Thursday, August 4, 2022

4 Simple Ways to Make Time for You as a Parent


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

There are few things more important in life than being a good parent. Parenting can be simultaneously challenging and rewarding, but it’s not always possible to find time for yourself as a parent. This can lead to resentment and stress, especially if you feel like you’re constantly giving of yourself while receiving very little in return. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to improve your situation. By making minor changes to your habits, routine and lifestyle, you can make time for yourself as a parent so that you’re not just parenting but also feeling happy about doing so. The challenge of being a parent is that most responsibilities fall on you at all hours of the day. You don’t get an HR department or paid vacation days after birth — everything is on you 24/7. While this is great for learning responsibility and self-discipline, it doesn't leave much room for taking care of yourself first. This article will explore some simple ways to carve out time for yourself as a parent without neglecting your child or partner in the process.

Take a break from screen time

Like most parents, you probably spend a lot of time in front of a computer or TV screen. The sound of the TV in the background can be soothing for a baby or young child, and computer tasks can be done from anywhere. However, too much screen time can lead to feelings of isolation and depression, particularly in introverted parents. To ensure you’re not spending too much time in front of a screen, take regular breaks and use a timer so that you don’t get too wrapped up in what you’re doing. You can even schedule a break at regular intervals during your day. While you’re on your break, try to avoid turning to more screen time, such as checking your phone. Instead, focus on other, more enriching activities, such as reading a book, talking with friends or family, meditating, going for a walk, or doing some yoga poses. All of these can help you relax, recharge, and feel more connected to yourself. By taking regular breaks from screen time, you can help avoid the adverse effects of too much time in front of a computer or TV and give yourself time to recharge and reconnect with yourself.

Go for a walk

Walking can be a great way to reconnect with yourself and have time for reflection. As a parent, you may feel like you don’t have time for exercise. However, a walk can be done at any time and doesn’t require any special equipment or skill. If you’re feeling stressed, going for a walk outside is an excellent stress-busting tip, as it gives you time to think and find some clarity. To enhance the experience, try to walk somewhere new. This will help you avoid the trap of always choosing a walk in the same place and allow you to experience new sights and sounds. You can also try taking a different route on your walk, so each walk is a different experience. This can help prevent boredom from creeping in and help you stay focused on your walk.

Schedule rest and relaxation

If you’re finding it hard to take time out for yourself, try scheduling it in like you might a doctor’s appointment or meeting. This will help you avoid the temptation to push it to the back burner and may help you prioritize it so that it happens. In addition, you can schedule relaxation activities such as reading, meditating, or even watching TV if that’s what you need. If you’re feeling stressed, you can also schedule a rest period. During this time, remove all responsibilities and focus on yourself and your wellbeing. You can rest while lying down in bed, in a hammock, or a comfortable chair.  You should make relaxing an event by doing something that establishes that it is your time to rest, like putting on some comfy lounge wear or making a cup of herbal tea.  You could also try stress-relieving exercises, such as yoga poses, deep breathing, or relaxation techniques.

Find small ways to take care of yourself

Life can be a struggle, especially if you have a young child, work, or find yourself caring for an ill or elderly loved one. To make time for yourself, you may need to find small ways to take care of yourself. For example, you could try going to the bathroom alone for a few minutes, making a cup of tea or coffee, or taking time out to do a few stretches.  You could also write in a journal to alleviate stress by letting go of any troublesome thoughts you may have. These small moments can help you relax and recharge; they can be done anywhere and at any time. These small ways to take care of yourself can also be done as part of a larger activity, such as reading a book or watching TV. This can help you avoid the trap of doing nothing but parenting and can help you feel like you’re doing more with your time.

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