When you become a parent, finding ways to practice self-care may not be at the top of your mind. There are so many ways to practice self-care, and doing so as individuals or with the whole family actually brings a lot of benefits.
Not only will self-care help improve mental and physical well-being, but it also helps to keep parents more relaxed so they can provide even better care for their kids.
In addition, getting your kids involved helps them learn from a young age the importance of taking care of themselves. Modeling this type of behavior, no matter how old your little ones are, will ultimately set them up for a happier and healthier life. Here are some of our favorite self-care activities for families.
Parents self care
Even just a few minutes of meditation each day can greatly reduce stress levels, improve your mood, and help you get that much-needed relaxation. There are plenty of guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, or breathing techniques online that can be integrated into your day during any free moments you may have. You can even get your little ones involved - meditation is a great skill to learn at any age!
At home spa
You don’t need to leave the house to create the ultimate relaxation environment. All you need is a few supplies. Set up a calming bath, complete with candles, music, and even bath salts or bubble bath if you have any. Turn down the lights, turn on some music and enjoy your self-care escape. To take it even further, use scrubs, face masks, essential oils, and lotions for a full, luxurious experience.
Get some fresh air
Spending time outside does wonder for our mental health. Although you may not be able to go for a hike or hang out at the beach, just taking the time to step outside into your backyard or drink your morning coffee on the front porch is a great form of self-care. Breathing in some fresh air reduces anxiety, and can even help with physical well-being. So gather your little ones, grab your Liki Trike and enjoy time in the backyard, have a porch-front picnic, or just open up the windows and let that air flow in!
Practice your hobbies
Is there something you have always loved to do, but maybe haven’t had time for? Whether it’s finishing a project around the house, doing a fun craft or playing an instrument, taking up hobbies can help you feel relaxed and improve your mood. Passing on the hobby to your kids is a great way to bond as a family, or use this time to reconnect with yourself. Whatever activity you choose, taking the time to focus on something you’re excited about is a great way to escape the stresses of everyday life.
When most of your time is spent caring for little ones, it’s easy to forget that your relationship needs a little TLC too. Putting some effort into a fun date night can make all the difference in both you and your partner’s happiness. You don’t have to leave the house to have an amazing date! While the kids are napping or after they go to bed, dedicate some time to reconnecting with each other whether it’s a movie night, making a meal together, or just talking over dessert. Find something fun to make the most of the time you get to spend just the two of you.
Family self care
Quality family meals
One of the easiest ways to fit self-care into your family’s daily routine is taking the time for quality meals. This doesn’t just mean preparing delicious and healthy meals (which is also a great way to take care of your brain) but also includes spending that precious time together. Sitting at the table with no distractions will allow your family to be physically and mentally present, and spending quality time with those you love is always a great way to practice self-care.
A nighttime routine
The end of a long day can often be one of the times we feel the most stressed. This doesn’t just go for adults — but children too. Having some regularity around bedtime is so important for both little ones and parents, here’s some parenting tips to help with your routine. Whether it is reading a book, taking a bath or shower, or just doing some breathing exercises, spending this time unwinding can promote relaxation and lead to higher quality sleep.
Physical exercise is an amazing way to practice self-care! When you get your body moving, it actually releases chemicals that can help you feel happier, calmer, and more balanced. Grab the whole family, and go for a walk around your neighborhood, or through your local park. The fresh air will do wonders for both parents and little ones, and it also helps you get that distraction-free time as a family.
Creative craft time
Self-care can mean lots of things for different people, so if you and your little ones love to get creative, try setting aside time for crafting. Not only can this be so relaxing, but it’s also great for their development. This time could be used for anything from drawing, to painting, to creating chalk pictures on the sidewalk, or even baking your favorite dessert. Anything that encourages creativity is amazing for soothing our minds.
Whether it’s calming music or your little ones’ favorite songs, listening to some music can help you to relax. Just like exercising, dance is a great way to get your body moving and your mind off of the day’s stress. Plus, little ones love it! Alternatively, try to integrate music into your day by having it on in the background while completing other tasks.
No matter how young your kids are, it’s never too early to start teaching them the importance of gratitude. Taking time each day to think about what you are grateful for is something that often even adults forget to do, but it can make so much of an impact on our mental health. Get a journal dedicated to your family, and each day, take just a few minutes to talk with your kids about what they are grateful for, or what their favorite part of that day was. It’s a great way to be mindful of the present moment, and it will be so fun to look back on.
Practicing self-care is essentially being mindful of your own needs. Taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being is critical to maintaining fulfillment. As a parent, your days can get hectic. Taking the time to stop and slow down, and really focus on doing something that will make you and your kids happy, will make all the difference.
At Doona, we understand how busy families’ lives can get! That’s why our products aim to make life simple, so you can focus on what really matters — caring for yourself and your family.