Just breathe

Whew! You've made it through the first day (or week) of school! Maybe a few meltdowns along the way, maybe a forgotten lunch, or an unexpected scheduling snafu. While most of our GirlTips focus on things parents can do to support their tweens and teens, the first week of school is a perfect time to remind our parents to give themselves a little self-care time.

Moms and dads can easily put family before their own needs. Working parents juggle careers, stay-at-home parents struggle with being everything to everyone, and all parents get at least a little stressed out when their sweet child enters the tween years! We like to remind our parents, when they forget to take care of themselves, that it's just like on an airplane when you hear the instructions: "Adults, fasten your air mask BEFORE securing your child's." It's hard to be there for the ones we love, and model how we want them to care for themselves, if we don't practice the art of self-care as well.

Think about the reasonable amount of time, money and energy you can invest in yourself each day. Perhaps Monday is a 5-minute day, but Wednesday is a 1-hour day! Plan your self-care time just as you plan your kids' after-school schedules and your work commitments. Set aside this time to read, call a friend, take a class, walk around the block or nap! Self-care time is guilt-free time.

Find ways to incorporate self-care into your daily routine through healthy eating, regular exercise, good sleep and time with your friends and spouse. This time looks different for everyone, and the idea here is that self-care time is not about people-pleasing. It's about recognizing that parents can function better when they take of themselves, and their children will learn by example that it's okay for them to make choices that help them feel good. 

Give yourselves a big pat on the back for making it through another first day of school! And don't forget to breathe...

For more tips on self-care check out these sites: