Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It's all-consuming, wonderful, and stressful all at once. However, if you're not taking good care of yourself, chances are you're not able to give your best to those who depend on you the most.

Enter self-care. While it's different for everyone, the underlying goal is the same. Unfortunately, prioritizing self-care can be hard to do as a parent. You might not even realize you're disregarding your needs. The best part is that self-care doesn't have to be all spa appointments and weekend retreats. You can practice it often, with the intention being your overall wellness. 

Here are three ways self-care is essential for better parenting. 


  1. Because Exercise and Movement Balances You Out

If there's one thing that you can expect as a parent, it's that the days are busy. If you're not taking care of yourself properly, the chances of the day overwhelming you are good. One of the best ways to help balance yourself out is to make sure you're getting enough exercise each day. 

It's important to remember that you don't need to spend hours at the gym to reap the mental and physical benefits of exercise. Whether it's a streamed workout in the morning, a brisk walk or jog, or popping into a group fitness class, movement is essential for feeling your best. When you feel your best, you'll be able to show up for your kids as the best version of yourself.

Movement is essential for your overall wellness because it helps to increase endorphins while balancing and reducing cortisol, the stress hormone. You might find that certain types of exercises agree better with your body than others, so it's important to pay attention to what feels best and focus on that. 

Don't forget to fuel your body appropriately before and after your workouts. Snacking on a banana with peanut butter before exercising is a great way to give yourself a boost of sustainable energy. Don't forget about a glycogen supplement as a part of your post-workout routine as well. 


  1. Because Proper Nutrition Gives Your Body What It Needs

While you might consider your diet as just an essential part of living, it should be thought of as more than that. What you eat has the power to nourish, heal, and fuel your body. However, it can also have the power to do exactly the opposite if you're not informed and intentional with your choices.

Focusing on whole food nutrition and reducing or eliminating the amount of processed and refined foods you consume will go a long way in your health and wellness journey. Most importantly, many foods have the power to nourish your body's systems, such as your adrenals — which are responsible for more than you might realize. 


  1. Because Meditative Practices Can Change Your Outlook

One of the most difficult things about parenting is finding (and making) the time to be alone. Alone time is something everybody needs. It's essential to reduce stress and re-align your focus while being able to check in with yourself as a whole.

As a parent, being able to identify the signs you need this alone time is essential. You also need to learn to not feel guilty for taking it. 

Whether you choose to journal, curl up with a book, go for a long walk, do yoga, or practice meditative breathing, you'll find your mind and body will benefit from this reset. Try making it a regular part of your routine, as this might help prevent getting to the point of parental burnout. 


Final Thoughts

Self-care is a huge must for parents everywhere. What's great about it is that it doesn't have to be anything complicated, just intentional. Where will you start?