Taking care of a family requires many things, one of them being a lot of energy. When you are caring for the well being and survival of others, it is essential to take care of your own needs as well. You will do your best as a parent and partner when you take time to look after your own needs and take care of yourself. Here are some ideas on how to keep your own health in mind as you maintain the delicate balance of doing both.
Put on Your Oxygen Mask First
As a caretaker, we have individuals who rely on our strength. We cannot lift anyone else up if we cannot stay up ourselves. Though there will always be others around you who have needs, make time for self-care before trying to rescue your family members. Prioritize and take time for yourself. Whether that means making time for a bubble bath, a 15-minute nap, or some time alone, make it happen. You will feel refreshed and more capable of looking after everyone else.
Take Care of Your Body
When you are caring for a family, taking care of your health is important. Make time to exercise each day, even if it is only for 20 minutes. Exercising releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemical. This will help you to be a more positive role model and a more enjoyable individual to be around.
Eat a variety of whole foods. Although the fast pace of parenting sometimes causes us to rely on fast foods, don’t let this become your main source of energy. Stock up on fruits and vegetables that will provide you with an array of nutrients and enzymes, which naturally give you a more sustainable energy. Keep a selection of lean proteins and fresh foods around that can be prepared quickly so that you don’t feel forced into the processed food trap.
Get Enough Sleep
No one can function peacefully when sleep-deprived. If you want to be the best you can be to everyone around you, consider setting a regular bedtime for yourself and stick to it the best you can. This will benefit those around you, and you personally as you will have less stress to carry on your shoulders.
Release Parental Guilt
No one is perfect. When caring for a family, a parent often feels they are doing everything wrong. Do your best, and don’t fret about the things you cannot control. There is no way for you to micromanage the life of each family member, so relax and take it easy on yourself and others. Change what you can, and don’t worry about the rest. This will put you back in a position of being able to carry the emotional load that parenting requires you to.
It is a large and sometimes strenuous job to take care of a family. If you care for yourself first, you will have more to give to those around you. Consider some of these tips to restore balance in your life. Take care of yourself and the lives of you and your family will all be better for it.