5 Ways Parents Can Practice Self Care in the Winter

This is a guest blog post by Hydaway ambassador, mother of middle schoolers, and founder of parenting blog Tech Savvy Mama, Leticia Barr. Follow her on Instagram @techsavvymama.

As the days get colder and the amount of sunlight decreases dramatically, it’s easy to slip into the winter doldrums, especially when you’re busy taking care of a family. Cold, gray winter days have the power to make us want to hibernate. It’s ok to indulge our nesting instincts, but also good to recognize when your mood starts to affect you and your family. As parents, we’re always busy taking care of others, but this winter, here are 5 easy things you can do to make a conscious effort to help bring back much needed light and laughter.

Carve Out Time for Yourself

As a parent, this is one of the most difficult things to do, but it’s one of the most necessary. Last week, I came across an article in the Washington Post called Why self-care is an important part of parenting, and how to make time for it by Lindsey Roberts. Roberts called “parents the generals of their household” in charge of our troops at home, aka children. She acknowledged that being on and at the ready for our kids can cause burnout and why the moments we know we should treasure, sometimes seem like chores. Her advice included saying no, starting a new hobby, or requesting alone time in the house.

What you can do:

  • Go for a walk or exercise to trigger much needed endorphins, natural feel-good chemicals that lift our mood and promote overall well-being
  • Do something you love after the kids are in bed
  • Indulge in a massage, mani/pedi, or your favorite spa treatment
  • Go to bed a little earlier and wake up before everyone else in your house to savor the quiet
  • Take your lunch break to get out of the office and do something for you
  • Call the babysitter to make plans for that overdue date night

Maintain IRL Connections

In the winter, our connections with fellow parents tend to diminish when we’re not sitting on the sidelines watching our kids play sports, since we’re not outside as much as we are during the warm weather months. Text messaging and our social networks are great for keeping in touch, but nothing beats catching up face to face time. Taking time to get together with a friend in real life will help you feel connected again.

What you can do:

  • That friend you’ve been meaning to get together with? Make plans now! Chances are they’d love to get together for lunch, coffee, or even on the weekend while your kids are playing together.
  • The mom you’re missing who is your constant companion when you’re cheering on the sidelines? Chances are she misses you as much as you miss her! Make a time to catch up beyond the sidelines.

Unplug

I love the interactions I have with friends on Facebook and seeing what others are up to via their Instagram feeds, but sometimes it can be too much. News feeds and pretty photos don’t always help your mood when the rabbit hole of news tends to be void of positivity or someone’s Instagram feed makes you feel like your life isn’t so great.

What you can do:

  • Be mindful about your time with screens and how social media may be affecting you
  • Limit your time on social media and make a conscious effort to unplug more, if even for an hour at a time
  • Resolve to put down your phone, get off the computer, and turn off the TV at a certain time so you can take a break from what the world is throwing at you
  • Model the kinds of behavior you expect from your kids so you can all unplug and regain family time

Escape with Laughter

When the weight of the world gets to be too much, it’s ok to escape by binging on movies or shows that will get you laughing. Like exercise, laughter is known to trigger the release of endorphins, decrease stress, and increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Laughter can really be  the best medicine to help lift your mood!

What you can do:

  • Break out your favorite board or video game for a family game night
  • Host a game night and invite other families over – chances are you’ll love the chance to connect in person while enjoying some fun
  • Stream a favorite comedy movie or show

Stay Hydrated

Even though it’s colder, it’s just as important to stay hydrated. Cold weather and dry air tend to extract moisture from your body, making your skin dry, dull, and itchy. Staying hydrated helps maintain your body moisture and prevents dryness to help skin stay vibrant and healthy.

What you can do:

  • Tuck a reusable Hydaway bottle in your purse or bag so you can stay hydrated throughout the day. The vibrant colors in the Hydaway line also provide a nice pick me up during the cold, gray winter months.

 

As parents, we always put everyone’s needs before our own, but since there are times where we get ourselves into a weird headspace, take a step back and do something for you. After all, you deserve it – and by doing so, you’re making sure you can be the best parent you can be for your kids!

 

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