delicious food to serve your family. However, if you neglect the garden, gnarly, stalky weeds take over and steal the sunshine and nutrients from your veggies. What you have left to offer your loved ones is pale, withered, and a tad lack-luster.
As the adage goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and you certainly can’t feast from a withered garden. Self-care is how you stay on top of your physical and mental health so that you can bring your best to those who matter.
Make self-care simple with these tips
There are times when being a parent feels, well…frustrating. Raising your children, performing well at work, nurturing your relationships, and managing your own health is a nearly impossible to-do list. That’s why we’ve hunted down the best self-care tips that work seamlessly into your busy schedule. No calling the babysitter, no negotiating “time off” with your partner, no escaping to the Costa Rican rainforest (as tempting as it sounds!) – with these simple tips, you can practice self-care selflessly at home every day.
1. Take five with a simple meditation
It only takes a few breaths to recenter your mind and emotions. Parents live busy, hectic, wild lives! We all need a little time to gather ourselves and refocus. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired, angry, or worried, it’s okay to take five. In fact, it’s necessary.
A 5-minute meditation can quickly change your mindset and give you control of the situation. Parents who meditate regularly are less likely to react mindlessly to their children, but rather respond thoughtfully and carefully. Five free minutes can give you the power to be your best self with your kids, rather than your stressed-out self.
If you’re new to meditation, try a simple breathing exercise. Set a timer for five minutes and practice counting deep breaths. In, out, one. In, out, two. Research shows that slow and meditative breathing actively reduces the heart rate and calms the mind.
Meditation also gives you a healthy way to lead by example. A calm parent often translates into calmer children with better self-soothing techniques. Regular meditation or “quiet times” can be an enjoyable practice for the whole family. Plan to spend a few minutes daily practicing stillness and breathing. You just might find that your kids benefit from the downtime as much as you do.
2. Keep your cool with regular exercize.
Exercise is great for our physical health. It improves our circulation, strengthens our muscles, and works off any indulgent stress eating we’ve done. But one incredible advantage to daily exercise is the mental health boost we get from moving our bodies. Exercise has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and irritability – sometimes even better than pharmaceuticals.
Go for a 20-minute walk or run while your partner stays home with the kids or work a few minutes of stretching into your morning routine. Better yet – get the whole family involved in some mindful movement. Have a dance party while dinner’s in the oven or wake up with some family yoga.
A daily exercise routine can prevent angry outbursts and give yourself more patience with your family. You’ll be better suited for managing the daily challenges of parenthood and live life with a little more grace.
3. Get better sleep with weighted blankets
It’s no surprise – better sleep helps you be a better parent. A great night’s sleep leaves you refreshed, energized, happy, and loving. Unfortunately, a great night’s sleep as a parent is almost as non-existent as that three-eyed monster under the bed.
Perhaps the easiest way to practice self-care as a busy parent is to invest in a weighted blanket. This simple addition to your bed can make a massive change in the quality of your sleep, your stress levels, pain, and your mood. Weighted blankets (like our Napper) have been proven to reduce stress hormones, increase feel-good hormones, improve sleep, and plummet anxiety. They can even help you banish the aches and pains that come with running around all day.
Feeling your best leads to parenting at your best. It’s time to get better sleep.
4. Laugh your way to a better day
Laughter really is the best medicine! Studies on laughter have shown that this cheeky activity can alter our body chemistry to improve mood and strengthen the immune system.
Laughing heartily signals to the brain that we are happy. The brain then releases hormones like serotonin and dopamine (which gives us those feel-good vibes). We also experience a boost in white blood cells which help fight infection and keep our bodies strong.
Tune into a funny show or play more silly games with your kids. Once everyone’s tucked in for the night, indulge in a bawdy comedy with your partner or reminisce on old memories. Find the humor in whatever parenting mishap you found yourself in that day. You’ll enjoy better mental health and kick those ever-present germs to the curb.
5. Turn off the inner critic with journaling
Striving to be the “perfect parent” causes great amounts of stress and regret in many parents. The truth is, there’s no perfect parent, just parents who care. Release this impossible standard by keeping a short parenting journal to help you focus your goals and celebrate your wins.
Each morning, write down one thing you want to focus on embodying as a parent today (such as compassion, patience, or curiosity). Then, after tucking the kids into bed at night, sit down to note three happy parenting moments of the day, lessons you learned, or reasons why you’re an awesome parent. This practice helps remind you of all the amazing things you do on a daily basis and serves as a precious memento as the years go on.
Self-care the smart way
When it comes to self-care, there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. If you love splurging at the spa or treating yourself to a weekend away, we’re all for it! But for those parents who are looking for easy ways to work on self-care daily, it’s best to keep it sweet and simple.
We might be biased, but our favorite self-care tip is to snooze smart with a weighted blanket. Sleeping under a Napper allows you to practice self-care for eight hours a day with absolutely no change in your schedule. Slip under your new favorite parenting life-hack and snooze away the stress. Your kids will thank you!
• Parenting is a selfless job, but that doesn’t mean we can’t practice self-care.
• Self-care is one of the best ways to combat stress, maintain good health, and even be a more relaxed parent.
• Self-care can be simple. Choose easy daily habits that support you consistently like exercise, laughter, and prioritizing your sleep.
• Weighted blankets are a smart strategy to practice self-care while you sleep.
Did you know?
In busy family households, time is of the essence! From the crib to college, kids require a lot of time, energy, and care. As a result, many parents don’t have the time to pamper themselves regularly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to squeeze in some self-care