Importance of Self-Care for Parents/Caregivers

On an airplane, an oxygen mask descends in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others.

Caring for yourself is one of the most important – and one of the most often forgotten – things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit, too.

Here are some self-care tips:

  • Exercise, on your own and as a family.

  • Sleep (as much as you can), and nap when your child naps.

  • Eat healthy: food affects mood, cut down on sugars and processed foods.

  • Get or give a massage.

  • Cuddle, kiss, or make love with your partner.

  • Take a hot shower, or a long bath.

  • Go for a long walk outdoors - on your own, or with your child in a sling or stroller.

  • Write – stories, a blog, a personal journal – get your thoughts out on paper.

  • Return to old hobbies you may not have pursued since baby’s birth.

  • Mediate or pray in the morning, and/or evening.

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