With a fast paced world filled with demanding responsibilities our needs quickly get moved to the bottom of our to do list. When the day goes by and you didn’t take 10 minutes for a shower, it’s time to re-evaluate how you are spending your day! Self care is critical for health, stress management and to have joy in your life to serve the ones you love.
You’ve heard it said before, “If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will.” This is especially true if you are a parent or caregiver. We are constantly looking out for the well-being of others, and in the meantime we forget about our own well-being.
The other day, I was having a conversation with a group of friends about struggles of parenthood today. They were all wonderful empowered women and parents of teenagers. I admired their honesty when they boldly shared that they feel overwhelmed on a daily basis and both physically and emotionally drained by their busy lives.
One of them stated, “I feel guilty feeling so off balance, which makes me feel even worse… I adore my kids; I shouldn’t be feeling so overwhelmed!” The consistent theme including not sleeping well, being easily angered, feeling unaccomplished, arguing with spouses over the small stuff and never having time for themselves.
Being a parent is a big, demanding commitment and being the parent of a teenager brings even more challenges with it regardless of being a stay at home parent or working outside the home.
My boys are in college, but it wasn’t too long ago I was juggling transporting teens to two different sports fields in different ends of Metroplex, getting them up and ready for school, following up on school meetings, managing our family business, taking care of the home or both on top of taking care of my own day to day needs.
It is easy for parents to get lost in the hustle and bustle and then realize that they never do anything for themselves while feeling like others are constantly “taking from them.” It’s easy for parents in this situation to become resentful which is often what results in having marital conflict or a short temper with others.
It is important that a parent in this situation, or those heading for this situation, make some changes which will reduce their overall stress, Here are some examples of things you can do:
Simplify Your Schedule. Review weekly schedule and identify all the standing appointments (carpool, games, meetings, etc.). Then look to see if any can be combined, eliminated, or shared with someone else.
Simplify dinners. Cook enough so that you can have leftovers or prepare and freeze easy – made ahead meals. There is ALWAYS a way to make the dinner process quick and easier.
Learn to say “no”. If your teenager is always asking you to do things at the last minute or putting you on the spot in front of their friends to give them rides, it’s absolutely appropriate for you to tell them “no”.
Make time for yourself a priority. Figure out one thing you can do daily, that is just for you. Whether it is taking an exercise class or any other activity that you find enjoyable like a hot bath, listening to your favorite music or pulling the covers over your head for some quiet time. Schedule it in so that time put aside is truly your time.
Include Daily Physical Activity. You were designed to move daily and you know you feel best when you get your heart pumping, your endorphins escalated, your muscles toned, your joints stretched and your fat burned. Taking 30 – 60 minutes most days of the week to engage in a progressive workout like the one provided at Argyle Adventure is a gift to yourself and everyone you love!
We are only human. Do not feel guilty for setting limits on your time or for scheduling time for yourself. There are only so many hours in the day. Some of those hours belong to YOU. Only by learning how to love ourselves and recognizing our limits can we ultimately be more available and helpful to the ones who depend on you.
What are you doing for yourself each day? Do something today your future self will thank you for. Join us at Argyle Adventure Boot Camp!
Norma Zitterkopf is a Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach and owner of Argyle Adventure Boot Camp, a consultant with Isagenix International. For more information visit www.ArgyleBootCamp.com. Call (214) 729-0001.