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Prioritise your well-being: 7 self-care techniques for young parents

Prioritise your well-being: 7 self-care techniques for young parents
World Mental Health Month (October) is a timely reminder to keep your mental and emotional well-being in check, too.
PHOTO: Pexels

You might be a great parent and taking to parenthood very naturally, but are you forgetting yourself in the process?

Self-care is the new wealth. You can’t fill anyone else’s cup if your own cup is empty. To highlight the importance of mental well-being this October (World Mental Health Month) alongside your physical health, here are some practical ways to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of your precious little family better:

1. Taking care of yourself is not selfish

Putting yourself before your children is not selfish. Even flights caution — 'Place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping small children.' That's exactly what a young parent needs to do.

By making yourself healthier and happier, you can be a more attentive parent and look after your family better. How can you do that if you're constantly irritated and running on fumes? Putting your best self forward requires making an intentional choice to put yourself first.

2. Carve out 'ME' time

Unless your child is of school-going age, it might be hard to carve out some quality 'me' time without enlisting the help of your partner, a friend or a family member. But it's ok to ask for help when you need it, so treat yourself and make time for what makes you happy. Remember, you were a person with interests before becoming a parent.

3. Eat healthy

It’s easy to grab a fast junk food meal when you don’t have much time after a long day looking after the kids. But your body needs healthy and nourishing food too to keep it going, just like a car needs petrol. Start by drinking water instead of juices or sugary sodas; eat more fruits and vegetables; and reach for lean meat or fish instead of processed foods.

4. Don't forget date night

Young parents are so busy being parents, they forget that they are partners too and that their relationship also needs attention.

Having regular quality time alone with your partner is very important for your relationship and for getting some much needed time away from the kids. #relationshipgoals

5. Exercise

You’ve heard this one before. Exercise releases endorphins and those feel-good-about-yourself emotions. And ironically, when you work out and feel better about yourself, then you’ll automatically have more energy to look after your family.

6. Don't compromise on your social life

It’s hard to make time for socialising with little kids in tow, but having a regular schedule helps. For instance, a playdate with kids and mommies once a week is a win-win situation, as is having a monthly night out with the guys / girls.

7. Make sleep a priority

Not sleeping enough goes with the territory especially when you are a new parent. But continued chronic lack of sleep of less than six hours can have adverse effects on your health, including eating badly the following day, and the subsequent increased risk of obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

ALSO READ: How do different generations view mental health? We asked a Gen Z, millennial and Gen X

This article was first published in

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