20 Self-Care Strategies and Activities for Busy Parents

Juggling parenthood, career, and social life is the most challenging task ever! Being a parent is a 24/7 job. It’s stressful, energy-draining, and let’s face it; there’s no getting over it. You’re still a human being who needs to be taken care of. Practicing self-care isn’t a luxury, but rather a necessity in order not to fall in the trap of burnoutToday, I’ll be sharing my top 20 self-care strategies and activities to help you get through this daily grind. You can squeeze them into your regular schedule easily and guilt-free!

Read on to find more.

1. Say ‘No’

You don’t have to be Rosa Parks to say No.  No means no, it needs to explanation. It means ‘I don’t have energy’ or ‘not now,’ or maybe ‘I don’t feel like it.’ Practice your right to refusal, do it as much as you want, as long as it doesn’t conflict with your children’s wellbeing.

2. Color Together

Why not share your kid’s coloring time?  Get yourself one of these adult coloring books and work on it, while your child is doing his/ hers. Such activities work on evacuating your mind and relieving stress.

3. Squeeze in Some Workouts

I won’t be lecturing you about the countless benefits of exercising and staying fit. But seriously, ignoring your health to take care of your children isn’t as good as it might look. As a busy parent, you probably don’t have much time on your hands. The trick is to start your day earlier. Include an early morning run or jog once or twice a week. Or maybe do some cardio while your kids are at their school. It makes a hell lot of difference.

4. Journal

Journaling has immense effects on your mental health and wellbeing, writing can be therapeutic, and it can help clear your mind.  It doesn’t have to be a long, thoughtful session, a 5-minute journaling routine where you write down the highlights of the day before bed can be all you need. Another practice, I love, is the morning pages, if you manage to get up early and do it, you’ll see life-altering results!

5. Practice Compassion

Take away 10 minutes of your time to call a friend or a relative. Maybe send a ‘happy birthday’ or a ‘Thank You’ note. It won’t take up much time, but it’ll make you feel better about yourself. More importantly, it’ll give you a sense of having a life outside the burdens of your home and children.

6. Develop a Sleep Routine

A good night’s sleep is the key to a productive morning. While not being the easiest to achieve when you have kids, but if your children are toddlers and can sleep on their own, we recommend you start working on that. Try going for some herbal drinks that will help you relax before bed, using scented candles or lavender might help. Music can assist too. 

7. Netflix & Chill

Reap the perks of the new era of digital entertainment. Hook yourself to a heartwarming light series and treat yourself with an episode daily. Don’t binge-watch, though!

8. Take a Nap

It’s no rocket science, but a 40-minute nap can help boost your energy at midday. It might help restore your faith in humanity as well, who knows!

9. Make a Gratitude List

Going on mindlessly through our super busy lives, we can lose our sense of self. The daily practice of making a gratitude list can help put things back to perspective. Studies report that gratitude can improve self-esteem, enhance empathy, and reduce aggression. Subsequently, training your patience muscle to tolerate the kids. 

10. Use Technology

Social media can be distracting, but mobile apps can be helpful. Use the technological craze to your benefit and try installing some self-care apps like calmHappy not PerfectsaagaraInscape, and many more.

11. Take a Bath

As simple as it seems. Soaking yourself in some Epsom salt can help with tiredness and muscle strain. Adding some music can enhance the process.  Make sure your kids are under proper supervision while you’re in the bathroom, though.

12. Hug it Out

A 7-seconds hug is all you need to pump these happy hormones in your body.
Getting and receiving hugs can help lessen stress, strengthen relationships, reduce anxiety, and even improve physical health.

13. Occasional Massages

Getting an appointment with your local spa or a foot reflexology center every once in a while isn’t that a big deal. It can do wonders in relieving stress and anxiety.  Book that session, leave the kids with your partner, and pamper yourself for 2 hours. You deserve it!

14. Don’t Stop the Music

Take a 15-minute break to listen to your favorite music. Depending on the mood, you can listen, dance it out, engage your kids in the process, or even do karaoke.

15. Do Yoga

When we say self-care and relaxation, what’s the first thing that pops up into your mind? Yes, Yoga. Before you start arguing, you don’t have the time nor a quiet place to do yoga with your kids playing around. I urge you to learn how to do a quick 5-minute yoga session. I highly doubt you’ll struggle to find a quiet place around your home to spare these 5 minutes!

16. Read

Reading is one of these activities you think you have to give up when you’re a parent. The truth is that you can squeeze some reading time into your schedule, even if you’re not an avid reader. It can help take your mind to other places. Set out 10 to 20 minutes of reading time either early in the morning or right before bed without interruptions, you’ll be surprised how much comfort this can bring to your hectic life.

17. Ask for Help

Knowing when to ask for help is courageous, unlike what most of us think.
Carefully assessing your situation and getting help when needed can be helpful. Whether you’re looking for someone to look after the kids on your day out or someone to share with your fun activities, never shy out from asking for help. Just be careful who you ask.

18. Plan Ahead

Sad about all the events that can’t be done with the kids present?
This is all eventually going to end, and they’re going to grow up. Spend some time surfing the internet planning future activities; travels, campings, or even a family picnic.

19.  Micro Self Care

Deep breaths, 5-minute meditations, back stretches, shoulder rollings, putting on some makeup, getting your nails done. It is that simple. Micro actions can alter your life.

20. Take it Seriously

Your self-care practice isn’t some pleasurable activity, but rather a necessity to keep going.  I recommend you schedule regular self-care appointments with yourself or with friends. Be it a bi-weekly full-day trip, or a daily early-morning writing session. You choose.

Start Now

I tried to focus on limited-timed activities that require no to a limited budget and minimal effort as well. Go ahead and try them out; they’ll boost your energy and restore your motivation to live!

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