Parents will always put their children first. In fact, they are usually the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think about at night. This is one of the great joys of being a parent, especially as you get to watch them grow into adulthood.
However, in order to be able to take care of your children and provide for them, you also need to take good care of yourself. Too often, parents neglect their own needs and wants, in order to put their child first, especially if they are dealing with any issues relating to mental health.
Therefore, you must address any issues you are facing, for you to be able to heal and support your children. With that in mind, here are some tips on handling your mental health as a parent.
1: Understand that nobody is perfect.
As a parent, you’ll often compare yourself to other parents around you. You may find yourself constantly questioning your abilities, or asking questions such as:
- Are they doing a better job than me?
- How do they seem so organised?
- How do they have everything together?
- Am I doing enough for my child?
- How do they find the time to do all of that?
However, remember you don’t spend every moment of every day with these parents. They have bad days too. We all do. You are only human. So long as you are trying your best, you don’t need to worry. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be a ‘perfect’ parent – they don’t exist. If you make a mistake, it is fine that you acknowledge it, but treat it as a learning experience, not something you hold onto. Mistakes and accidents happen every day!
2: Have ‘child-free’ hours.
Sometimes, in order to take care of your mental health, you need to have some time alone, especially if you begin to feel lost. Remember – needing some alone time does not make you a bad parent. Everybody needs their own space from time to time.
Whether this means dropping your child off at nursery or letting a relative take care of them for a while – try to have a few hours a week when you can focus entirely on yourself and your needs. Though tempting, don’t use this time for life admin such as cleaning or food shopping, instead, use it to pamper and spoil yourself. Take a long, hot bath with plenty of bubbles. Have a glass (or two) of wine. Go for a walk, listen to your favourite music and explore nature. Transform your garden. Do some retail therapy. Return to an old hobby you had left behind. Do whatever you need to do to help yourself feel like you again.
3: Speak to someone
If you are struggling, do not be afraid to reach out for support. Whether you talk to your partner, a neighbour or even a therapist – letting someone know you are feeling down is a great step towards recovery. You’d be surprised about how much better you feel after opening up. Though they might not understand exactly how you are feeling, they will be able to offer advice and support that can move you towards recovery. Furthemore, sometimes just knowing that someone is there for you can make a huge difference in how you are feeling. Remember, you are never as alone as your mind makes you think you are. You are loved, and your loved ones will always be there for you.
There are also plenty of resources online offering advice and supports for parents who are battling anxiety and depression. For example, did you know that CBD oil can improve your wellbeing? It can help alleviate the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, alongside giving your skin some much-needed TLC!
4: Get enough sleep.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your mental health could suffer – especially if you have a busy day ahead of you. Your productivity will decrease, and you’ll find that everything takes that much longer to do. Small tasks, such as washing the dishes, will feel impossible. Therefore, you must try and get as much sleep as possible. If you struggle to unwind after a busy day, CBD oil could be the answer. Alternatively, you can meditate or listen to an audiobook or podcast as you are falling asleep. This will allow you to unwind slowly. You should also avoid drinking caffeinated drinks in the evening, as this will leave your brain more alert.