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  • Writer's pictureJustin McLennan

Invest in Yourself | Self-Care

But it's you I like The way you are right now, The way down deep inside you

Mr. Rogers was on to something. Something that seems to be catching on right now and something that we at Living with SHAPE strive to help each of our “achievers” find. Kindness and love for themselves. Mr. Rogers made it a point to start every show off by telling each child that he sees them and that he likes them for just the way they are…a compelling message for anyone to hear.

We see you, and we hear you, and we love you for all that you are…and while we may be able to give this to our children…are we able to do this for ourselves as parents? Parenting is hard. That’s just a fact. If you’re not cleaning up the tornado style rice storm that came through the door, you’re either playing tiptoe with a moody teenager or just trying to savor the last piece of chocolate you had saved as your own parental “reward.” Self-care is so important as a parent, but it can also be extremely rare. That being said, if you can add it into your day, it not only changes the energy you have as a parent, but it also helps you model taking care of yourself to your children.

Self-care doesn’t have to require money or even that much time. Sometimes we’ve found that for parents just setting a scheduled time in your calendar for “me time” makes all that much of the difference. If you haven’t done any self-care time in a while…start off slow. Parenting is a marathon…definitely, not a sprint. And the same goes with adding in a different event into your routine. Schedule a 10 minute period in your week that is just for you. And just watch the anticipation you get as your own time gets closer.

During those 10 minutes shut out the world. Do you! Fill that time with something that you absolutely enjoy and don’t feel guilty about it at all. If you’re prone to mom/dad guilt, then start slow. Just a few minutes at a time….self-care can take practice. Mom/Dad guilt is real, so just appreciate that you’re trying this new thing called “me time.” Meditation can be a fantastic avenue to explore during your time, but hey…even watching reality TV can bring you a well-deserved break. Exercise and even socializing with a friend are also amazing outlets for us parents. But ultimately this time is for you to see yourself from your child’s eyes. You are enough. To them, it’s you they like. They love you just the way you are, right now…they love you for what’s really down deep inside you. Show them you love yourself as much as you love them. And if that’s not enough, the investment you’re putting in yourself is an investment in your own child’s mental and physical health.

A more balanced parent = a more balanced child.

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