Parents who work at a home-based job can find it totally consuming, but they still need time to relax and recharge themselves. Contrary to the inner parent guilt-o-meter, taking time out for self-care is not selfish. Developing a regular pattern of self-care simply gives someone the ability to be a better breadwinner, parent and person, and here are 5 simple ways to start.
Carve Out Your Space
We would all love to have a roomy home office, but many of us have space restrictions. However, it is crucial to carve out a particular spot that you call your own for business purposes. Once you designate your workspace, protect it carefully and let the family know it is off limits for anything else.
Relax in a Quiet House
I am a busy mom who works from home, and the day I started getting up before the sun (and the kids), everything started looking brighter. Now, I often rise early (around 4:00 a.m.) and start my day by reading an inspirational book. Then I write, or work on my computer while leisurely sipping a cup of coffee -- and I drink the whole cup before it even gets cold! I have never considered myself a morning person, but now I would not miss this essential me-time. It does take an earlier bedtime to make this work, but it is 100% worth it.
If you worked at a physical office away from home, you would probably make time for breaks, so feel free to do so at home. Resist the temptation to stay at a desk and check your email or phone as part of this essential break time. Stand up and stretch, go for a quick walk, enjoy a snack or interact with your family for a short period of time until your timer says the break is over.
Everyone agrees that sleep is important, but unless we make getting enough sleep a priority, it probably won’t happen. Sleep can minimize stress and prevent disease, and it renews worn out cells and tissues. Any working parent should take hold of this free and powerful daily benefit, so make regular appointments with your pillow and don’t be late. Hard working parents like you need around 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Moving your body through regular exercise releases happy hormones, relieves stress and promotes better sleep -- and busy parents need all of the above. Exercise can be quick and convenient, with a daily dose of 15-20 minutes, depending on your ability and current health condition. Consider trying a fitness app, a virtual exercise class or a walk around the block.
As a work-at-home parent, take time out for self-care -- without having to leave your house, enter a spa, or join a special club. Add it to your personal radar that regular self-care is a necessity, and choose a few solutions that work for you. Then make self-care a habit... and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.