The holidays are a magical time of year, but they can also be overwhelming. Between organizing parties, traveling to visit family members, and hosting get-togethers, it’s easy for parents to forget to take care of themselves during the season. Here are some tips on how you can take care of yourself so that you’re able to enjoy the holiday season as much as possible:
Take care of your physical needs.
Make time for physical self-care. While it can be hard to find the time, it’s important to make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy food and exercise at least some of the time. If you have trouble with this, try looking at your schedule and finding a few spots in your week where you could fit these things in.
If you still struggle with taking care of yourself physically, ask other parents if they would take over a shift so that someone else can help out with childcare while you go for a run or visit a yoga class. If there is no one around who is able or willing to support these efforts on your behalf (and this is okay), then consider setting up an accountability system with yourself: set an alarm on your phone every hour during the morning hours when everyone else is sleeping; when it goes off each hour remind yourself why getting up early is important and stick to doing something relaxing before returning back downstairs!
Schedule time for yourself.
- Schedule time for yourself every day, even if it’s just a few minutes.
- Set a timer or use an app to remind you to take a break.
- Don’t feel guilty about spending time on yourself: You are your child’s parent, not his/her spouse or roommate!
The last thing you want to do is set yourself up for failure by making unrealistic expectations of what you can accomplish on your own time. You’re not superwoman, and even if you were, it’s unlikely that your children will allow for the amount of time and energy it would take to get everything done in one go.
Be realistic about what’s possible for the short period of time available: could there be a holiday party or concert on your child’s school calendar that may require extra childcare? Could there be an office holiday party at which attendance is mandatory? Are there any other events or activities happening during this season that might consume some extra hours or days?
Plan ahead as much as possible so that if something unexpected comes up—like an ill child who needs extra attention—you’re prepared with backup plans (like grandma babysitting). Don’t overschedule yourself; leave room in your calendar to accommodate anything unusual.
Don’t over-schedule your time
While it is important to have fun with your kids, knowing what you can and cannot do will help you prevent burnout. If you try to pack in too much activity and are feeling overwhelmed by the demands of others, then it might be time for some quality time with yourself.
While this is something that most parents want or need at times, many don’t know how to set boundaries with their own families. It’s important not only for us as parents but also for our children if we want them to respect our need for alone time as well as theirs. Setting boundaries and sticking with them will give everyone in the family comfort knowing how much time they can expect from their other family members without having to worry about them being pulled away unexpectedly by someone else’s demands on their schedule.”
Set boundaries and stick to them.
Set boundaries and stick to them.
You’re not the only parent around who is trying to balance work, family, self-care and all the responsibilities that come with it. Knowing your limits and sticking to them is important for your own sanity and health. Here are some examples of boundaries you could set:
- Time limit on answering emails (1 hour per day)
- Setting a limit on how much time you spend socializing (1 hour/day)
- Daily exercise routine (30 minutes in morning or night)
Know your limits, and accept them.
As a parent, you’re probably used to feeling like you have to do everything. You feel like you should be there for your kids, but also for their school activities and extracurriculars, and maybe even those of their friends. You may even feel like you should help out with the grocery shopping or cleaning around the house.
But at some point in your life as a parent, you need to ask yourself: “What am I capable of?” You can’t possibly do everything that’s on your plate—and if that means saying no sometimes? That’s okay! If this is something that makes you feel guilty or bad about yourself, remember: it’s not selfish to say no; it’s necessary for everyone involved.
In order for us as parents (and human beings) stay healthy and happy ourselves so that we can be better able to meet our responsibilities (both personal and professional), we have to make time for ourselves—time away from our children, time alone with no responsibilities other than ourselves (like when my husband goes out of town). Even though caring well for others seems most important at times when things get stressful or overwhelming (which happens frequently), taking care of yourself needs to be just as high on your priority list as anything else going on in life right now.”
Acknowledge that you can’t do everything.
You are not superhuman and neither are your kids. That’s why it’s important to take a few minutes each day to acknowledge that you can’t do it all.
In fact, many people have probably told you this already; but if they haven’t, here’s what I want to tell you:
- You don’t have to do it all. (I know this is radical.)
- It’s okay for your kids not to eat vegetables every single day of their lives if you’re tired or in a bad mood or whatever reason makes sense for one day out of seven thousand and two hundred ninety-three days total in the year 2020 alone—and no matter what anyone else says or thinks about it! (Believe me when I say that even if they’re right, they still won’t be happy.) As long as someone takes care of them—you know who I’m talking about—they’re going right along just fine without those darned zucchini sticks anyway!
Make a list of the things you enjoy doing during the holidays, and make sure you do at least one of those things a day.
- Make a list of the things you enjoy doing during the holidays, and make sure you do at least one of those things a day.
- Make time for yourself in your schedule.
- Be realistic about your schedule. Don’t over-schedule yourself—it’s OK to say no to things that don’t fit into your life or schedule!
Take a “mental health day” every now and then.
This is a day when you take a break from the stress of parenting. It can be anything you want it to be—you can read all day or go for a hike with your child and then read all evening, or just watch Netflix and drink wine. You might even find that your child wants to join in on this day of restful relaxation. If so, let them!
What’s important about this kind of mental health day is that it’s not just “another chore” on your list—it’s a conscious choice to do something nice for yourself and spend some time relaxing. The point isn’t that we’re trying to avoid spending time with our kids: we want them to know how important they are too! So, if they want us around while we’re taking our mental health days? Great! Let’s get together at least once every two weeks or so (and maybe more often if possible).
Parents need to take care of themselves, too!
As a parent, you know that your child is the most important thing in your life. It’s also true that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your children. That’s why it’s so important for parents to take time for themselves and their own needs, too.
Your physical health is just as important as your mental health — both are essential for being able to provide the best care for your child! Here are some ways you can ensure that you’re taking good care of yourself:
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s only 15 minutes every day. This will help with stress levels, which can be extremely high when caring for a small human being who depends on you so much!
- Eat well by choosing foods high in protein and fiber (think lots of fruits and veggies). You’ll feel more energized throughout the day if you eat healthy meals rather than junk food snacks every afternoon after school pick-up time!
- Get enough sleep every night so that both body and mind function at their full potential during waking hours each day while caring also spend at least 30 minutes meditating before going to bed each evening – this will help lower anxiety levels during stressful times where there may not always be enough time available afterwards due .
We know it’s not easy, but we want you to feel empowered by this list. We’ve covered a lot of ground, and hopefully we’ve made it clear that there are so many things you can do to take care of yourself as a parent this holiday season. Don’t forget that the little things are important too—like taking time out from shopping or cooking or cleaning up after your kids (or helping them clean up after themselves!). It may sound trivial, but just knowing that you have time for yourself will make all the difference in how well you feel during this hectic time.