Who takes care of the Parent?
Taking care of children is a tedious task. Parents work extremely hard to provide the needs of their children. They focus so much on the well-being of their children, thereby often ignoring their own health care needs. Parents need to create a balance between providing for their children and having enough time for themselves. Self-care is not selfish! Your ability to take care of your responsibilities as a parent is dependent on your physical and psychological health. Not taking enough time for yourself can lead to parental stress or burn out.
Here are a few tips to help caregivers live a healthy lifestyle amidst the difficulty of taking care of their children:
#Tip 1: Exercise
Find ways to include some physical activity into your daily routine.
- Park as far away from the office as you can to force yourself to walk for several minutes to get to the office and several minutes on the way home
- Walk to lunch if you can.
- Try and take a walk at home with your family in the calm hours of the day
- Take stairs instead of elevators and escalators
- Do chores around your house; wash your car yourself instead of taking it to the car wash.
- Play active games with your children
# Tip 2: Eat Healthy
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
- Limit processed foods
- Eat foods rich in fiber
- Limit your intake of red meat
- Your food should be low in sugar, fat and salt
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Drink lots of water
#Tip 3: Have time for yourself
It is OK to have some time for yourself. Do not feel guilty to have some alone time. Taking some time for yourself will help you to reconnect and recharge.
- Schedule some adults-only time, whether it is alone or with a friend or partner.
- Find a hobby and take a little time each week to enjoy it.
- Take some time off to rest
#TIP 4: Regular Health Checkup
Make regular visits to the doctor to keep check on things like blood pressure, cholesterol, weight.
Other periodic examinations could include your teeth and eyes
- Mothers are recommended to have regular pap smears and breast checks while fathers might consider prostate cancer screening.
It is important for parents to integrate these strategies into their routine. If you are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety or you think you may be depressed, talk to your physician. You may benefit from a referral to a mental health professional.
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