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Parental stress can create tension in the home and affect family relationships. You have a lot of things on your mind: taking care of your children, feeding them, keeping the house clean, going to work, changing diapers, and whatever messes that come up. Self-care might not even come into your head. However, taking care of yourself is important to your well-being and your family. Here are a few ways you can make more time to take care of yourself while taking care of your family.
1. Take just 15 minutes
Experts in productivity science emphasize that taking a break for 17 minutes after a prolonged effort is the perfect time to rest the brain and give yourself a renewed zeal. This is especially important for new parents who have a lot to do and are often sleep-deprived. Whenever you have a spare 15 minutes, take that time to do whatever you want. You can nap, play a game on your phone, meditate, or accomplish a task that will help you feel less stressed.
2. Hire help for chores
Hiring someone to help can make a difference in your day. Figure out exactly what you need done: cleaning the overall house, mowing the lawn and tending to the garden, or even cooking the meals. Hired help will typically fulfill only one set of these chores. Carefully define duties and responsibilities so you know what help you need. You’ll also want to figure out how much money you’re willing to spend. For example, in Denver, the cost to hire an interior house cleaner for just one visit is typically in the range of $116-$228.
3. Do exercise in short bursts of time
New workout techniques such as HIIT are being proven effective by researchers and can help busy people save time. You can do bodyweight exercises within your own home, and it can be as short as 7 minutes. You don’t even have to change your clothes.
4. Get a babysitter
A babysitter can give you that extra time you’ve been looking for. You’ll be able to take nights out and experience peace of mind. When you’re looking for a babysitter, make sure that they’re competent to act in case of an emergency. Check a reference or two, and carefully delineate things that they’re responsible for.
5. Eat at least one healthy meal daily
Eating healthy can sometimes feel extra challenging. This is especially difficult for new parents, who are usually focused on making sure that their baby’s diet is nutritionally rich. However, there are a lot of ways to eat healthier. Grocery stores typically stock pre-made meals that are chock full of vegetables, legumes, and other nutrients that you need. You can also sign up for a subscription-based meal service. Convenience doesn’t have to equal unhealthy.
6. Connect with your partner
Your partner is there for you in all aspects of your life, so you need to maintain a good relationship with them. According to Psychology Today, experts suggest that after bringing home the baby, new parents should prioritize sleep, give each other the benefit of the doubt, and try to appreciate the small things the other person does. If you don’t have a partner, reach out to your support network and continue to connect. A strong social life can make a huge difference.
7. Be kind to yourself
Whether you’re a new parent or have a couple of children, self-compassion can help. If you tend to be a perfectionist, it’s easy to fall short of your own standards and feel down. If something doesn’t work out or you make a mistake, tell yourself that it’s okay. You don’t have to be a perfect parent, and your abilities do not equal your worth.
Having a child is amazing and rewarding, but it’s important to remember your own needs too. Buy yourself a little more time and take breaks. You’ll be happier as a parent, and your family will feel the positive vibes.