A great time to begin new habits
As homeschooling parents, we tend to care for everyone else before ourselves. This is not a good habit. It is absolutely important to remember to take care of themselves!
This year, it’s time to put self-care on your to-do list!
Putting your best self forward requires intentional choices even if that means stepping outside your comfort zone. It is necessary to find a balanced life through purposeful choices that feed your body, mind and soul.
Easier said than done, right?
Here are some easy self-care ideas to help you!
Get Your Body Moving
Whether you need to exercise more or just want to shake up your regular routine, choose activities that motivate you to exercise consistently!
Take an outdoor yoga class. Sign up for a 5K race. Hire a personal trainer. Try your hand at Tai Chi. Buy a Pilates DVD to do at home. Have a dance party in the living room – midday – just because. Engage in a game of friendly football with your children.
Move. Move. Move.
Feed Your Body Well
Good food fuels your body. Drink and eat high quality ingredients. According to Sara Hass, RDN, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “It is great for your kids to see you practicing self-care because you’re modeling healthy behavior.”
Go vegetarian once a week. Shop at farmer’s markets for organic produce. Cook something from scratch. Drink water instead of soda. Take a few minutes to plan out your weekly meals.
Each little change you make demonstrates to your children the importance of taking care of yourself.
Don’t let your busy schedule squeeze out time for family and friends. If weekly date nights aren’t going to happen, then try to at least schedule some times to reconnect as adults. Make the first Friday of each month date night. Schedule a once a month coffee date with friends. Invite your neighbors over for a monthly pizza and movie night.
Show your children you can put away technology and connect in real life.
Put Wellness Care on the Calendar
Show your children that by taking care of yourself BEFORE a problem arises is the smarter way to handle health care. Stop neglecting to seek medical attention. Bottom line – schedule annual checkups, appropriate tests, mammograms, skin exams, flu shots and vision screenings. Additionally, don’t forget about visiting the dentist for an annual exam and cleaning.
Pay attention to your body’s signals.
Make Sleep a Priority
Parents often get sucked into the “get-stuff-done-before-the-kids-wake-up” mentality. We know from research studies that chronic lack of sleep has adverse health consequences. People who consistently sleep less than six hours experience increased appetite, increased depression, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, it is best to stay away from food, alcohol, emotionally upsetting conversation and stimulants (caffeine and nicotine) for at least two hours prior to bed.
A regular, relaxing bedtime routine often helps a good night sleep!
Stay Connected to Yourself
As a busy parent, it is easy to lose yourself in the day-to-day routine of family life: car pools, laundry, preparing meals, paying bills, cleaning etc. Before you know it years have gone by and you are a shell of your former self.
The antidote? Pursue hobbies. Journal. Meditate. Read. Go out with friends.
Remember, always put yourself first. If you do not, no one else will!
Eva Goldstein-Meola is not only co-founder of Open Tent Academy, but an instructor as well as a former homeschooling mother. She has lived in New Jersey, Florida, Western Massachusetts, Northern Virginia and now resides just outside of Jerusalem. Eva holds a Master’s Degree as a Consulting Teacher of Reading and Writing, IEW certification and a Bachelor’s Degree as an Elementary Teacher. She has also been involved in education since 1986 as a Private Tutor, Teacher, Reading Specialist, Homeschooling Mother, Homeschooling Teacher and Business Owner of an Online Education Consortium.