As parents, we are naturally inclined to give our all to our offspring each and every day. But balancing WFH life with homeschooling and pandemic stress has left many moms and dads feeling more depleted and burned out than usual.
As Oprah says, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” which is why a regular self-care routine should be a priority for parents. Not only will practicing the following habits give you a sense of calm amongst the parenting chaos, but it could also give you more energy (and who doesn’t want that?). Think of these five habits as an investment in you and your family’s happy life.
From planning playdates to cleaning up this morning’s spilled milk, parents are multitaskers who rarely have time to savor the moment. Meditation provides an opportunity to sit in stillness and focus on the present for a period of time, whether it’s 30, 15 or even just five minutes. New to the practice? With the wellness and self-care industries booming right now there is an abundance of guided meditation podcasts, YouTube videos and articles available for meditation newbies. We especially love this popular guided meditation by Tara Brach.
Engage Your Senses
You don’t need to book a full-day spa experience to feel pampered. Carving out small moments of luxury into your day by stimulating the senses can make the grind more bearable. Rituals like lighting a scented candle, sipping a cup of exotic tea or giving yourself a foot massage can go a long way when it comes to making you feel revived, refreshed and ready for the next parenting leg.
Whether it’s a jog in the park, a day on the slopes or a hike on a local trail, spending time soaking up nature has been shown to improve psychological well-being. Don’t have access to a greenspace? A view of a lush landscape or even a beautiful plant displayed in your home office could have a similar effect. Case in point: researchers found that hospital patients staying in rooms overlooking a green area recovered more quickly than those in rooms sans view.
Turn up the Tunes
Who knew that listening to your fave Beyonce track on repeat could reduce stress and anxiety and even improve memory? Music can move us to experience a range of emotions including sadness, joy and even fear. Studies have found that when you hear music you like, your brain releases the mood-boosting chemical dopamine. So the next time you’re on carpool duty, be sure to press ‘play’ on the songs that take you to your happy place.
When you’re running between school drop-offs, grocery runs and take-out pick-ups it can be hard to remember your name, much less remember to savor the latte you bought at the Starbucks drive-through. But taking a minute to pause and use your five senses to enjoy the little things can bring moments of peace and joy to your on-the-go lifestyle.
Inspired? Share this post with a parent-friend who could use a minute to themselves.