How Can I Practice Better Self Care as a Parent?

Dr. LeeshaMD, MPH

What to Know

Self-care IS NOT:

  • Selfish
  • Self-indulgent
  • Ignoring the needs of others
  • Relegated to massages and hanging out with the girls

Self-care IS:

  • 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
  • Authenticity
  • Vulnerability

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

Let’s Chat!

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