This post forms part of the A-Z of Self-Care for Busy Parents series. If you missed the introductory post you can read it here.
How often do you do something simply because it makes you happy? Not because it makes the kids, or anyone else, happy. Not because its something you should do. Simply because it makes you happy. Once a month? Once a week? How about every day?
So often our days are filled with endless tasks that all revolve around other people and by the time we eventually sit down at the end of the day we may slump in front of the tv for an hour then its off to bed before it all begins again. Now, if you’re sitting down to watch something that makes you happy, such as your favourite show, then that’s fine, but how often do you find yourself just flicking through the channels and picking any old rubbish? Or not really focusing on what’s on because you’re also on social media?
If you want to take better care of you, it makes sense to start by consciously doing more things that make you happy.
Start by making a list of all the things you can think of that make you happy, both big and small. Try to be as specific as possible. You are looking for tangible things rather than ideals. Think having a bath, reading a book, going for a walk etc, not ‘hearing my children’s laughter’.
Now go through your list and separate them into groups by the time they take. For example, reading a book could be fit in whenever you have ten minutes, a visit to your favourite restaurant would take more time and forward planning.
Starting with the bigger things that take more time, look at the month ahead and try to arrange a date and time to do at least one thing from the list. For things that take a medium amount of time, such as a walk out somewhere, a family day out, a takeaway and movie night with your other half, coffee with friends etc, arrange to do one thing each week. For all the things that can be done in less time, try to fit in one each day. Read Get Creative for some more ideas.
By doing more of the things that make us happy we will feel calmer and more relaxed. This in turn will have an impact on the way we handle everyday situations and the way we interact with others. Not only that, happiness rubs off on those around us too.
Need more tips for self-care? Don’t want to miss the rest of the series? Enter your details in the box below to receive it in your inbox every week. And remember to bookmark the introductory post (here), the links to each new post will be added on to there as they are published.