When you have children, your whole life changes. They become the center of your existence and most of your actions will have the purpose of supporting them, ensuring they are safe and sheltered and generally improving their quality of life, providing them with the best upbringing your possibly can. This is great – and it is extremely important to care for your children to the best of your ability. But all too many of us do end up neglecting ourselves in this process too. We might neglect our health and wellbeing, we might stop doing the things we used to enjoy doing and this can all result in us getting a little burnt out and run down. It’s important that you balance your life to meet everyone’s needs as you best can. But how can you do this? The key is to also keep an eye on your one health, happiness and overall wellbeing too. Here are just a few different things you can try to help yourself achieve this!
First, let’s talk about diet. Most of us will make sure that we give our children three, healthy meals a day, complemented by different healthy and fun snacks. We make sure that they drink enough and are never thirsty or running on an empty stomach. But when it comes to our own diets, things can get a little more messy. So many parents are guilty of not really eating their own meals, instead picking at bits that they eat while preparing their children’s meals. They might not feel they have the time to snack, as they’re always focusing on something or other. Some will counteract this by choosing convenience foods, such as ready meals, takeaways or fast food to fill their hunger with minimal effort and time involved. This can result in not only undereating or overeating, but an imbalanced diet too. It really is important that you still get a balanced diet while caring for your children. The food you put in your body is your fuel, and good quality fuel results in plenty of energy, better health and a better quality of life. If you feel you are short on time and always in too much of a rush, why not consider meal prepping. This involves planning out your meals for the week and taking some time at the start of the week to prep all the ingredients you need. You can chop fruit and vegetables, weigh and measure out different ingredients and store them in tupperware, ready to simply throw in the oven or pan when you are ready to eat.
You may feel that you don’t get too much time for exercise in your routine as well. But it’s really important that you get your recommended one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or seventy five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week. This can help to keep you fit and healthy, whether that’s maintaining your strength, improving your stamina, building your flexibility, working on your balance or simply maintaining a healthy weight. The key to sticking to an exercise routine is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy and want to attend. If you don’t enjoy your exercise, chances are, you’ll find it easier to cancel last minute routinely. There are countless forms of exercise out there, so if you haven’t found one you enjoy yet, you probably just haven’t been looking enough or tried enough different things. Swimming, dance, cycling, pole fitness, archery, weight lifting, fencing, running, gymnastics – the list goes on. If you like a social element to your exercise, you may want to consider team sports or pairing up with a gym buddy. This will encourage you to attend, as you’ll want to see your friends and won’t want to let anyone down either. If you’re really struggling to stick to your fitness regime, you may want to hire a personal trainer, who can show you what to do, come up with a fitness plan that will help you reach your goals and who you will have to pay whether you show up or not – encouraging you to attend from a financial aspect too.
Maintaining a Social Life
Many of our social lives go out the window when we have children. But you need to talk to your friends more than simply texting or calling around your other chores, responsibilities and activities. Make sure to still schedule social events into your calendar. Get ready, put your lip blush on and go out to have a good time! This can be anything that you want it to be. You can catch up with a friend over an afternoon coffee. You could go for a full blown day out, hiking, for a picnic, on a short road trip or anything else you enjoy doing. You could go the cinema, head to a bar, hit the club for an all-out night out. A spa day generally tends to go down quite well too. Whatever you enjoy doing with your friends, fit it somewhere into your schedule.
Sometimes you just want to let your hair down and do absolutely nothing. A good time to achieve this is when the kids are tucked up in bed. Whether you get up early for your alone time or stay up later than them, this is a great opportunity to let your hair down and to just relax. Run a bath and soak in it. Read a magazine or book. Put a hair mask or face mask on. Listen to a podcast. Catch up on a TV show you enjoy. Have a hot drink. Take a nap. Whatever it is you enjoy, find some time for it and unwind.
As you can see, there are probably a few different areas of your own life you’ve been neglecting since becoming a parent. But hopefully, highlighting a few ideas will help you to fit some more self care into your routine. Use some of the ideas above as a springboard!