Why self-care may not be working for you

Among API’s Eight Principles of Parenting is #8 – Strive for balance in your personal and family life.

This, many parents agree, may be the hardest principle of all to follow. It’s not that we don’t want to. Sometimes, balance seems impossible to attain in our child’s current developmental stage or a particular calendar season.

Related: The chaos theory, the search for personal balance amidst parenthood

Other times, we may really be trying…giving a list of ideas a fighting chance…but it just doesn’t seem to be making any difference. You’re drained, stressed, and it’s spilling over into your family life.

Paces Connection recently shared about what may be happening when it seems that self-care isn’t working. Here are some take-aways from the article:

  • Self-care is not the same as self-improvement. Self-improvement is about changing who you are. Self-care is about restoring yourself to who you currently are. Self-care has no agenda. It may look like a hobby, spending time out in nature, alone or with other people, but the common denominator is that the goal is not self-improvement and no real goal other than to re-center the self.

Related: The self-care challenge

  • Self-care is most nurturing when it combines physical care with emotional/spiritual care.
  • People with a history of trauma need to give themselves extra time and gentleness with discovering what works best for their self-care. Those who have experienced physical abuse, for example, may have difficulty with a massage.

Some classic self-care techniques to try:

  • Mindful meditation – sitting in the quiet, allow yourself to identify and feel your emotions without holding them back or acting on them. Warning: This may trigger panic attacks in some people. What then? Try looking out the window for a few minutes and simply observe what you see and hear. Absorbing handwork, such as sewing or gardening or carpentry, can also serve as a meditation alternative.

Related: Mindful Parenting with Inga Bohnekamp

  • Yoga or Dance – movement is often soothing to a stressed body. Warning: This is not time to focus on using exercise to improve your body image! Instead, combine this non-competitive physical activity with mindful meditation and emotion processing.
  • Journaling – writing allows the brain to connect new ideas, explore feelings, and philosophize. Warning: Do not let yourself fall into the trap of confusing journaling with writing! The end goal with journaling is not to get published or even be read by anyone. It’s to let your thoughts out of your head. Also, remember how the most nurturing self-care is both physical and emotional/spiritual? Typing may not yield the same restoration as handwriting.

Related: Writing for balance, an attachment parenting tool

  • Self-empathy – this piece of self-care can be done anytime, anywhere. Just as you empathize with your children or others, it’s important that you empathize with yourself. Basically it means not dismissing the feelings you have about yourself, but rather understanding that whatever your feelings, they are OK to have and have a reason. Warning: Don’t be hard on yourself if you are in the habit of dismissing your feelings. Acknowledge the habit and try again. The more you practice, the more solid those new brain connections become to change your habit of dismissing or self-empathizing.

5 Easy Ways to Take Care of Your Body

Lose weight. Exercise. Eat better. Well, sure, those are great ways to take care of yourself physically, but when you’re barely taking care of yourself at all because, say, you’re a parent to a young child or an older child with school and homework and music class and soccer, when are you going to fit in at least three workouts at the gym and how are you going to cut fat,cholesterol, carbs, processed foods, and sugar out of your diet?

For the first in this series of posts on self-care, I’m focusing on the physical domain. It is probably the area we all best know what we could or should be doing. We just don’t want to. Or it seems too hard. Drip Coffee Brewer is ideal for individuals who are always on the go but would like to have a taste of freshly brewed coffee.It is rather inexpensive and is considered as one of the most common types of maker.The most important feature of drip brewer is it can easily retain the freshness and flavor of coffee and keep it hot for longer periods of time.All the user has to do is place the ground coffee into the paper filter, fill the jug with water and simply switch on the drip brewer.The highly advances features provided in some of the latest models include its anti-bacterial properties.Some of the top selling Drip Brewers available on the market include Keurig Elite B40 Home Brewer, The Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Deluxe Thermal coffee maker and Black and Decker Programmable Coffee Maker.

So, here are some ideas for how to take care of yourself physically when you don’t have a lot of time or energy to do it.

Drink more water. Just take it with you. Maybe you need a good water bottle that won’t leach bpa’s, but carry one in your car. Keep a glass of water next to you all the time, so maybe you’ll just space out and drink it by accident because it’s within arm’s reach. Or drink a full glass of water before you drink your morning coffee. If you’re not convinced, read about the health benefits of drinking water. It does more for you than you ever imagined.

Take deep breaths. Oxygen helps you calm down. Stress hurts your body. Inhale. Exhale. In traffic. With the stress alot of another problem also get started one of most annoying is the ACNE. Everyone wants clear, beautiful skin! There are many options available at reasonable prices which will offer you great results. But among all the Skin Club provides you best and reliable treatment, which leads to no acne in furture also. With the regular exercise, natural skin products are also required for your good skin care. Maintain good skin care with jelly cleanser, which Cleanses & purifies your skin, with rich in Vitamins and antioxidants.

Take a multivitamin. I thought I’d figured out an easy way to remember mine: put it next to my toothbrush so I’d grab it first thing in the morning. But I burped vitamin for hours if I tried to take it on an empty stomach. It might be better for you to take one of the ones made for grown-ups with all sorts of extra calcium to keep you from getting osteoporosis, but if you don’t actually take it, it’s not having much benefit. So take your kid’s chewables and give yourself two when he asks for his. He’ll remember because they’re purple, orange, or pink and in the shape of animals. Maybe he wants a kitty today. You eat the elephant.

Remember that Food is Not Love. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Don’t buy junk food at the grocery store. If it’s not in your pantry, you won’t eat as much of it. Make yourself have to actually run out for potato chips or to Sonic for a cherry limeade. It will cut your calories.

Get enough sleep. There are all sorts of tips out there to have good sleep hygiene. They don’t actually work for me. But sleeping impacts mood, metabolism, and ability to function, among other things. Getting sleep is good. Maybe you give yourself a bedtime. Maybe you find a way of taking a nap on a Sunday. But get rest. You’ll be nicer to your kids. You’ll move faster through all the things you want to get done for yourself.  You’ll drive more safely. Figure out how to get enough sleep, then actually do that.

And from Zen Habits, your bonus not-as-easy physical self care method, find Fun Ways to Exercise.

Image by LostxIn Moonriver

Sonya Fehér writes about parenting, divorce, and self care at mamaTRUE.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Kids at the Same Time

IMG_0633I started this year with the intention of learning how to be happy and how to take care of myself. At the time, I didn’t know I was getting a divorce or about to experience all of the changes and challenges that go along with it.

One of the major questions in this divorce is that I’m a SAH AP Mama and our son is not ready for preschool. He’s three and a half and a sweet, sensitive boy who has friends and goes to playdates, but doesn’t like big groups or a lot of noise. That means Cavanaugh and I are together most of the time.

My husband being out of the house means that the pretty intensive practice of attachment parenting just got a lot more intense, so the need for self-care is more important than ever.

So, one of my major questions has been how to engage in self care when I’m with my son.

Here are our top ten:

  1. Take deep breaths. When we’ve been running errands, it’s near the end of the day and energy is low, Cavanaugh’s hungry or sleepy, I’m feeling impatient, or any other circumstance you can name where just taking a minute is advisable, sometimes I remember to take deep breaths. Cavanaugh takes them with me. He’ll even suggest we take them occasionally.
  2. Go for a walk with the jogging stroller. I get exercise. He gets adventure. If he doesn’t want to be in the stroller, he can run alongside it. On the way back from the park the other day, he ran along yelling, “Hi grass. Hi roly poly. Hi garden.” Endorphins. Oxygen. Nature.
  3. Vacuum. Cavanaugh gets his popper and I get my vacuum and we have races, bump into each other and get the living room clean.
  4. Create something. It’s so easy to think my creativity has to take a backseat to mothering. Doing beadwork or crochet doesn’t work together right now, but Cavanaugh loves to paint with me. He tells me what shapes to make and then he colors them in. Or he draws things and tells me a  story about what they are. Pretty soon, we have characters, a scene, and a whole plot going. It might not be the poem I would have written on my own, but it uses the same part of me.
  5. Chase a ball. Our favorite new game is the basketball hoop for toddlers with a small bouncy ball and throw it to each other than chase it. We get super silly, exercise, time outside, and play time together.
  6. Go out for a treat. Whether it’s the bagel shop for lunch or the coffee shop for a latte and chocolate milk, sitting across the table from each other in the middle of the day somewhere outside our house means we have conversations we don’t have any other time.
  7.  Play Online Games. You can play online games like casino, if you love gambling. When your kid asleep or at school spend some quality time with yourself by playing online casino games. If уоu hаvе gambled online thеn уоu know just hоw fun online casino games саn bе, whеthеr уоu win оr lose. Hоwеvеr, winning іn real casino online malaysia іѕ оnе оf thе best feelings іn thе world! If уоu аrе looking tо improve уоur casino game strategy ѕо thаt уоu саn beat thе odds аnd win big іn online casinos thеn уоu wіll need tо learn a fеw tips thаt wіll help уоu tо play уоur best іn уоur favorite online casino games. Mаnу people think thаt thе outcome оf gambling games іѕ based purely оn luck, but thіѕ іѕ nоt thе case. If уоu learn ѕоmе basic strategies уоu wіll ѕее уоu online casino winnings improve іn nо tіmе. Following аrе ѕоmе basic strategies thаt саn help уоu tо win thе popular casino games оf craps, blackjack, poker аnd slots.
  8. Notice nature. We lie in the hammock and Cavanaugh drives his trains up my legs while I look at the trees. Eventually, he checks out the trees too. Or we go outside to say goodnight to the moon. Or we watch butterflies at the park or in our yard. Slowing down to just pay attention and be in nature centers us both.
  9. Sing. Sing a narrative of what you’re doing: “We’re walking up the stairs to look for Pigeon. We hope we can find him there.” Cavanaugh sings too. It’s like a musical with conversation in song.
  10. Drink water. We both get our glasses and drink at the same time, big delicious gulps of icy cold water. We pick up our cups and drink together again. We both drink more this way and it feels like a game.
  11. Read with Cavanaugh before he goes to sleep and then lie in the bed after he’s asleep and read a book for me.

Sonya Fehér blogs about parenting, divorce, self care, and spirituality at mamaTRUE: parenting as practice