Self-care is not a mythical creature, but as a parent, it can often feel like it. If you’re finding it challenging to make time for acts of self-care you need to clarify your motivation for taking care of yourself.

We need to re-frame self-care. Self-care is a mix of many things, but busy parents need to work out what they’re hoping for – this will help to de-bunk the myth part of it.

Do you want to connect with yourself or with friends?

Do you wish to regulate your emotions?

Do you need to unwind or chill out?

Do you want to get fit?

Do you need to improve your mental health?

Do you want to stop shouting at your children?

Do you want to stop being self-critical?

You’re allowed to choose all of the above!

When you know what you’re looking for, you can create realistic plans that fit your life and time availability. The critical thing to remember about self-care is that it doesn’t always have to involve spending money and attending events. Yes, I adore my weekly pilates, crossfit and walks with the dog, but I also find enormous comfort and nurturing in paying attention to my daily needs.

Think about what parts of your day exhaust you. When do you need to stop and take a break? Create a routine to help yourself regulate, wind down and be at ease. This might be having a cup of tea, jogging on the spot, taking a breath of fresh air, reading a book, or listening to your favourite podcast.

These simple but powerful activities, which help you tune in, will support your mind and body. By incorporating them into your life, you’re looking after yourself and showing your children how to look after themselves.

If anything in this blog resonates with you and you’d like support to create change, you’re welcome to book a free call with Bethan here to explore your support options. Make sure you download your free 5 Steps to Calmer Parenting to help develop new coping skills for what’s hard. If you’re looking for immediate parenting support, you can start your free 7 day trial in the Calm Parenting Club, my online parenting community.