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Parent self-care for when time is tight; 5, 30 & 60-minute self-care for tired parents.

Taking care of yourself as a tired parent can soon fall down the priority list!

However, it is fundamental for yourself and your family to keep you functioning as best you can. I am also very aware that time is a commodity that many parents don’t get a lot of! So here are some ways you can take care of yourself as a tried parent in 5 minutes, 30 minutes and 1 hour!

Parent self-care in 5 minutes or less:

Let’s start with the short and sweet! The snappy things you can do in 5 minutes or less to make you feel that little better.

  • Get yourself a drink: cold, hot, it doesn’t matter. I know you are dehydrated! Sit yourself down, snuggle up with your little one and get those liquids into you!

  • Get some air: crack a window or step outside the door, fresh air is excellent brain food.

  • Light a candle or burn some incense: this can feel really therapeutic, and the scents can be really therapeutic (particularly Bergamot orange, Chamomile, Clary sage, Lavender, Lemon, Neroli, Rose, and ylang-ylang.)

  • Repeat a parenting affirmation to yourself.

  • Try to put your phone down: getting into a doom scroll hole is so easy! Set a timer and pop it down! I promise you will feel better for it. Let your mind wander...

  • Do a baby body scan: starting from the top of your baby’s head, scan over their bodies, noticing all the little details from their top to toe!

  • Meditate: guided meditations can be really short and sweet, they can be a great way to reconnect with your mind and body.

  • Cut up a piece of fruit for yourself, If you have a toddler, cut up 2x as much because these little monsters will not let you snack alone! Fruit is full of antioxidants and healthy goodness to boost energy and fuel your body.

  • Create a happy jar. Grab an old jar, and a strip of paper and write 1 thing that has made you happy or grateful today! Pop it in the jar and keep adding each time you need a little boost. Once it's full, you can unpack and read through everything that made you happy in the previous month. You might end up recording some beautiful memories of your child's development!

  • Take a look at the Tired Parent Work Book for easy worksheets to help alleviate some parental stress.

Parent self-care in 30 minutes or less:

Your baby might be down for a nap; you have a small window of time to prioritise some self-care. Here are my tips for parent self-care in 30 minutes or less!

  • Have a call with a friend or relative to catch up and offload a little.

  • Run yourself a bath or have a shower to freshen up.

  • Take a little walk with your baby. just around the block or to the park. Getting some fresh air each day is proven to boost mood and alleviate feelings of tiredness.

  • Call a friend.

  • Enjoy a foot spa.

  • Wash your face and throw on some skincare, too. I don’t know about you, but getting the chance to do a skincare routine makes me feel so much fresher and brighter!

  • Take the chance to chat with your partner. Sit down together without screens and have a catch-up. Talk about your little one’s development or maybe try using the handy parenting energy scale I recommend to parents.

  • Cook a 30-minute meal to fill your tummy with something nourishing. One-pot dishes and soups can be an excellent way to get healthy food in you and your family without too much effort.

  • On the subject of meals, why not meal plan for the week ahead and ask Chat GPT to write your shopping list for and sort the items by aisle based on your local supermarket to take the brain work out of that chore?

  • Do a quick workout or stretch routine to get your body moving

  • Grab a coffee at a local coffee shop.

  • Book a massage or spa treatment for a time that suits you!

  • Journal, craft, meditate, whatever YOUR thing is, go for it! Enjoy this time; it’s for you, after all!

Parent self-care in 1 hour or more!

You have some time! Maybe your little one is being cared for or you have managed to get some time for yourself. Having a bit more time gives you that extra freedom, so let’s embrace it!

  • Put on an episode of your favourite series and binge! Grab some healthy(ish) snacks and enjoy this time without distractions

  • Attend a fitness or yoga class; whatever floats your boat. Movement is great for the body and mind and is also a great way to connect with other adults.

  • Enjoy that spa treatment you booked!

  • Take the kids and head out for lunch & a walk with some friends!

  • Alternatively, just spend some time entirely on your own. Head to your favourite spot; this might be your bed, your parent’s house, or the beach, and just hang out.

  • Put on your favourite music or a podcast.

  • Journal.

  • Enjoy some time curled up reading your book.

  • Take a nap! Why not? I know you're knackered.

As a parent, it can feel a lot like your job is to look after everyone else. But actually, prioritising yourself is not selfish; it’s vital. It is also essential in helping you lower stress levels and manage family sleep and parenting in general.

Consider using some of these meditation, communication, diet and exercise as tools to manage your well-being using the time you have available to you!

Sleep well!

Imogen X The Little Sleep Company


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