help4yourfamily

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Quick self care for parents

Drunk water

Drunk water (Photo credit: eyesore9)

Written by, Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C

Many parents get into the habit of believing that in order to nourish ourselves, we need a grand gesture or a day away from the children. While that is nice sometimes, we also need to find smaller moments throughout the day to fit in body and soul nourishment. Especially around this time of year, when we find that we are doing more for others, it is important to fill our own tank as well.

One of the issues I hear from parents when it comes to self-care is that there is no time or money or that when you do start taking care of yourself it just reminds you of how little care you have been getting. Well, the last issue is for another post on another day (I am planning on writing that post), but in the meantime, here is a list of quick and easy self-care ideas that even a parent with a small child can find a moment in the day to do. Most of them cost little or no money. Please feel free to use the ones that work for you and lose the ones that don’t. I want to include this list in the book I am writing and would love it if you would share any other quick and easy self-care tips you have. You may notice that you already do some of them, like drinking water. For this list, the idea is not to just drink the water, but to enjoy doing it and to mark it in your mind as something you did today to take care of yourself.

  1. Put lotion on your feet before you put your socks on.
  2. Take a deep breath, hold it for a slow count of two, then let it go. Repeat two more times.
  3. Try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to enhance the good feeling you are having, or to clear away a difficult feeling. Here is a video of Cheryl Richardson teaching this technique in five minutes, but if you want to really take care of yourself, you can get the book by Jack Canfield and Pamela Brunner Tapping Into Ultimate Success (you can find this book quickly on amazon by clicking the amazon link on the top left of the screen).*
  4. Set a timer for five minutes and start clearing off a surface of your home that has been bothering you. Stop when the alarm goes off. Look at what you just accomplished for yourself!
  5. Sit and drink a glass of water. If you want to get really fancy, cut a slice of cucumber, lemon or apple and put it in the water. Allow yourself to enjoy the water as it cleanses your body.
  6. Light a candle that you have been saving for a special occasion. Now is the special occasion.
  7. Get the app on your phone called Quick Reminders (it’s free) and type in an affirmation for yourself then tell your phone to remind you of your affirmation regularly.
  8. Take a moment and stretch your body. Start at your head and slowly and gently circle your head around clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Circle your shoulders around, circle your wrists and elbows. Circle your hips around, clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Bend your knees. Circle your ankles around. Wiggle your toes. Bend and touch your toes, then reach up to the sky. Open your arms to the world and breathe in happiness.
  9. Imagine your body filling with a colored light that feels like the right color to you right now.
  10. Take a shower and enjoy the feeling of the water on your skin. Even better, take a bath.
  11. Treat yourself to reading an article you have been thinking about, or an extra chapter in the book you have next to the bed.
  12. Close your eyes for five minutes and take a power nap.
  13. Put your hand on your heart, close your eyes, and thank yourself for the good things you have done to make your life good in this moment.
  14. Say a prayer of thanks for the gifts that you have.
  15. Listen to a song that puts you in a good mood.
  16. Look up a funny video on YouTube and get a good laugh.
  17. Find a picture of yourself from when you were little, and tell the child in the picture some of the good things that are coming his or her way.
  18. Purchase a deck of gratitude cards, angel cards, etc, and pull one for yourself. Remind yourself of the message on the card.
  19. Give yourself a mini manicure or pedicure.
  20. Step outside and look at the sky. Touch a tree or feel your bare feet on the ground. Take a moment to enjoy nature.

I am certain that I have not covered every self-care tip out there, this was just the first 20 I could think of. I am so curious to know what it is that you do to take care of yourself quickly during the day. Please share!

Related Posts:

The Art of Breathing (help4yourfamily.com)

Parent Affirmation Monday- Being Present (help4yourfamily.com)

*See disclaimer page

December 13, 2012 Posted by | affirmations, help for parents, parent support/ self improvement | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Parent Affirmation Monday- Healthy Eating 7/23/2012

Written by, Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the middle of the summer.  Schedules are out of whack and ever-changing.  We have vacations and might be spending more meals on the go or out at restaurants.  Summer can be brutal to a healthy diet, especially if we take the old approach of telling ourselves what not to eat, instead of focusing on what to eat.  It might not seem like a big difference, but focusing on what to eat over what not to eat can make a big difference.  Think of it as looking for abundance rather than deprivation.  Which sounds better to you?  Try this affirmation for the week to see about getting your health back on track or keeping it healthy.

I nourish myself by joyfully eating healthy foods and sharing them with my family.

What does this have to do with parenting?  Two major things happen as a result of joyfully eating healthy foods.  The first is, of course, setting a good example for your children.  Then, when you talk to them about the importance of healthy eating, they are more likely to listen.  I have picture up in my office that says:

Children often fail to do as we say but seldom fail to do as we do.

It is so true.  Second, eating healthy foods is an important, and often overlooked part of regulating emotions.  Have you ever noticed that you were in a foul mood because you were hungry or ate junk all day?  Later this week, I will be posting about what to do when your child is acting just plain nasty and take a closer look at some of the ways food can play into foul moods.

One sticking point I know some parents will have with this affirmation is the feeling they have about children who refuse to try healthy food.  I have one of these in my home.  I am not asking you to pretend this is not a struggle.  I am asking you to reframe this issue.  Rather than focusing on what your child is not doing, I would encourage you to model what you are doing, eating healthy, feeling good, looking at healthy foods with excitement and savoring the way they taste.  By doing this, you greatly increase the chances of your child following suit.  If you do not feel excited about the healthy foods you are eating, perhaps you are eating the wrong healthy foods for you.  While I am not a dietician, I do try to be aware to these things and I can tell you a simple rule I have learned: if it has been processed and comes in a package, it is not as healthy as something that was picked and sent right to your grocery store, roadside stand, or, best of all, came from your vegetable garden.  One resource I have come to trust is the website Everyday Health.  If you are looking for more information about making healthy food choices, I would suggest you check them out or go to your family physician for resources or referrals.

What healthy foods do you enjoy with your children?  Please share any ways that you have been creative in finding healthy food choices for you and your family.

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July 23, 2012 Posted by | affirmations | , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

   

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