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Taking Care of You The Parent
Parenting is a full time commitment, ensuring that kids needs are met can take a massive toll on energy levels. No matter if you are a working or a stay at home parent, the days are long, the stress can be relentless and the days can just roll into each other.
Adolescence do not work to a timetable- they are not always able to recognise a good or bad time to off load or disclose their worries at an appropriate time. It is vitally important from a physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing that parents can learn to take care of themselves. It is not mean or selfish to say ‘I need some me time’.
If parents feel well, the whole family benefit. Parents work hard to ensure that the wheels in the family home keep rolling. This is especially true if the teenager has a special need or is going through a particular difficult time.
Taking time out refreshes the mind, revitalises the batteries, and allows energy to flow. In fact with regards to maintaining a good mental health and reducing anxiety, it is a MUST!
*Listening to music feeds the soul and mind. Music has an effect on the autonomic system. Blood pressure may be lower, breathing regulated, and music can have a physiological effect on the mind.
*Touch the inner child in you, play, have fun, play with the kids or partner. Play bat and ball use the skipping ropes it does not matter, just have fun! Reconnecting with the inner child is good on so many levels. If your adolescence sees you having fun, they can connect with you in a fun way. You may choose to have fun away from the kids that is OK just go and play!
*Walk the dog. Ok even if you do not have a pet, a walk will awaken the mind. You will feel freshen, stir the spirit and move your body. Whatever the season some time outside, alone, will enable you to gather your thoughts. Even twenty minutes can give enough time to feel revitalised.
*A bubble bath soaking away the aches and pains of the day will feel good for the soul. Light a favourite candle, place a do not disturb sign on the door. Use the best quality bubble bath or oils you can afford and soak. A warm nest of soft, fluffy towels waiting to wrap around yourself when stepping out of the bath will feel wonderful.
*Stop feeling guilty. Parents/caregivers do the best they can with the tools they have. So learn to Self-sooth. Mentally learn to let go of guilt, shame, or any other negative framework, which inhibits the mind.
*Eat well- good food feeds the body. Plan meals to include food to boost energy levels, revitalise the taste buds by trying new foods. You may wish to eat some meals away from the kids and eat with partner or invite friends around. Dress the table with the best crockery, use good quality napkins enjoy the experience.
*Take up an interest or hobby. Even though you decided to take the path of becoming a parent does not mean you gave up on being you. The very fact you have teenage kids in the house means you have been a parent for a few years. Finding a new interest, will kick start the mind into taking on new ideas.
*Take time out with the partner or spouse. If you can arrange date nights, brilliant, just spending time as couple will help you reconnect. You will be together as a couple long after your adolescent children have left home. Remember you have adult needs whatever your status.
There are many ways to let go of being a parent for a short time. Everyone will feel the benefit. If your teenagers see you happy, enjoying life, spending time with friends you will show teenagers you are a well-rounded person. They will be able to recognise that you are a person in your own right. You will not take anything away from your family; on the contrary, you are giving your well being priority which is where it should be!
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