21 Apr Self Care means a parent doesn’t spill their world into their children’s lives
Do your emotions ever spill over into your children’s word? When you get stressed or overwhelmed can you contain it or does it come out in your words and actions towards those around you?
As I type this, I am in the middle of a self-care, home retreat style, week. Each day I am getting up and seeing what I can do for me to really nurture me on every level. I noticed in myself I was tired on a deeper level, my fuse was getting shorter and I was operating from a more reactive place.
All the signals were there for me to take time for me. And it’s bliss.
So it begun with me cooking lots of great food Monday, Tuesday doing one thing at a time and today I am facing things that I avoid, so I’ve spend time doing my tax returns. Thursday I will garden and Friday I am going to connect with other people – I am doing a IG live with Olive from Browtique Ireland (I am hosting it through my IG account) about post partum body image and then I’ll meet a friend for a walk.
Why am I doing this?
Because it’s been one hell of a year.
I am a Mum of 3, business owner, wife and a person just as me too! And this year I have given in a way I’ve never given before and on Sunday I felt this overwhelming sense of the need to mind myself. And I know that self-care is at the very core of parenting so I wanted to take some time in a blog to explain why and how to do it.
Self-care is about tuning inwards. It’s about responding to your needs so that you can then respond to the needs of others around you. Parents are care-givers and it is impossible to give if you have nothing to give. Self-care helps your internal stress system to have time to unwind, relax and settle.
We know that parenting is so many things including… often be a state of being ‘on’; planning in the mind, perhaps worrying, planning ahead, organising, difficult relationships with children/yourself and anchoring yourself for the developing of difficult emotions around you.
And all of this sets the foundations for our senses to send SOS signals to our brains where they then translate into stress. So what does stress feel like for you? Heart beating faster, starburst of thoughts, anger, anxiety, worry, fuzzy thinking, do you go into overdrive and frantically do things?
And what helps you get back as close to 0 as possible? What parts of your day to you find yourself struggling to be the person you’d like? And what do you need to help yourself? I’d suggest the first place to being is by taking a break every 2 hours and stopping. This is a simple action to take and gives those signals of stress a change to wind down. Grab a book, a cuppa, the radio whatever it is and enjoy at least 10 minutes of stopping.
In my Parenting Membership there are loads of resources for parents to tune inwards and develop or enhance their skills for daily self-care so that life is easier. We use planners, reminders and specific (short, time is of the essence in parenting) exercises to allow ourselves to unwind.
We know that self-care is more than going for a massage (don’t get me wrong I CAN’T WAIT for a massage), but quality self-care it’s about fine tuning into those moment, people or situations that you feel overwhelmed in and supporting yourself so it doesn’t spill into your children accidentally through your words or actions.
Self-care is taking responsibility for all the parts of you, so you can then (when they are old enough) gently guide your children to do the same.
If you are looking for more self-care tips, grab your fee copy of 5 Steps to Calmer Parenting here and get some inspiration to support yourself. Also come over and join us in my free Facebook Group Calm & Confident Parenting which is a friendly online community of parents working towards finding their parenting best.
Take some time to plug into you. You’ll feel great for it and so will those around you.
Bethan is a Mum of 3, Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert – have a read here for more about Bethan and her experience supporting parents so that life is easier.