The Tired Parents Guide to Self-Care
Indulge in some much-needed solo time with these relaxing ideas.
Now that you’re not only the parent, but also your child’s school teacher, activity director, and coach, taking time to unwind has never been more important. It might be hard to dedicate an entire hour to an elaborate self-care routine, but squeezing in just 10 to 30 minutes for yourself will leave you feeling refreshed and in a better mindset to care for your family.
Carving out a dedicated spot in your daily schedule for self-care is also pure gold for mental health on tough days—it serves as a silver lining when things get hectic; giving you something to look forward to. To ensure that you honor your new break, coordinate a time for your spouse to take the kids on a walk or entertain them at home so you can enjoy some truly uninterrupted peace and quiet. Then, swap so they can do the same. If you’re a single parent, schedule time before your kids wake up or after they go to bed, or instill a daily “quiet time” for everyone so you can get a break.
Use the simple ideas below to spark a new routine, and remember, it’s good to take a step back and focus on taking care of yourself.
Try Something New
Exposing yourself to something different can spark creativity.
- Take an online Ivy League course for free.
- Learn how to make a new cocktail, and sip it slowly.
- Buy a magazine you wouldn’t usually pick.
- Bake and cook a new recipe alone.
- Learn how to do a new hairstyle.
- Find a blog you’d like to read.
- Follow an uplifting Instagram account—feeling connected to other people is especially important right now.
- Sign up for a positive email newsletter, like The Daily Good.
Spend Time Outdoors
Nature is an instant mood booster.
- Take a walk and listen to a new podcast.
- Lay outside in the sun and enjoy a refreshing drink.
- Sit on your porch or in your backyard and watch the sunset.
- Plant something.
- Set up a picnic in your backyard and enjoy the fresh air.
- Go for a drive alone, play your favorite music, and roll your windows down.
- Stretch in the park or in your backyard.
- Do a mini workout at home—even if it’s just 15 minutes.
You deserve some pampering.
- Take a long, hot shower.
- Apply a face mask and read a magazine or book in bed.
- Shop online for just yourself.
- Ask your kids to make you and your spouse a simple dinner for the night—you’ll get a night off!
- Give yourself an at-home manicure or pedicure.
- Order a fancy latte and a pastry from a local coffee shop.
- Draw yourself a luxe bath—and leave your phone in another room.
- Order fresh flowers from your favorite florist.
- Set up an at-home wine tasting with your spouse.
Connect With Friends
Catch up with the people you love for an immediate refresh.
- Schedule themed Zoom parties with your pals.
- Organize a book swap with your friends—pick a few books you’ve all been wanting to read and switch them with each other when you’re done.
- Start a virtual book club with your friends.
- Facetime a friend and do a virtual workout together.
- Pretend you have somewhere to go and call a friend or family member while you’re in your car.
Nothing says self-care better than a comfy, tidy space.
- Indulge in the practice of nesting by ordering a few things that will make your bedroom feel extra cozy.
- Watch an episode of your favorite TV show while wearing your comfiest pajamas.
- Light some candles while you wind down before bed each night (don’t forget to blow them out!)
- Reorganize a drawer in your room or rearrange your furniture.
- Buy new bed sheets that are extra soft.
- Deep clean your bedroom before taking a shower and crawling into bed.
Keep your eyes on all things good that are bound to come.
- Start a vision board on Pinterest.
- Write out a budget and savings plan.
- Plan a dream vacation for the future.
- Make a list of goals—both big and small—that you want to accomplish in the next year.
- Draw your ideal house remodel, even if you’re not planning to do one.
- Write down your to-dos for the upcoming week so you feel organized and on track.