Pre little-ones, self-care activities like massages, candlelit yoga classes, or afternoons in the park are often a lot more accessible, but post kiddos, moments of freedom can be few and far between. Getting in a little me-time can seem out of reach when even a 5-minute shower becomes a luxury, so how do we make time for self-care once we become parents? The key here is working with what we have, instead of wishing for what we don’t; taking the time to recharge our own batteries is important now, more than ever, and is attainable with these 5 simplified self-care steps:
Get Moving A workout doesn’t need to be 60 minutes long, nor does it need to take place in a trendy studio with expensive clothing; daily movement and exercise feel good (hello endorphins!) even if it’s in the form of a walk around the block, or running the kids to school on foot. Try calf raises on the subway, and take the stairs wherever possible – all of those steps really start to add up! Home workouts are a low-cost way to feel healthy; buy a mat or sneakers, and download an app like Asana Rebel, an all levels yoga workout, to get your stretch and sweat on without leaving the house!
Find Zen The chaos of caring for other mini humans means our parenting minds are often at capacity; meditation gives us a much-needed respite from the constant chatter. While studios offer a lovely space to practice, we can still access moments of stillness without leaving our family home; 5 minutes of mindfulness here and there will absolutely add up. Try setting your alarm for 15 minutes before the kids usually wake; grab a comfy seat and zen out, taking deep breaths and a moment or two to count your blessings.
Eat Well On-The-Go While we all provide the best for our kids, sometimes our own needs are overlooked at mealtimes. Nourishing our minds and bodies with good-for-you food is crucial; a perfectly balanced protein powder like Botanica’s Perfect Protein or a great greens booster like Botanica’s Perfect Greens takes the time and effort out of ensuring we get the nutrition we need. Sipping a superfood smoothie in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast means we can be packing lunches, checking homework, and getting everyone ready for the day, while simultaneously getting all of the nutrients necessary to fuel ourselves and manage the myriad of parenting responsibilities
Date Night in The Afternoon Romantic date nights often become harder to manage once baby makes three (or four or more!), but instead of giving up on the romance altogether, why not create a new normal for you and your partner. Set an afternoon once a month when you can each clock out of work a little early, save on a sitter, and snuggle while the kids are still in school. Art galleries and museums are much quieter during the day, as are beaches and parks; a couple of hours of uninterrupted together time could be just the ticket to feeling much more connected at home; have fun taking care of yourself by growing your relationship together.
Create A Sanctuary Being a parent means constantly cleaning up a mess, whether it’s toys, snacks, art projects, laundry or whatever else your toddler or teen throws at you, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by a seemingly never-ending tide of things-to-do. As well as teaching your brood to pitch in and pull their weight, it is also so beneficial to create a sanctuary space, no matter how small, for you to retreat to and enjoy. For those of us sharing a bathroom, a spa set up may be out of the question, but a tray of scented candles, essential oils and bubble bath can easily transform the room. A backyard filled with plants and flowers can be a beautiful place to relax, and even urban dwellers can enjoy a slice of nature by filling a balcony or kitchen window ledge with herbs and other greenery. Consider creating a space for yourself in your home:
a reading nook
a meditation corner
a space to paint or draw
an area to breathe and recalibrate
Letting your little ones know that you’re stepping into your special space to have a minute to yourself before you answer their questions/make their dinner/help them with their homework, can help establish your own needs as an equal priority even in the most loveably chaotic family home.