Being a parent or caretaker always comes with challenges. These days, it’s more important than ever to remember to take some time for yourself. When you feel calmer, it’s easier to meet the needs of your loved ones and be present for them. Give yourself permission to carve out some “me time” for self-care with our tips and suggestions.
What does “me time” look like for you?
What simple activities do you feel could bring you happiness or satisfaction? For some, completing a postponed project or tackling a tough workout is satisfying. For others, relaxing in the sunshine, taking a nap or treating themselves to a browsing break replenishes the spirit. A few ideas to consider:
- Invite yourself to tea: a hot cup, a good book, an hour in the room of your choice (alone).
- Go outside: Sunlight does wonders for the mood. Walk a new route, plant some flowers or just stretch out on a lawn chair and listen to the breeze.
- Dress up: Put on an outfit you’ve never worn (or haven’t had occasion to wear recently) and wear it all day. Or buy yourself a fashion treat, such as a bright accessory or new athleisure gear.
- Rest: Let the kids watch a movie while you take a well-deserved nap. (Even if they’re learning online, don’t sweat letting them have a little extra screen time.)
- Phone a friend, sibling, book club pal or running buddy – on an actual phone. No group chat, no video, no pressure.
- Treat yourself to an at-home spa hour: Fill the tub, light a candle, turn on some tunes and close the door.
- Hang a gallery wall, refresh your home office space or spruce up a bookshelf.
Ask for help
You might be surprised how understanding your family and friends will be if you simply communicate your need to replenish the well. Be specific as to what they can do to help you find those much-needed minutes. This isn’t the time for reorganizing everyone’s chore lists; simply ask your at-home “team” to help buy you an hour by ordering takeout supper or overseeing homework time.
What’s the best gift for a mom or caretaker? In a recent survey, Zulily asked moms what they would most like for Mother’s Day. In reply, 45% of moms dreamed of a day off, while 20% wished for a date night without the worry of finding a sitter.
Once you’ve planned it, give yourself permission to enjoy taking time for yourself
Sometimes the hardest part of relaxing is not feeling guilty about it. Remind yourself that experts in fields from mental health to child development point to the importance of self-care for parents and caretakers. Picture a calmer, more optimistic you emerging from your me-time retreat – and imagine the benefits this will bring to your loved ones. When it comes down to it, you deserve the same kindness and care that you give to others.