Life, Parenting

9 Tips for Self Care

We all have those moments where we feel about to break, like all the worries, thoughts, and fears are starting to boil over. When you’re a stay at home parent, it is so easy to get to that point. Especially when we aren’t taking enough time out for our own self care. I’ve heard this so many times, “you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of other people.” Or “if you’re taking care of everyone else, who is going to look out for you?”

It is so easy to slip into a life where you are giving so much of your time, and yourself over to everyone. I mean you love your kids, and your partner. Of course you want to do what’s best for them. Though when you start to get on edge, and stressed. It’s best to just take a step back and give yourself some “me time”.

Note this post contains affiliate links. There are also links here that I put in because I just honestly believe in the message and was in no way compensated for sharing.

1.Waking Up Early

Waking up early definitely is what’s best for me. My man goes to work at 4, so we wake up at 3. Well, his alarm goes off at 2:30, and I wake up then, but stay in bed until 3. This is an extreme time to wake up and I do not recommend it. I often go back to bed at 4 when he leaves and get up at 6 so I can have a single hour to myself before I wake the kids up.

On an ideal day, I don’t get many of these, I get out of bed at 3, spend some time with Devin until 4. I like to do 30 minutes of yoga, my favorite is Yoga with Adriene. She is amazing. Then, I shower and get dressed, some days I do 30 minutes of cardio before the shower. After I get to work on my blog, or vlog. I like to wait and eat with the kids, which is fine for me because my body is used to it. As long as I am drinking enough water and my morning coffee I don’t get too hangry with me.

Some people stay up late after their kids go to sleep. For me this is a slippery slope. If I stay up late I tend to be far too tired the next day, and I get really really grouchy. Though to each his own, so if that’s what works for you by all means do it.

2. Pamper Yourself

A lot of blogs and gurus say you should be pampering yourself. Going and getting massages, and manicures. I have to say that being on the lower side of the income spectrum this just isn’t possible for all parents. Not to mention, I have no interest in letting someone manicure my cracked and broken nails.

Personally, taking a hot shower by myself, shaving my legs, getting out and putting makeup on is enough for me. We co-shower with our toddler so sometimes it’s hard to find this time. Let me tell you, it’s a serious treat.

Though you do you. If going and having someone else do maintenance on your body is what you like, and need then do it. I personally have become self reliable in this area and I am really Type A. I like to do things a certain way and get really uptight when it is done differently.

3. Keep Your Thoughts in a Journal

It is so important to get thoughts out of our heads so that we’re not bogged down with them. This is another thing I like to try to get done in the morning before the kids get up. When we journal it is a chance for us to write down our worries, and think about them. Self reflection is really a great thing to practice. It helps us to see the areas in our lives that need improvement. It helps us work out issues that are weight on us.

I have a bullet journal, a planner, and a regular journal. I know that’s probably overkill, I just like to be organized. If you saw my house you would say, “Umm, Lacie organized is not how I would describe you.” There is a difference in physical order and mental. I fell too deep into depression if I don’t keep my thoughts on paper, and my days/events laid out in a way I can manage them.

Here is a great article from WebMD on the topic.

4. Exercise!

This is probably the most important thing for me. If I don’t get up and get my booty moving I tend to get really depressed. So, even if it’s just dancing around while you’re cooking and cleaning, move your body. I am an audiophile. I need music, I love music, I feel it, breathe it, and I’d eat it if I could. So, dancing is something that feels natural for me. Since I am at home most of the day with my toddler, I get the chance to dance with him a lot.

We live in Montana. There are hiking trails on the bus line. We are in such a great place for nature and outdoor exercise it’s unbelievable. There are 5 trail heads and nature walks that I can access from my house without a vehicle. I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful place, with so much opportunity.

When we exercise our brain releases chemicals called endorphins. These trigger a positive response in the brain. I’ve read that it is similar to morphine. So that’s pretty cool. If you’d like to know more about this read this WebMD article.

5. Healthcare

Our health is sometimes overlooked. Especially when we’re worrying about everyone else and making sure they get to the doctors and dentists.

Recently I went to the dentist and I was kind of horrified with how much work I have to have done. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and making the necessary appointments so you can be healthy.

When we are in pain, or just not feeling well, it reflects in our actions. I know that when I am in pain I become a person that I don’t really like. I am either short with people, or just unable to maintain a conversation. It is difficult. So make sure you are going in and getting things checked out when it’s needed. Do this for yourself, so you can be there to take care of your family.

6. Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is so much more important than people realize. Getting the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep is really crucial to your well being, not to mention your mood suffers greatly when you aren’t sleeping enough. I become a momzilla when I don’t get enough sleep, just ask my kids!

Lack of sleep makes you turn to other sources of energy, and this is one of the main reasons for overeating. So, go to bed earlier to shave a couple inches off the waistline. Works best with a balanced diet and exercise!

7. Eating Healthy

Eating for fuel and not just eating to eat is key also. When we are listening to our bodies and eating healthy our brains function a lot better than when we are eating an irregular schedule, or eating junk. Here is another WebMD article on the subject. When I set out to write this post I didn’t think I would be using so much WebMD but they have some great information.

8. Tending to Interpersonal Relationships

Keeping in contact with family and friends is also very important. We are social creatures and we need other people. We need face to face conversation more than anything. I personally believe that the technological advances in the socials areas cripple us. With facebook, instagram, youtube, and all of that we tend to miss out on face time. No, I don’t mean the app. I mean, going and doing things in the real world with real people.

9. Unplug Youself

Too much screen time isn’t good for anyone. The blue light that screens emit is so bad for our eyes and can cause strain. I recently read an article about how too much screen time affects grey matter in the brain. This Bustle article lists 5 Things Too Much Screen Time Does to Your Body. It talks a little more in depth about these things.

Personally, I know that when I have been on the computer and my phone all day my kids seem a little more restless than on a normal night. I am sure this has a lot to do with the fact that my attention is on an object and not on them. The more I unplug myself, the better I feel. I could scroll endlessly though facebook like the best of them. So I am not saying I am perfect, though I have become a lot more aware of my screen time.

A guide for parents.

These are just some things I like to do in the name of self care. I have been slowly taking back my life from these tiny humans I created, and this media jungle. It’s hard to be a person, a mom, a chef, a maid, and try to maintain any sort of social or love life. We need to remind ourselves that we need someone to care for us too. I really like this youtube video from The Parenting Junkie about our inner voices.

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