Self-Care for The Multitasking Parent

Wow these last few weeks have been more challenging for me than any of the other lockdowns and restrictions. Weather; the fact we have been living with this for nearly a year; home schooling; general January blues too.

Lots of people talk about self-care. We think spa, yoga, long relaxing baths, eating organic freshly prepared meals…

But it doesn’t have to be! So, my challenge to you is try to practice some self-care, to create little habits to help keep your cup full!

Breath

Seems obvious right! But take a moment every day to stop and take some slow controlled big breaths. Count in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4….can you gradually work up to 6 counts? Why not do it by an open window/door/outside?

Notice I don’t mention time – that’s because these challenges aren’t about adding more pressure into an already difficult time. It is about just finding a moment.

It also doesn’t have to be child free! You can do this whilst feeding/playing/home schooling/working/walking or even together with your little one.


Did you know that skin to skin can stabilise a babies heart rate and breathing rate? Wonder if it has a similar effect on our rates too? 

TopTip! This is a good one to pop on your phone as a reminder before bed. Have you taken a moment to breath today? If not being in bed just before sleep is the perfect place to do this.


Drink

Find a point in every day to have a drink (tea/coffee/squash/water) where you get to drink it all and just sit whilst doing it.

We often make a drink and drink it whilst doing 101 other things. Tea gets cold, coffee forgotten about in the other room, water bottle empty on the side, not yet filled. We spend so much time focused on others, our own needs are often at the bottom of the list. Admit it, who has got to 3pm and realised you haven’t yet had a glass of water or lunch (yet your kids have had 10005 snacks).

Make some time to grab that drink. It could be whilst your little one naps – plays – watches tv. Just take that time to sit and guilt free enjoy that hot tea (or whatever you choose to drink).Look forward to hearing your successes.


Steps!

No I don’t mean the crazy pop band of my clubbing life, although great music to get you dancing.

We are all taking less steps than before, we are sitting more and all this affects the hormones in our bodies. I have noticed the impact of not being able to go for my daily walks on my own sleep and motivation.

Have a think of a way to increase the steps and cardio you do at home. I don’t mean you have to start doing Jo Wicks every morning. But why not take those bits you leave at the bottom of the step to carry up (which never make it upstairs). Walk up and down a couple of times with maybe a little more enthusiasm than you normally would.

Cooking dinner and stood chopping/stirring? Why not do some on the spot marching.

Want to get everyone involved? Why not have a disco and teach your children some awesome dance moves!


Headphones!

Being home can mean there is often no escape the constant noise! Once you have toddlers (or above) watching the Netflix series you love becomes more challenging due to possibly not the most child friendly content.

Also, we are all spending more time in front of screens (well we haven’t much else we can do hey). Even as adults we can become overwhelmed by screen time on a sensory level.

Headphones can be a great tool to allow you to be present yet doing something for you! Kids playing? watching tv? home schooling? Napping and don’t want to wake them? Are you washing up? Cooking dinner? making lunch? sorting washing?

Why not pop some headphones in and escape for a bit. Listen to a podcast, drama, comedy show, the news …. BBC sounds is a great app with a whole host of different types of listening, spotify has many great podcasts too.

Fridays are the highlight of my week as I get to listen to the Sh**ged Married Annoyed podcast. Sometimes it takes me all day to listen to the 45min show. But really helps my mood. Give it a go. Why not share your favourite in the comments?

As a side note – cbeebies radio is a great alternative for screen time for your little ones too.


Healthy Snack!

Don’t know about you, but I’m great at ensuring my son has a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg. But I am not so great at consistently doing the same for myself.

I recently read a friend’s advice from her dietician – add a portion of fruit or veg with every meal/snack. This can be a smoothie, whole pieces of fruit, mixed fruit, canned fruit….

No pressure to eat it – just get into a habit of adding it. Nothing lost if you don’t eat and something gained if you do.

All our usual self care things are not as accessible, support, friends and family, freedom but that doesn’t mean we can’t look after ourselves in those small snippets throughout our busy days.

Jumper featured in main photo is from Jugglewear, use code JUGGLEON10 for your 10% discount

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