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One of the best ways to teach is to show. This is not always easy when it comes to self-care, especially when you’re burning the candle at both ends. The great thing is that modeling self-care is actually a win-win. You get some well-deserved calm, and your kids see the value of taking care of yourself.
Express your needs. Communication is a learned skill. We are all doing our best as parents and trying to raise thoughtful children. A great way to incorporate self-care into your life is to express yourself honestly. “Mom is feeling overwhelmed and needs ten minutes of alone time.” The more we can openly communicate with our children, the more they will understand the importance (and benefits) of healthy communication.
Mix it up. Routines are great, but the research on happiness concludes that sustained happiness requires variety. You need to mix it up and do different things for self-care to maximize the benefits. As we always say, self-care ain’t just a bubble bath. There are multiple pillars of self-care: emotional, physical, mental, social, financial, spiritual, and professional. Pick a different area to foster every month.
Take the time. Now, the hard part. You have to do it. If you have small children, it may only happen in caught moments. The important thing is to be REALISTIC and incorporate it into your routine as it best fits your balanced life. If your children are grown, you can still model healthy behaviors by establishing boundaries with friends, family, and work.
Incorporate your kids. When all else fails, play. But, pick an activity that sparks joy for you. Do you like to listen to music? Throw an 80s dance party with your kiddos. Is reading your thing? Make a big ol’ pile of pillows and blankets and set up family reading space. The kids can comb through a pile of books while you finally finish that novel you started before the pandemic.
When you remove the guilt of “mom time” <ugh, that phrase is so cringey>, you can actually be a stronger parent. Show them the importance of communicating your needs and making time for yourself. The point is: if you can’t bring yourself to practice self-care for yourself, do it for your kids.
b.minton is redefining realistic self-care for busy women. Shop for beautifully curated and ethically sourced self-care gift boxes at bminton.com and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest @shopbminton.
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