Self-care for Superparents: 10 Ways to Avoid and Manage Burnout
Self-care is essential for any parent. Here are 8 tips as told by mom and writer Kim Reyes-Palanca on how to set aside “me-time” and take better care of yourself.
Self-care isn’t selfish. Thank God for female empowerment—we have at least established that.
Self-care is the highest expression of self-love. Yet the notion that it’s something done on occasion is harmful to overall wellness.
Don’t wait for fatigue to settle in. Regulate before things escalate.
1. Choose your tribe
Carefully choose the people you surround yourself with. Psychotherapist Esther Perel explains, “The quality of your relationships ultimately determines the quality of your life.”
Take stock of all your relationships. Cut ties with toxic people, even if that means letting go of a family member. There’s no shame in walking away from any type of mental, emotional or physical abuse.
Nurture and spend time and energy only on relationships that offer mutual love, respect and security—the support you need and rightfully deserve.
2. Mindful Mom Mantra
Find quiet time first thing in the morning and incrementally for the rest of the day. Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin were said to have a time table of waking up early—not necessarily to work right away—but to start the day in silence.
Sit in stillness. A dose of peace and quiet goes a long way in preventing knee-jerk reactions, panic and frustrations from things you have no control over.
Meditate and incorporate a mom mantra. Try these: I have enough, I do enough, I am enough; Gratitude is my attitude; So Hum (Sankrit for I am). Doing this once a day is good, twice or thrice a day? You got yourself a zen mother hen.
4. Bedtime stories
In a mum’s world, sleep is elusive. Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post co-founder and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at A Time, has a recipe for a great night’s sleep.
To address the sleep crisis, she recommends this bedtime routine: no devices 30 minutes to an hour prior to bedtime, and they go out of the bedroom. Take a hot bath, wear nice pajamas (no ratty gym clothes). Get under the covers and read physical books that have nothing to do with your work. Arianna recommends ending on a positive note through a gratitude journal.
Get in the habit of writing down any concerns you have—maybe tasks you need to tackle the next day, things you’re looking forward to, your wishes. The point is to put pen to paper, set intentions, and let thoughts go.
5. Rituals and Routines
Me-time shouldn’t be put off until you find time for it. A study shows moms only average 17 minutes of alone time a day, so practice self-care daily, weekly, monthly—regularly!
Save yourself from running on empty. These pockets of alone time will be more beneficial to your well-being than those much awaited long vacations.
Be a momchilla by making tea. According to researchers at City University London, it’s a natural tranquilizer. The calming effects come from the ritual itself.
Help your body wind down before bed time. Have a “spa-aah” bath ritual to remove “spiritual grime.”
Pick up a hobby that excites. Knitting, running, crafting, gardening, listening to podcasts, calligraphy are just a few popular activities. Enroll in that cooking or dance class you’ve been putting off. When all else fails, there’s always reading.
6. Get Out and Move
Walking even for at least 30 minutes every day has profound effects. It’s the easiest exercise for busy moms when neither time nor budget permits going to the gym, or your favorite Pilates class. Sometimes, all mommy needs is a short trek to the grocery store, alone—uninterrupted shopping and complete control of the cart!
7. Just (don’t) do it
Don’t do the laundry, don’t prepare dinner, don’t vacuum. Pay somebody else to do chores once in awhile. Take advantage of professional services available one call or click away. It’s money well-spent on saving your energy and sanity. Remember, you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.
8. Reconnect with yourself
Achieving your dreams is challenging especially when your personal checklist is the last to get done. Unplug from screens and reconnect with real-life relationships, especially the one with yourself.
Align with your personal goals. Guard your dreams and see them through, no matter what. You are not abandoning your children, you are setting a good example.
Break plans down into chunks and spend a portion of your day (20 minutes to an hour) toward it. Every small win will motivate you to move forward. Have a millionaire mom mindset like J.K Rowling (Harry Potter), Martha Stewart (domestic goddess), Victoria McDowell (Airborne), Julie Aigner-Clark (Baby Einstein).
About The Writer
Former magazine editor-turned-freelance-writer/columnist/stylist, Kim’s work revolves around creative pursuits. For 14 years, this mum of two boys has been delving into beauty and wellness, fashion, travel. She finds equal joy in styling shoots as much as styling her kids, and their DIY parties. As a work-at-home mum, she strives to be a mindful mother through Pilates and meditation. Her me-time consists of coffee breaks, binging on documentaries (and desserts), and obsessing about the details of whatever project is at hand.