Back to School Tips: Mom & Dad Edition. (Self Care for Busy Parents)

While self-care might seem like a trendy buzzword, it's a critical component of our emotional and physical health.

It’s all about nurturing yourself, both physically and mentally, and taking the time to recharge your batteries and show your body and mind some much-needed love. 

This article is all about sharing with you 15 ways you can practice self-care this fall, and beyond. 

So, sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about the benefits of self-care and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.

What Exactly Does Self-Care Mean?

While the concept of self-care seems pretty straightforward, it can sometimes be harder to put into practice. Essentially, self-care is any activity that we engage in to tend to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. 

At its core, self-care is about slowing down, nurturing ourselves and taking responsibility for our wellness. It’s all too easy to put others first and neglect our own needs, but by making self-care a priority, we’re better able to show up as our best selves in all areas of life. 

So next time you’re feeling rundown or overwhelmed, take a step back and think about what might make you feel more balanced and centered.

With a bit of intentionality and focus, self-care can become an empowering and fulfilling part of your daily routine.

15 Ways You Can Practice Self-Care:

Each type of self-care, (physical, mental, and emotional) are just as important as the other, and all three contribute to creating a more balanced and grounded sense of self. 

When you focus solely on one type of self-care and neglect the others, it can lead to feeling burnt out or unfulfilled. 

Let’s talk about a few ways we can nurture all three, shall we?

5 Ways To Practice Physical Self-Care:

First, let’s talk about physical self-care. 

Physical self-care is crucial because our bodies are the vessels that carry us through life, and neglecting them can have serious consequences for our overall health and well-being. 

1. Exercise Regularly:

One of the best ways to practice physical self-care is to exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost your energy levels. 

Additionally, it can help to improve your overall health by strengthening your muscles and bones, improving your heart health, and reducing your risk of chronic diseases.

 Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per day or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.

2. Get Adequate Sleep:

Getting adequate sleep is also important when it comes to physical self-care. 

Most adults need 7–9 hours of sleep each night to function optimally. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a variety of issues such as fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and an increased risk of certain diseases. 

Make sure you are getting enough restful sleep each night by going to bed at a reasonable hour and avoiding screens before bedtime. 

3. Eat Healthy Foods: 

Eating healthy foods is another important way to practice physical self-care. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables will provide you with the essential nutrients you need for optimal health. 

Additionally, eating healthy foods can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. 

4. Drink Plenty of Water 

Staying hydrated is also key when it comes to physical self-care. 

Water helps keep your body functioning properly by carrying nutrients throughout the body and flushing out toxins from the organs. 

It is recommended that adults drink 8 glasses (about 2 liters) of water each day to stay hydrated and healthy. You may need more if you are engaging in strenuous activity or living in a hot climate!

5. Visit Your Doctor Regularly: 

Visiting your doctor regularly is an important part of physical self-care that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

Seeing your doctor regularly allows them to monitor any changes in your health that may require further investigation or treatment before they become serious problems down the line.

It’s also a good idea to have regular tests done such as blood work or mammograms if you’re over 40 years old – this will give you peace of mind knowing that any potential issues have been caught early on before they become more serious problems later on down the road.

5 Ways To Practice Emotional Self-Care:

Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising are all essential for physical health. But what about our emotional health? 

Emotional self-care is just as crucial, if not more so! 

Taking care of yourself emotionally means permitting yourself to feel your feelings without judgment, taking time for activities you enjoy, and surrounding yourself with positive relationships. 

By prioritizing emotional self-care, you’re investing in your long-term mental health and well-being. 

1. Take Time For Yourself:

Taking time for yourself is a great way to practice emotional self-care. This could mean taking a few minutes each day to sit in silence and just focus on your breathing, or taking an entire day off from work or school to relax and unwind. 

Taking time for yourself can help you to reconnect with your emotions and process them in a healthy way.

2. Connect With Nature:

Connecting with nature can be a great way to practice emotional self-care. 

Going for a walk in the park, spending some time at the beach, or even just sitting outside and listening to the birds can all be great ways to reduce stress and anxiety levels while also boosting your mood. 

3. Practice Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without judgment. 

Practicing mindfulness regularly can help you to become more aware of how you are feeling emotionally, which can help you better manage those emotions.

4. Talk To Someone You Trust:

Talking to someone you trust about how you are feeling can be a great way to practice emotional self-care. 

Whether it’s talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or other professional, being able to share your feelings openly can help you process them in a healthy way. 

5. Do Something That Makes You Happy: 

Doing something that makes you happy is another great way to practice emotional self-care. 

This could mean going out for dinner with friends, watching a movie that always makes you laugh, taking up a new hobby like painting or writing, or simply taking some time for yourself each day to do something that brings joy into your life.

5 Ways To Practice Mental Self-Care:

Unlike emotional self-care, which is focused on regulating our feelings and emotions, mental self-care is all about taking care of our thoughts and cognitive processes. 

By prioritizing both emotional and mental self-care, we can better equip ourselves to handle life’s challenges and maintain a healthy state of mind.

1. Meditation:

Meditation is a great way to practice mental self-care. It can help to reduce stress, improve focus, and increase your overall sense of well-being.

There are many different types of meditation, so it’s important to find one that works for you. For example, guided meditations involve following along with an audio track that helps you relax and focus on your breath. 

Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment or attachment.

2. Journaling:

Journaling is another great way to practice mental self-care. 

Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help to reduce stress and provide clarity about what’s going on in your life. It can also be a helpful tool for managing difficult emotions like anxiety or depression. 

You don’t have to write every day, but making it a regular habit can be beneficial for your mental health.

3. Set Goals and Priorities:

​​One of the best ways to practice mental self-care is by setting goals and priorities for ourselves.

By doing this, we’re actively taking control of our lives and our happiness. When we have something to work towards and strive for, it gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment. 

Whether it’s setting a goal to read more books or prioritizing time to meditate each day, these small actions are a form of self-care that can have a big impact on our mental well-being. 

So go ahead, set those goals and priorities, and watch yourself flourish!

4. Avoiding Substance Use:

One crucial aspect of mental self-care is being mindful of harmful substances and avoiding them altogether. 

Substance use can create negative and devastating impacts on our mental health. These impacts can exacerbate a range of issues such as depression, anxiety, and traumatic experiences. 

By practicing self-care and staying away from harmful substances, we are able to prioritize our well-being and give ourselves the space to build our mental resilience. 

It’s important to remember that self-care is a continuous journey and requires consistent effort. Deciding to steer clear of harmful substances is an essential step in taking care of oneself and safeguarding our mental health.

5. Pay Attention To Negative Self Talk:

When it comes to our inner voice, we can be our own worst enemy. 

Negative self-talk can be a real drain on our mental resources, leading to feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of any negative self-talk that we engage in. 

By taking a moment to acknowledge these thoughts and reframe them in a more positive light, we give ourselves a much-needed mental boost. 

Key Takeaways:

In our crazy, fast-paced world, self-care is often overlooked. But let me tell you, taking care of yourself is crucial in maintaining a healthy and enjoyable life. 

There are three main types of self-care: physical, emotional, and mental. Each type is critical in keeping your mind and body balanced. 

Physical self-care means taking care of your body by eating nutritious foods, engaging in regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. 

Emotional self-care involves exploring your emotions, learning healthy coping mechanisms, and investing time in activities that bring you joy.

Finally, mental self-care encompasses taking care of your mind by doing things like setting boundaries, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in activities that challenge your mind. 

Remember, all three types of self-care are essential for leading a fulfilling and happy life. 

So, let’s turn that phone off, grab some healthy snacks, take a yoga class, and make time for YOU. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it later.

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