It’s called self-care, and a lot of parents either don’t know what it is, or believe they don’t need it. There are a lot of ways to define self-care but basically, this is the act of simply caring for one’s health and well-being. Many people see self-care as a selfish act, but taking a few minutes or hours off from parenting can do a lot for mothers and fathers. You will be amazed at how just a few minutes of “logging off” from parent duties can give you much-needed energy to do your chores at home with less stress and a better attitude.
Aimee Danielson of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is director of the Women’s Mental Health Program. She says that there is indeed very little time for parents to have fun and relax given their day-to-day responsibilities, and this can cause burnout. While one would think that not taking a day off makes him or her a better parent, this apparently is quite the opposite. Without allocating time off from work and chores at home, you will likely be unable to appreciate the joys of parenthood. You will be so tired and stressed all the time that everything will just seem to be about completing tasks.
You might be thinking, “What do I do?” Well, many of us are asking the same question! Since we are used to only taking care of our kids and spouse, we eventually forget the things that we actually want for ourselves. If you have no idea what you can do during your time off, here are a few suggestions.
When was the last time you had a full eight hours of sleep? It has probably been quite a while, huh? Well, this is your chance to get recharged! Whether you have an hour, two, or the whole day for yourself or your spouse, sleeping is a great way to spend it. You’ve earned it and you need it. If you have the whole day off, go to a nice hotel nearby and get a massage before you sleep. That will make you sleep much better and feel more relaxed when you wake up.
Start a New Hobby
Do something you love for a change! Even adults can have fun, too. Go get a gym membership, enrol in a dance class, or sign up for an art workshop. If your schedule is too hectic and you can only spare an hour or less a few days every week, you can start a new hobby you can easily do at home like sketching, gardening, playing online games, or doing yoga. With the internet, you can learn to do almost anything from online references and YouTube. A quick online search will reveal that you can play online games without having to pay for them. There are a lot of activities that you can also do virtually, like slot machines, and not only do these online options offer convenience and time efficiency, they also offer a lot of incentives.
Go Out and Get Some Sunshine
Sometimes all we need is a little bit of sunshine. Try allocating at least 15 minutes of alone time outside every day to just walk, or jog. If you have the time, go out to the park or go camping over the weekend, getting out there under the sun will do your body and soul a hell of a lot of good. You will notice that your mood will improve and you will even be able to sleep more soundly. Just be sure to go out before ten in the morning or after four in the afternoon as the hours in between are when the ultraviolet rays are at their highest level.
It is essential for parents to make time for themselves if they want to be able to spend better quality time with their family. You can ask a family member, close friend, or hire a babysitter to look after your kids for a few hours or a day so that you can unwind and do the things you want. If this is not possible, you can take turns with your spouse on getting an hour or two to simply rest and do something to make you feel good and get back to your role with a smile. You will be surprised at how just a couple of hours can completely change the way you handle things at home.