When Homeschooling a child or a number of children, it’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick. Learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and take a time-out when you need it are touchstones of self-care and can help you stay healthy, happy, and resilient.
Why Do Homeschooling parents often fail at self-care?
Practicing self-care isn’t always easy. Most of us are crazy busy, and organising the Homeschooling day, to make time for ourselves. Me-time is usually last on the agenda. Worse, we can sometimes feel guilty about taking the time required to take care of ourselves. So getting started with self-care can be challenging. Here are some tips that you can use to get started with your self-care.
Here are 11 ways to get started with your Homeschool Parenting self-care.
1. Make sleep part of your self-care routine
Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough can even cause major health issues. But stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep.
What do you do to make sleep part of a self-care routine? Start by thinking about your nightly routine. Are you eating or drinking immediately before bed? If so, it’s especially important to stay away from caffeine and sugar, which tend to keep you awake.
Reducing stress is also key. If you have Homeschooling stress, think about the best ways to eliminate it by asking a Euka support team member for ideas. Jumping onto the Euka group and ask other parents can also be helpful. Knowing you are part of a committed caring group of parents all facing the same challenges, can be comforting.
Next, make sure your bedroom is the best possible place for you to get good REM sleep. It should be free of distractions (such as a television, laptop, cell phone, etc.). And make sure you have room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from waking you up too early in the mornings.
2. Exercise daily as part of your self-care routine
We all know exercise is good for us, but do we really know how good it is? Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety, not to mention helping you shed extra weight.
Of course, it might be hard to go to the gym every day, so try to incorporate other exercises, such as walking, tennis, or yoga, which may be able to fit into your schedule more easily. Even better, join in with your child’s PE program. You will find many grade levels have rotational exercise cards that you incorporate into your own workout. Adding a daily walk, run or bike ride to your Homeschool routine will benefit everyone in the family. The most important thing is to create a routine that works for you.
3. Eat right for self-care
The food we eat has the potential to either keep us healthy or contribute to weight gain or diseases such as diabetes, but it can also keep our minds working and alert. Eating the right foods can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have long-term effects on the brain and, in turn, the rest of the body. Some of the most amazing self-care foods include fatty fish, blueberries, nuts, green leafy veggies, and brassicas, like broccoli. If the kids see you making a special effort, they will be more inclined to join in. Add some healthy group cooking activities to your weekly plan, or join the weekly Euka cooking Club, with the kids.
4. Say no to others, and say yes to your self-care
Learning to say no is really hard; many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. Often people think that if you are at home you are doing nothing. In fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. Saying yes to loved ones or friends can lead to burnout, anxiety, and irritability. It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more self-confident, and you’ll have more time for your self-care.
5. Take a self-care trip
Taking a self-care trip can make a huge difference in your life. Even if you’re not feeling particularly stressed, getting away for a weekend every now and then can help you disconnect, relax, and be rejuvenated. These self-care trips don’t have to be costly; simply drive to the next town over and see the sights, or go walking nearby. The goal is to veer away from your normal schedule and take the time to do something just for yourself. Now, a word of caution, this is time for you… not an excursion for the whole family. Even an afternoon walk alone is a wonderful way to refresh the brain.
6. Take a self-care break by getting outside
Spending time outside can help you reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, and live in the moment. Studies have even shown that getting outside can help reduce fatigue, making it a great way to overcome symptoms of depression or burnout. Getting outside can also help you sleep better at night, especially if you do some physical activity, like gardening, hiking, or walking while you are outside.
7. Let a pet help you with your self-care
Pets can bring a boost to our lives. From giving unconditional love to providing companionship, pets can be hugely beneficial for our self-care. Dogs especially can help reduce stress and feelings of anxiety and can even lower blood pressure.
8. Take care of yourself by getting organised
Getting organised is often the first step to becoming a healthier you because it allows you to figure out exactly what you need to do to take better care of yourself. A small change, like keeping a planner or a calendar on the fridge, can help you write down all your responsibilities and appointments, while at the same time keeping your life a bit more organised. You can also create an area to keep keys, purses, backpacks, briefcases, and coats, and make sure they’re ready to go for the next day’s excursion.
9. Cook at home to care for yourself
Many people don’t take the time to make themselves meals, preferring instead to stop for fast food or popping a pre-made meal in the microwave, but these “fast” meals aren’t usually sufficient when it comes to feeding your body the right kinds of calories and nutrients. Consider making a weekly healthy meal for yourself or your whole family. This will be a great way of getting the kids on board to plan, and cook the meals together.
10. Read a book on self-care for self-care
In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to turn to our phones for entertainment or comfort, scrolling through news feeds that can contribute to our stress and worries rather than helping it. Instead, consider bringing a self-help book with you when you leave the house. Even better, bring books on self-care so that you can learn more about how to take care of yourself while you are taking care of yourself. You might be amazed at the difference it can make when you slow down instead of always looking at your phone. Not only can it help improve your mood, but it can also help you to stay more present and mindful.
11. Schedule your self-care time, and guard that time with everything you have
It can be hard for us all to find extra time. But it’s extremely important to plan regular self-care time. Moments alone can help you to ponder the best ways to move forward in your life and keep you grounded and moments with friends can help you feel more connected and relaxed.
Whether you decide you want to go for a long walk, take a hot bath, or enjoy a good movie with friends, taking self-care time is imperative for Homeschool parents. Look for small ways you can incorporate it into everyday life; for example, you might wake up 15 minutes earlier to sit with a cup of tea and practice deep breathing before the chaos of the day begins, or you might take a walk around the block on your lunch break. The more you can work self-care time into your schedule, the better you’ll be able to grow, enjoy your Homeschooling life, and thrive.