As a parent, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re so busy taking care of others. A survey of visitors to the American Heart Association official website found that 12 percent of people thought they were too busy taking care of their families to spend a little time on themselves. But if you are not at your best, how can be the best parent to your children?
Finding balance between work, family and personal time is hard, especially when there are soccer practices to go to, recitals to watch and meals to make. But finding balance is key to a happy parent. Take some time for yourself regularly, whether it’s curling up with a good book, going out for coffee with friends or attending a yoga class.
Ask for Help
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when caring for a family (especially when your kids are in their teenage years) so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Call a babysitter, relative or neighbor to keep an eye on the kids while you take care of a nagging task or need a bit of time for yourself. Attending counseling is another option if you’re going through hard times and need extra support.
Depression can sink in if you’re feeling extra stressed or overworked, especially if you are neglecting your mental and physical health. Notice signs of depression, including lack of sleep, energy and appetite; drinking too much alcohol, excessive crying, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, difficulty focusing and irritability.
Image Nathan Rupert
Being healthy is part of finding your balance, and will help you achieve that goal. Prepare fresh meals for you and your family, exercise and get outdoors. Walks, hikes and bike rides are all great ways to be active while spending time together, so you’re not only improve your health but that of your children as well.
Featured image Kevin O’Mara