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Busy Parent’s Self-Care Strategies

Are you crazy busy? Do you listen to what you need?

Self-care is something I used to think was a “nice idea”. I had a lot on my plate with having three babies in 30 months, taking care of my household, running 2 struggling businesses, trying to keep up with a growing healing practice, going to school and being an apprentice, helping care for my aging grandparents that raised me, and the chores of our ranch. The only self-care I could squeeze in was a few hours of sleep a night, if I was lucky!

As the years went on this pace started to wear on me, and I realized that I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do in the way that I wanted to do them without taking care of me. I started getting colds more often, my patience was almost non-existent, I didn’t feel like doing the things I normally enjoyed and when I got hurt, I had a long slow recovery. The real wake-up call was when I fell and tore my meniscus in my knee. My husband was working hours away from home, and I fell outside with my youngest in my arms. I had to crawl back inside and wait. While I was recovering, I thought a lot about taking care of myself.

I realized I thought life would slow down as my kids got older and I would catch-up, right?! I’m just as busy, or busier than when my kids were babies – and I love my life, but also realize the vital importance of basic self-care strategies.

The airplane emergency instruction speech played over and over again in my head: to put your mask on first and then help those around you. I was depleted and because I was depleted, I had less to give.

SO, for those of us who love our heart driven, busy, adventurous, fun lives, but still need some simple self-care strategies:

Make sure you love everything you do. Or at least make sure whatever you are doing is working towards something you love. It takes less energy to do things you love and it drains you to do things you dislike. Be on purpose and in alignment with your values and you will have more energy… everything else you can get help with. People are often surprised when I say no to something because it’s not fun.

Respond to your own needs. As parents you are always attending to someone else’s needs, so you need to make sure taking care of your own needs is a priority. It doesn’t mean you have to take a whole day off, it just means you need to be aware of what you need and do something to fulfill that need. This could look like taking a 5-minute break from the kids by stepping outside and breathing in fresh air, or going shopping by yourself, or taking a nice long shower. For me, just remembering to breathe and spending time with my horses are simple ways I take care of my needs.

Stop Multi-tasking. Seriously. This one was a hard one for me to get for a long time, because I am always multitasking and quite good at it. But what I found is that simply doing one thing at a time and slowing my day down a bit makes me enjoy that one task more and gives me more energy. Try it!

Learn to self-heal. This is definitely a process, but understanding how to better take care of all your needs makes the daily care of yourself easier and quicker. For instance if you know that you get migraines in the afternoons, one, knowing that Young Living Essential Oil M-Grain will make it go away within a few minutes and helps lessen the frequency; and two, getting to the root cause so you have fewer or no migraines would help, right? Learning self-healing methods is having a deeper relationship with yourself, so it automatically makes your self-care easier.

Take at least one of these self-care strategies and try it out today. The more you practice taking care of you first, the happier you will be and the more you can take on in your life effectively.

“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brown

Which one are you going to start with? Leave me a comment below.

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