Updated: Feb 27
Whilst self-care may seem like a luxury for most working parents, we believe it is an essential recharge needed to make the most of good days and to keep going on tough days.
Being mindful of what makes YOU happy and healthy is a great way to implement a thriving and encouraging environment for yourself and your children. It is something that is easy to overlook, however, the benefits of self-care can make a considerable difference and what better time to start including these practices than now.
Here are 8 self-care tips that you can include in your daily routine during this lockdown.
1. Adopt a healthy diet.
With busy schedules involving home school and work, taking care of what goes into our body is something we are all guilty of neglecting. However, with more time at home, this is something that can definitely change. Making small alterations in what you consume can make a big difference in the way you feel. Exchanging quick snacks for healthy alternatives and putting time aside to meal prep for yourself (not just the children!) will improve your physical health and lift your mood, motivation and energy levels.
2. Get enough sleep.
It goes without saying that a good night’s sleep (a minimum of 6 hours to be precise) is needed to maintain good physical health. However, the importance of sleep as a self-care tool is something that is useful when you need a break from your thoughts or situation. Establishing a steady sleep routine for your children can be the first step in giving yourself that time at night to relax. If you have older children, taking a power nap whilst they study can help you remain calm and energised even on the most difficult of days!
3. Spend time outside.
Going for a walk, cycling or any other activity permitted during this lockdown can serve more than one purpose. Not only is exercise vital for your physical health but spending time outdoors for as little as 20-30 minutes per day is an excellent form of self-care, essential in maintaining your mental health. It is an easy way to refresh your mind and renew your energy to get the most out of your day. You can choose to bring the children with you, or you can dedicate this time all to yourself!
4. Treat yourself.
As parents, it is natural instinct to prioritise spending money on the kids. But when was the last time you treated yourself? It is important for parents to indulge and splash money too. Just buying yourself those new pair of shoes or getting a new haircut can do wonders to make you feel good and happy. A way to maintain this is to put a little extra money aside each month in the budget. This will allow you to do something nice for yourself every once in a while.
5. Write in a journal.
This is ideal for parents who may find juggling everything at home with remote work and learning overwhelming. Writing in a journal does not only help you prioritise your workload, but it can also help you manage your fears, concerns and problems. It allows you to track your activities and feelings so you can recognize ways to better direct and control them.
You could turn your journal into a gratitude journal. Each night jot a couple of things down you’re grateful for, whether that be your health, family or for simply getting through the day. This acts as a reminder of the good things in your life amidst these tough and uncertain times.
6. Take a break from electronics.
Due to the global pandemic, everything has become digital. From work to socialising with friends and family, we immediately pick up the phone or laptop even in our free time. What we don’t realise is that this may be doing more harm than good and could be adding to our stress rather than relieving it. A digital detox is important to reset yourself, monitoring how much time you (and the children) spend on electronics can help you create a balance that may have been lost during this lockdown.
Research shows that meditating can reduce stress, improve focus and concentration and positively impact mood and compassion. This is an easy activity to include in your routines whilst at home. Using a guided meditating app such as Headspace or The Mindfulness App for just 5-10 minutes can be a great, productive way to start the day off. Involving your child may also be a good way to introduce a new skill and bond.
8. Ask for help.
To round things off, it is important to point out that whilst self-care is essential, it is also important to recognise that you can ask for help if you are a parent or carer struggling with your mental health and wellbeing.
Reaching out to a trusted friend or relative and making them aware of how you are feeling can help alleviate your burdens. They can provide additional support where you need it and will regularly check up on you.
There are also adult health services available for these reasons who can provide you with any assistance or merely someone to talk to (the NHS website can direct you to services that are available).
Parents do not have to face these unprecedented times alone, be kind to yourselves and please take care!
Parent Wellbeing Seminar
If you are interested in self-care and well being, here at ED TREE we have organised something special for you during these difficult times. Together with Forbes published parent coach Chioma Fanawopo, we present the Parent Wellbeing Webinar on the 7th March.
Find tickets here: