It’s a well-known truth: parents have little free-time. When raising children, something happens to your psyche that allows you to function on little-to-no sleep, a diet of juice, mac and cheese, and frozen chicken fingers, listening to the same Disney song on loop 63 times, and still put the needs of your child above your own. It’s partially incredible human instinct, and definitely part supernatural.
During the holidays, this already-little free-time tends to decrease even more as open hours are spent shopping, wrapping, baking, and attending parties you don’t want to go to. But to keep spirits merry and bright, taking some time for yourself is crucial in remaining healthy and happy. If not, you may be so groggy and distant that you miss all the adorable memories of kids at Christmas. Whether you’re a parent of a newborn of four teenagers, here are some self-care tips for parents.
Set intentions and affirmations while performing mindless morning tasks. Whether it’s brushing your teeth or making coffee, use these spare moments to set a positive tone for your day and sit with any lingering thoughts.
Truly enjoy and taste your meals and drinks. Wolfing down your food is not only bad for your digestion, but it also takes away a crucial time to lets your senses lose. Eat slowly, chew your food all the way, and indulge in that grilled cheese.
Delete unneeded items on your phone. It could be old text message threads or screenshots from months past. Decluttering relieves stress and helps you focus, so why not start with the single item you likely use most above all others? After that, you can tackle the junk drawer or your bathroom bag.
Have a little bit more time? Go for a leisurely stroll and take deep, full breaths while outside. Cook yourself your favorite meal and eat it alone. Reach for your favorite book and skim the pages, letting the familiar words dance in your memory. Snuggle up on the couch with a cozy blanket and watch a show that requires no thought.