Take care of yourself!

Have you ever heard a little voice inside your head saying, “What are you doing???? You know you’re overreacting!”  Parents, we all get overwhelmed with the millions of things that need to be done. Here’s the antidote:

Take time for yourself.  It will recharge you and make you a better parent.  Children need to see their parents taking care of themselves in a healthy way.  It sets a good example and gives them permission to take care of their own needs rather than push them down, ignore them or having them come out sideways!

Here’s a few ideas to get you started on your path to a healthy, sane self:

When fatigue & stress have the best of you: 

– Turn off the phone, the TV, the stereo and listen to the quiet.  Enjoy it.  Embrace it.  Revel in it.  For just a    few moments….all is right with the world.
– Sit quietly for 10 minutes and breathe – deeply – from your belly.  It is so relaxing!
–  Take a bath with flowers or aromatic oils in it.  Or use the shower massage to relax tense muscles.
–  Put your feet up and take a quick nap.  20 minutes is ideal.
– Listen to your favorite music – and dance!

– Take a walk through a park.  Notice the butterflies, the new buds blooming.  Smell the fresh air, feel the breeze, listen to the sound of the birds, the squirrels. 

For comfort:

 – Eat a food you enjoyed as a child like soup the way your mom made it.
 – Put clean fresh sheets on the bed!  I love going to sleep on a fresh pillowcase!
 – Enjoy a cup of peppermint tea and cozy up with a good book.  Use a cup that makes you feel special.
 – Cuddle with your pet, husband or children.  We all need touch and without it we shrivel.  So give yourself a hug and your family a hug and make sure you get one back!
 – Fill your living space with a favorite aroma – vanilla or cinnamon.  I light candles and enjoy the scent wafting when I walk into a room.
 – Dig in the dirt, knead dough or play with playdough.  It’s soothing and the repetition quiets our mind.

Pamper yourself:

 – Buy yourself flowers and put them around the house!
 – Arrange for a free day without children or obligations. Okay – can you arrange for one hour?
 – Treat yourself to a professional mani-pedi, facial or massage.  Mmmmmm the ultimate pampering!
 – Buy your favorite ice cream and keep it all to yourself!  Decadent indulging!

We NEVER outgrow the need for comfort.  Taking care of yourself in small ways helps you be an energized and more effective parent and person! 

Angela Di Cicco

Adapted from ENCOURAGEMENT, a publication of Angela (Shorter) Di Cicco and Gail Signor.

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