What is Your Parental Self Care?

By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
calories burned Recently I (Nadine) was asked “what do you do for self care”? It’s a question that I had not been asked before, but I do think it’s important to consider if we as parents are focusing on our own health and well-being. I’ll be honest with you and admit that my personal self care ebbs and flows, but I do always get it back on track when I fall off. And I do fall off a lot! I will share what mine looks like and the mentality I maintain. I would love to hear from all of you as well and maybe we can inspire each other.

When I work out, which I try to do 3 times a week, I focus on the calories burned rather than the time spent or the activity that I do. For example, this morning I used my treadmill and my goal was 300 calories. I did a combination of running and walking on an incline. In my mind, I tell myself that it doesn’t matter how I get to the 300 calories as long as I do.

I listen to music that gets me going. Without it, I am sure I would slog along. A good song with a good beat can kick me from walking into a run.

I try to eat as clean as I can. By clean, I mean that I try to eat pure foods and avoid preservatives or chemicals. For example, if I need grated cheese, I will grate my own rather than buy the pre-shredded bags that have anticoagulants chemicals in them so that the cheese doesn’t clump. I drink giant cups of water all day. I don’t like flat water so I drink sparkling because I enjoy the fizz. I used to be a huge soda drinker but have not had a soda in probably 3 years.

I strive to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If I don’t I might have 15 minute mini nap in the late afternoon before I go run groups until 8:00 pm. I listen to an app with a recording of ocean waves to help me sleep. I imagine that I have fallen asleep in hammock on the beach. It calms my mind and readies my mind to shut down for a while.

We all need to find times during the day for calm. I might wall my dog, watch TV with my husband or crochet a scarf that I definitely don’t need. Whatever it is for you, find time to just recharge and ready yourself for the next day.

Life can be hard at times and it is easy to fall into a trap of negative thinking. Should you find yourself stuck in a loop of negativity, try writing it all down or venting to a friend to free yourself from it. Then focus on all that is right with your life and feel gratitude for the things that are going well.

It should not be surprising that as a social coach, I am a very social person! I love to hang with my friends and have fun. Our house is the main house in our very large neighborhood where the parties happen. Whether it’s a game night or our usual Monday girl’s night, we get together with friends often. Your fun might be a more introverted variety and that’s fine too. Life is to be enjoyed in any way that works for you.

Share your self care with us! We can lift each other up and remind one another that our own health, happiness and well being matter and not just that of our children.