Parenting: Taking Time for Yourself – Harvard

How long has it been since you took time for yourself? Many parents are so busy they simply forget to take care of themselves. Even small amounts of time can be effective in slowing down the day, helping you to center and refresh. Parents who preserve as little as 10-15 minutes for themselves are more able to:

  • Maintain energy throughout the day
  • Feel confident and creative when encountering surprises
  • Enjoy the time spent with family
  • Set good examples for kids about self-care and balance

The secret is to start small. Commit to something you know will nourish and energize you. Here are three simple suggestions:

  • Make time. You know how to do this for everything else. Schedule a meeting with yourself if necessary. Find 15-30 minutes at least 5 times a week. Don’t let guilt get in your way.
  • Use your lunch hour. Take a midday break or have lunch with a coworker…or alone.
  • Buy the time. Hire a babysitter, use family, or swap babysitting duties with friends. Remember, raising a family takes a village; so, call on the village from time to time.

Most of us would love to “follow our passions” and “pamper ourselves” every week, but we simply don’t have the time.  Even in small amounts it is important to include activities that give you joy (reading, exercise, favorite hobbies, spa time, etc.). Doing things that are fun and interesting are important for personal renewal.  Do not look upon such activities as frivolous. Instead, view them as necessary activities to care for yourself.
This is easier said than done. If your responsibilities seem overwhelming call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), provided by KGA, anytime at 877-327-HARV (4278) to speak with one of our expert counselors to address your concerns.