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How Can I Practice Better Self Care as a Parent?
What to Know
Self-care IS NOT:
- Ignoring the needs of others
- Relegated to massages and hanging out with the girls
- Daily and intentionally choosing to make yourself and your needs a priority
- Becoming fiercely protective of your own happiness and well-being
- Learning to say “no” to those things that don’t feed your soul
- Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries
- Letting go of toxic relationships
- Searching for purpose and meaning even while enduring painful circumstances
- Practicing kindness and self-compassion
What to Do
Real self-care encompasses wholeness and wellness on every level – physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, and intellectually.
I like to think of self-care in levels.
Level 1 of self-care is the essentials, the minimum requirements for basic self-care. What that looks like is:
- Restful and restorative sleep
- Time blocked for relaxation and leisure (i.e. a break)
- Physical and emotional safety
These are the necessities.
Level 2 encompasses nurturing your body, mind, and soul. This means:
- Physical activity totaling at least 150 minutes per week as recommended by the American Heart Association
- Eating nutritious foods – I call this eating the rainbow such that you should incorporate fruits and vegetables representing the colors of the rainbow at every meal
- Maintaining healthy relationships with family, friends, and others
- Eliminating toxic relationships
- Developing healthy coping skills to manage stress
- Spiritual practices like prayer and meditation
Level 3 is for growth, transformation, and evolution which consists of:
- Reading books that stretch you cognitively and foster a love of learning
- Actively pursuing your purpose and chasing your dreams
- Charitable acts through philanthropy and volunteerism
- Investing in yourself through coaching, obtaining degrees and certifications, and entrepreneurial pursuits
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