As a parent, it’s a full time job making sure our kids are taken care of. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything in. What normally gets sacrificed is our own health and well being.
This is crazy.
How effective can we be as parents when we neglect ourselves and let our health suffer?
We need to find time and make sure we take care of ourselves. Even if it is just small moments to get a walk in, to listen to some music in peace, to meditate, or to just have a laugh.
We don’t realize how much we neglect since we are often so busy. It is easy to say, “I’ll take care of it tomorrow” concerning our own needs. One day becomes two and suddenly weeks pass by, sometimes years.
The message we give our kids is to eat right, get proper rest, and get some exercise. How many of us follow that advice?…
We don’t see the effects because we get used to putting ourselves last.
On airplanes, during the safety lecture, we are told to, “Secure our masks before trying to assist others.” It is just common sense that we are no good to others if we are compromised.
In the same way, we can’t be the type of parents our kids need if we are functioning at 50% or less.
What can we do to improve our self care?
- We can prioritize our health. Nothing else will matter if we continue to neglect ourselves. Making sure we are healthy is not selfish. It is because we have people who rely on us, that we can get motivated.
- We can forgive ourselves and quit the excuses. We can’t change why we have neglected ourselves but we can try to do something about it.
- We can use technology to remind us daily to attend to our needs. Most people have smartphones which can be set to chime with notifications. For those without smartphones, sticky notes placed in key places could also do the job.
- We can ask for help. For something as important as our health, others can buddy up with us to make us accountable. This can also serve as an outlet to discuss how we are doing.
- We can stop bad habits. From our diet to harmful behaviors, we can take small steps to be better. Our families are worth the effort to change.
- We can be creative. We can combine multiple needs into one activity. We can try new things and stick with what works.
- We can start today. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Do something for yourself and your well being. Make sure you are able to give your family 100%.
No matter what our situation we should strive to be better people, better to those we love, and constantly growing. I hope you find ways to do that today and going forward.
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