Connect With Us
author
By: Alison Jacobson
Posted on: Oct 10, 2019

5 Self Care Tips When You're Caring For Everyone Else

Our guest blogger Alison Jacobson, The Safety Mom, is back again this week with her 5 top self care tips for busy parents!

Now that the kids are back in school and we’re gearing up for the holidays, many women are in overdrive trying to get everything done. There’s the back-to-school meet the teacher meetings, the forms to fill out, the soccer schedule and class trips to sign up for. Not to mention the count down to the holidays that seems to come earlier every year. And then, for many families there’s an added layer of caring for an aging parent that requires visits to the doctor, assistance around the house and other added chores.

Oftentimes it’s not the physical work but the mental load that’s more exhausting. Sure, doing the laundry, driving the kids to practice, taking a parent to a doctor’s appointment and making dinner takes its toll, but trying to simply think of everything is worse. How many of us have woken up in the morning already stressed about what needs to get done? Self care to the rescue!

The beginning of the school year also brings about cold and flu season as our kids are exposed to more germs and our immune system is compromised. Between stress and potential physical illness, we’re a walking time bomb for hitting the wall.

As they say at take-off for a flight, “put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else,” the same holds true for self care. If mom goes down the entire family shuts down.

Self Care Tip 1: Get your flu shot

We’re vigilant about taking our kids for their doctor’s appointments and our aging parents but we usually cancel our appointments once or twice if we even make them in the first place. Walk into any pharmacy or even grocery store and get a flu shot immediately. You’re probably there shopping as it is so congratulate yourself for multi-tasking!

Artistry Hardwood flooring features built-in Microban® protection. This added layer of protection contributes to the beauty and durability of the products by inhibiting the growth of bacteria on the floor sruface.
Explore Artistry Flooring

Self Care Tip 2: Add a to-do item to your list

You might think this sounds crazy but how often do you schedule a walk outside or 10 minutes for meditation or 30 minutes to talk to a friend? I know I often start off the day with good intentions of going to a class at the gym at lunchtime but then I get sucked into a conference call or I feel I can’t possibly fit everything in. Too often the first thing we ignore on our to-do list is time for ourselves. Set it in stone as something that cannot be missed. Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of meditation per day can boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, improve heart rates, increase your energy level and reduce your risk of asthma and arthritis.

Self Care Tip 3: Shut down electronics

Scrolling mindlessly through Facebook or Instagram is not relaxing. Not only is it distracting but it can increase stress. Take a break from electronics for at least 30 minutes every day. This does not include when you’re eating with friends or family – during that time you should absolutely have a “no-phone” policy to be present in both conversation and enjoying your meal.

Self Care Tip 4: Choose healthy fast food

It used to be hard to eat healthy on the run in between kid’s activities but there are now better options. Taco Bell’s Fresco Crunchy Taco is a great choice as is the Veggie Delite Sandwich from Subway. Did you know that a plain McDonald’s plain hamburger has less calories and sodium than their southwest salad with grilled chicken? Even a slice of pizza loaded with veggies is a good choice. When you’re home, opt for some healthy and hearty soups and grilled chicken and veggies. Sure, in the moment the mac and cheese and warm brownie make you feel great, but they’ll raise your sugar level and ultimately make you feel sluggish.

Self Care Tip 5: Do something fun

You might not have time to commit to the art class that you’ve always wanted to take but you can grab a couple of friends and do a wine and paint party. A night out dancing or catching a movie or even bowling are great ways to spend a few hours out of the regular routine and give yourself a couple of hours to ease the mental load.

We all are convinced that the world is going to fall apart if we don’t get everything done. Give yourself a break – tell your kids you can’t drive them to the mall, ask a friend to drive your mom to her doctor’s appointment and be OK with saying “no.” You’ll end up happier and healthier.