24/7: A Resource For Working Parents
Finding Time For Self Care
One very important, and often overlooked, aspect of good enough parenting is looking after yourself. You will most able to care for, nurture, guide and enjoy your children if you take adequate time for self-care.
But how do you find time for self-care when you are a working parent, with multiple roles and responsibilities and a weekly schedule that already seems pretty full?
If you’re having trouble finding time for self-care, this problem-solving approach may help you.
Step 1: Understand that you’re not alone.
Finding time for self-care is a challenge for many parents. Talk to your working parent friends about how they find time for self-care. Sometimes, just knowing that you’re not the only one can help you feel a little better and more hopeful.
Step 2: Remind yourself that self-care is important.
• Practicing good self-care helps you feel better mentally, emotionally and physically, and that makes you a better parent, partner, friend and employee.
• Self-care builds and supports your mental wellness.
• Self-care can help you enjoy your life and parenting more.
Step 3: Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward with self-care?”
Here are some places to start.
• Think about how you are spending your free time right now.
What activities outside of work, child care and housework are most important to you? Are you spending some of your free time on activities you don’t really enjoy, and that aren’t necessary? Can you cut down on volunteer work or other outside obligations that aren’t really necessary for your personal or family’s well-being?
• Look for one initial positive step.
You may have lots of self-care activities you’d love to do. Make a small list of activities you’d like to make time for. Start with a small step that you really can achieve.
• Talk to your partner (if you have one) about self-care. Agree to support each other’s self-care goals.