We all hear about making time for ourselves. As parents, it can feel impossible to do that. But, WE NEED A BREAK! We all feel it. How do we do it?
Here are some options:
1- BREATHE! Say what? What’s that going to do? Just settling your breath for a few minutes can help set the tone for your day. Set aside five minutes to close your eyes and think of your favorite relaxing place. Focus on your breath, in and out, listen to your inner voice, focus on the joys in your life. Imagine how great your day could start? How your day would end if you let it all go? Resting your mind is as important as resting your body. So, breathe.
2- Remember the Positives! So the children take you for granted and your job is stressful? UGH! So frustrating, right? We all feel that way. But your job gives you income to provide for your family and the children would be lost without you. It’s hard to think about the positives in our life when we are tired, overwhelmed and juggling life. So stay positive! Focus on the good stuff. Your daughter scored her first goal at soccer. Your son made honor roll. You reconnected with an old friend. It’s the simple pleasures that keep us going.“The love is in the details.” –Oprah Winfrey
3- Find Others Like You! Something magical happens when you surround yourself with people who walk the same journey. For example, here at BAMSI Community Service Agency, we serve families whose children have mental health needs. Often we hear- “people don’t understand.” There are many people out there that know what it’s like to raise a child with ADHD, for example. Making these connections is immensely helpful. And it feels great when you are able to return that support. Maybe you are trying to balance work with your child’s activities? Connecting with parents on the team for car pooling can be a huge help! Most likely, they need the support too. Join a book club, parents group or religious community? All free. Try one!
4- Exercise. I know. This one is hard. It takes commitment. We all know the importance of exercise. So, short and sweet: 20 minutes of exercise a day will make you healthier, stronger and it will boost your mood. Plus, adding exercise to your family’s culture can’t be a bad thing, right?
5- GIVE UP THE GUILT!!! I’ve saved the best for last. Ok, parents- let it go! As parents, specially mothers, we put ourselves through the ringer! WE ARE NOT SUPERHEROES! We are doing the best we can. We work, we play with our children, coordinate appointments, help with homework and the list goes on.
We cannot do everything. Remembering that is SO important!! There will be times that we are late for appointments, miss our child’s game or we just don’t feel like doing anything. Guess what?? It’s OK!! It’s ok to feel tired, burnt out and plain exhausted!
Don’t guilt yourself and don’t let anyone else guilt you. As parents, we do our best to raise, provide, love, teach and protect our families. We must take a few moments to care for ourselves.
So breathe, be positive, go for a walk with a new buddy and remember that you are doing the best you can!
By Kristi Glenn, Senior Family Partner, Community Service Agency, BAMSI
Featured in the Spring 2014 Brockton Parents Magazine.
Full issue available here – http://goo.gl/pxYVwk