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How To Take Care Of Your Health As A Busy Parent

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As a parent, a world of responsibilities sit on your shoulders – and while your child will always be your priority, you are also responsible for your health and well-being. After all, failing to take care of yourself could impact your ability to parent effectively or be there for your child. As such, it's crucial that you do not let your own needs fall to the very bottom of your to-do lists, never to be addressed. With that in mind, here are some practical ways to take care of your health as a busy parent.  Let's look at How To Take Care Of Your Health As A Busy Parent.

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Get more sleep. 

Sleep deprivation is common among new parents, which means you aren’t alone if you find that you’re more tired now than you ever have been before. However, it’s important that you find a way to rectify this sooner rather than later due to the far-ranging impacts a lack of sleep can have on your health.  

For example, a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your immune system, as “studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus.”

Believe it or not, it is possible to feel well-rested as a parent. For example, one way in which you can achieve this goal is by having a consistent sleeping schedule. Going to bed at the same time each night means your body gets used to this pattern, and you’ll automatically begin to ‘wind down’ as you follow each step of your routine. Alternatively, if you are looking after a newborn, you can try the trick of sleeping when they are sleeping, which means you may get to enjoy a nap or two during the day. 

Take care of your vision. 

There are many different aspects of your health that you must pay attention to, some more obvious than others. For example, a recent study has found that “approximately 5 million people have never had an eye test,” despite the fact that vision loss can be a major problem – especially as you get older.

As a result, it’s important that you make a real effort to care for your visual health. For example, you should know the different indicators or signs you need glasses, such as headaches, blurred vision, and more. You should also ensure you get your eyes tested annually, as specialists will be able to pick up on the warning signs of vision issues as soon as they present themselves. 

Develop an exercise routine. 

Regular exercise is a great way to care for your physical and mental health as a parent (or at any stage in your life). As a result, now is the perfect time to develop a workout regimen that works for you and fits into your busy schedule. For example, you don’t have to sweat it out for hours at a time at the gym in order to get positive results from your exercise – as little as fifteen minutes of exercise a day can make a real difference.

If you’re looking for a way to develop healthy habits as a family, you may want to find exercises or fitness activities that you can participate in together, such as hiking, jogging, and more. 

Have some time to yourself. 

Yoga

While you may be more than happy to spend as much time as possible with your children, it's important that you do not forget the importance of having some alone time either. After all, this allows you to ensure your needs are not neglected and can also help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and more. For example, “alone time “helps restore a sense of identity for the parents, which is good since many parents feel like they're just “Mom” or “Dad.”

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to give yourself a break as a busy mom, such as enjoying a warm bath or shower or meeting up with your friends. 

Take care of your mental health. 

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so it's important that you make a real effort to care for your mental wellbeing. Doing so will also help you to nurture your child's mental health, as you are setting a great example for them to follow as they grow older.

You can take care of your mental wellbeing in a variety of different ways. For example, sometimes it's as simple as talking about how you are feeling, instead of letting your thoughts consume you. Whether you open up to a friend or a professional, having someone listen to you can be incredibly transformative, even if they don’t offer up solutions right away. 

Follow a healthy diet. 

Following a healthy diet is again instrumental in managing your health, which means it's time to start thinking seriously about healthy eating. One viable option is to get delivery of grocery staples that are good for you. For example, you should ensure that your diet is packed with fruit and vegetables, so that you’re getting all of the nutrients your body needs to thrive. You should also cut back on some of the more harmful foods and ingredients, without restricting yourself completely.

Remember, following a healthy diet and dieting are not the same thing – as the latter encourages you to be overly restrictive. A healthy lifestyle, conversely, encourages balance in all areas of your diet. You may also consider utilizing resources like HSA/FSA eligible health foods online to make purchasing nutritious items more affordable and convenient, while still allowing yourself to enjoy the occasional treat. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can cultivate long-term habits that promote overall well-being.

Quit smoking. 

Smoking is a difficult habit to abandon, but the health benefits make it worth your efforts. For example, just two weeks after you put down your last cigarette, “your breathing and walking will be easier because of your improved circulation and oxygen levels in your blood.” Fortunately, there are plenty of support services you can rely on as you reduce your dependence on nicotine, but you should also not shy away from reaching out to your friends and family for help, especially if they are ex-smokers.

Another benefit associated with quitting smoking is the fact that you’ll have a LOT more money in your bank account – which is always a blessing. Having more money set aside each month can also reduce stress and anxiety, especially if you feel as though you are living paycheck to paycheck.

Spend time outdoors. 

Spending more time outdoors is another excellent way to take care of your health, especially when it comes to your mental well-being. This is because fresh air and natural light are scientifically-proven mood boosters, meaning our exposure to them can lighten our mood significantly, even when we feel overwhelmed. 

Furthermore, encouraging yourself to get out and spend more time in green spaces (such as national parks) also helps with your overall fitness levels and can be a great way to spend more quality time with your children. As such, you should try to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

If you feel as though you’ve all been stuck inside for too long, why not eat dinner in the garden?

Pick up a hobby. 

Hobbies are more than just a way to kill a few hours of time here and there – and they can be a great way to promote mental wellness. There are various reasons for this. Firstly, they allow you to work towards new goals, and you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you develop a skill or tick a goal off your list. They also help you to make friends with others, something which 45% of adults admit they find it hard to do.

Finally, hobbies provide us with an excellent outlet for stress and other negative emotions which otherwise may consume our thoughts and mind. As a result, it's important that you make time in your schedule for a new hobby, or return to one you left behind. 

Don’t skip your annual checkups. 

Annual checkups with your doctors are one of the most effective ways to keep your health in check. This is because they can help address any concerns you are facing before they manifest into something troublesome, and may be able to pick up on symptoms you may have missed yourself.

As a result, do not forget to schedule your routine appointments – even if you feel fine. This can give you great peace of mind, while also ensuring that you get the care and support you need, when you need it. On a similar note, you should also keep up with dental appointments, even if the idea of going to the dentist makes you feel a little queasy. 

Final Thoughts.

In conclusion, there are many ways in which you can begin to take care of your health as a busy parent, which in turn, will improve your ability to show up for your kids. 

This is because you will be better rested and have more energy, which means you’re able to deal with any of the challenges that life throws your way – from missing homework to toddler tantrums.

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