It goes without saying (although I’ve said it maybe too many times) that in order to help your family and others, and particularly your kids if you’re a parent, you need to help yourself first.
Why? If you give up your own health needs, you’re not making a great role model. Okay – being self-sacrificial is perhaps in the parent genes … LOL! However, as adults, and particularly as parents, we are role models. Remember the saying, actions speak louder than words? I’ve always found that to be true. Have you as well?
Self-care can be practiced even in the span of five minutes per day! If you need time to center yourself, do a 5-minute meditation. First, it’s good to know what type of self-care works well for you. Take some time to try out a few things if you don’t already know. If you do know, just schedule it into your day.
Make sure you have balance in your life. Do you work too many hours? See what you can do to curtail that. Time management skills are necessary.
If you’re in a relationship, remember that it needs some quality time as well. So, find a babysitter you can afford, and you can rely on and schedule in some dating time, even if you and your significant other have been together for quite some time!
Revisit what you have done before in your life that you immensely enjoyed. If it’s not still a part of your life, then perhaps you can find a way to bring it back.
Exercise of some sort is an important part of this whole picture, too. I always recommend you do something physical that you enjoy. If you like to run, then find a lovely spot to run a little a few times a week. If you like dancing, either go to a dance school, or out to dances, or perhaps you can just put the music on and dance around your house!
As a parent, have you connected well with your partner to establish parenting values? I hope so! If you’re a single parent, just make sure you understand that the authoritative parenting style works the best out of most parenting styles. Yes, it has been studied scientifically and extensively.
Authoritative parents show love, give support, and respect their kids. They also know how to set limits and consequences when those limits are challenged and/or broken. They are consistent in their expectations and actions.
How is your nutrition? Are you eating in a manner that is healthy for your own body? What are the kids eating? Not having proper nutrition in your diet means your body gets out of balance and that affects your energy and moods. So, make sure you get in plenty of veggies and other fresh produce, and reduce or even eliminate conventional junk foods.
Be imaginative and if you love a junk food like pizza, make yourself a healthy version! Remember to drink plenty of fresh, clean water – I personally prefer spring water, not the filtered kind, unless it is triple-filtered.
Remember, nutrition represents about 75% of your entire health, even your mental health! So, it’s vitally important. If you still find you are struggling, balancing all the things you do, get some sort of help such as counseling. There are many different approaches to getting mental health help – coaching, counseling, energy approaches, etc. Find one that works well for you and your family.
Above all else, as a parent you know your kids need you to show them love and give them support. Kids need for you to set limits, and you need to be a great role model for them. If you are irresponsible in some way, telling your kids to be responsible may fall on deaf ears.
If you want respect from your kids, make sure they understand that you respect them as well. Of course, there are going to be challenges from the kids in each stage of their development – especially in their tween and teen years – but prepare well – you can do it!
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And, as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!