Ten Mental Health Tips for Parents
Times have been challenging for us all. As we rocket through 2022, many of us will start looking back on events of the last 18 months or so and wonder what on earth happened?!
Living through the uncertainties of a global pandemic is likely to have affected your mental health and wellbeing. And when you're a busy parent, it's sometimes even harder to find the time to process your emotions, let alone set aside time to just breathe for a moment.
We just wanted to take this opportunity to let you know we get it. We're busy parents too, trying to juggle it all (thank goodness the home school days are over!) and we know how hard it can be. But you're doing an amazing job!
With all of this being said, looking after your mental health and emotional wellbeing is essential, especially when you have small people depending on you to take care of them. The old saying "you cannot pour from an empty cup" is quite true. So this week on the blog, we're focusing on mental health and wellbeing by sharing ten tips for parents.
1. Get plenty of sleep
This isn't always the easiest task when you have children, but sleep deprivation seriously affects mood and emotional wellbeing. Make sure you put as much importance on your own sleep routine as you do your little ones. If it means a few earlier nights or mid-day naps, then do it.
2. Know that you really are 'enough'
So many of us carry around a tremendous amount of guilt regarding our kids. Are they happy enough? Do I spend enough time with them? Should I be taking them here? There? Somewhere else? The fact is that yes, you are enough. And remember that sometimes your 'best' might be different to someone else's, leading to our next tip...
3. Don't compare yourself to other parents
We all handle situations differently as parents, and comparing yourself to others really doesn't help. Your journey is unique to you, so have compassion for yourself.
4. Take some time out
When you're feeling stressed, and things are becoming too much to handle, one of the best things you can do is take some time for yourself. Don't feel guilty about spending time away from the kids- they need to see that it's ok for you to take care of yourself. Plus, sometimes we all need a break!
5. Talk to someone
It can be tempting to just hide from the world, but talking can make a huge difference in how you feel. If you don't feel ready to talk, then maybe tip number 6 might work instead...
6. Write it out
Journaling is a fantastic way to get your feelings out and can effectively maintain your emotional wellbeing. Sometimes seeing it written down can help you to work out a problem or your feelings about something, or at the very least, it gets it off your chest!
7. Practice self-care
It's ok to care about yourself, too, even when you're a parent. So yes, you do deserve that massage or that facial. And if self-care to you means simply making the time to read a few pages of a good book, that's fine too!
8. Eat well and exercise
A great piece of advice given to most parents is getting out of the house every day. The fresh air, coupled with the boost in endorphins we get when we move our bodies, improves emotional well-being. And make sure you're eating regular, healthy meals too.
9. Maintain a good routine
You quickly notice how much easier life is when you have a good routine going when you have kids. But the same goes for you! So going to bed at the same time each day or completing chores at a specific time each day can help to encourage a feeling of security and calm. Ok, sometimes your routine might need to be tweaked, but overall having a stable structure to your day can be helpful.
10. Acknowledge and accept
It's easy to live in denial, but if you're struggling with your mental health and that makes you feel guilt, shame, or anxiety, this tip is for you. Know that it's ok not to be ok. It can be helpful to acknowledge when you're feeling down or overwhelmed. Acknowledge it, accept it— and when you're ready, work on finding a solution.
At Nimble, we're here for all parents. If you ever wonder how to use our products or just fancy a chat, know that you can pop in a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll come back to you in no time.
You got this!
Team Nimble x