When you take time for self care, you are better able to care for your child. Even a few minutes of “you time” can help you to recharge so that you can parent at your best. Stress causes wear and tear on a person, inside and out. Keep these tips in mind next time you’re feeing overwhelmed.

  • Sleep: When your little one lays down to rest, try to do the same. If he’s having trouble settling down, sing him a quiet song that you loved when you were small, one that calms you down, too.
  • Take a ten-minute vacation. As you’re bathing your child, soak your hands in the warm water and give them a little massage, taking long deep breaths as you do so.
  • Keep a journal by your bed. Before you fall asleep, remember something funny, kind, or surprising that your child did today. Write a few lines that capture the memory. If you are feeling down, you can read through your memory journal.
  • Fill your cup: Get a nice big glass of water and find a comfy spot to sit. Let your child know, “I’m just going to sit and (read/think/breathe) while I drink this glass of water.” Explain that you’ll be available once the glass is empty. Children have difficulty keeping track of time. This is a concrete way to help them understand that you are taking a few minutes to yourself.
  • Turn on the tunes! Never underestimate the power of music to change the mood. Put together a playlist of songs that make you feel good. You might create different playlists for different moods (one to relax, one to energize, and so on).