These steps for parent wellbeing are all about the small changes you can make to feel a bit better. None of these steps are new, I am not reinventing anything, they are a reminder of the small things you can do everyday to look after yourself because this is what can get lost when you are a parent.
Knowing how to use your breathing is your super power. It can help with anxiety, stress or panic, with aches and pains, it can give you more energy and it can give you focus and control.
Anyone who has ever had a consultation with me knows that I see a lot of benefit in writing things down. Worries seem way more manageable on a piece of paper and you can’t go far wrong with a good list. Anything that helps to clear the chaos in your head has to be a good thing!
We all know that eating well is important but the junk can creep in. Trying to focus on eating healthily for you and cutting back on the treats could mean you are less sluggish and fed up. This can also be about eating regularly.
We all know this as well and we all let it slip so I’ll keep it simple – drink more water!
Stress comes from doing too much, from juggling and from rushing around. It can help to identify just how much you are doing and taking the time to slow down, to do less and give yourself chance to de-stress.
Make time to do what help you relax. It could be anything from a day out or a yoga class to a soothing bath or reading a book. Doing something for you matters.
It is also worth focusing on your body – are you carrying tension? Slow your breathing and relax your forehead, jaw, shoulders, hands, pelvic floor, legs and feet.
It can really help to share how you feel with someone else – to think it through, to get support and strategies, to just be listened to.
This could be someone from your family or a friend, you might see a counsellor or you can talk to me if you need to focus on pregnancy, birth and parenting based issues.
If you enjoy exercise, you will benefit from making time for it because there’s every chance it will give you a much needed boost. Getting out for a walk can also have the same impact – you just need to make time for it to boost your mood and make you feel healthier.
There’s never a quick fix but identifying what you can do to look after yourself better can be crucial. Parent wellbeing matters because you have to keep it together and you can’t do this if you are running on empty.
Janine Smith, an antenatal & postnatal specialist
Personal Consultations and Workshops
Notes For Parents | Mother Cuppa Podcast