Taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home mom is just as important for yourself, as it is for your family. When you have a kid, your life may seem like it revolves around your child, and on some level, it does, especially during the summer months. Your schedule might be a little more hectic as you’re taking kids from one outdoor activity to another, or you start to go a little bonkers from staying indoors to beat the heat. And as a result, you may forget to take care of yourself.
Here are some tips for taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home parent
Be sure to give yourself 6-8 hours of sleep
Real talk, your sleep is important. It’s recommended that you get between six and eight hours of sleep a night, but as a parent, you’ll be faced with times when you’ll get less. Much less. So what’s the key to getting a good night’s rest? The most important thing (and I swear by this) is you must have a solid bedtime routine.
This routine is more than hopping into bed at the same time every night and pulling up the covers. I’m talking about the steps you take that will send a signal to your body that it’s bedtime. My routine lasts about an hour cause I like to take my time. By the time I”m finished and get into bed I’m asleep in less than ten minutes.
Another way that I make sure I’m well-rested is naps. Let’s face there are times you can get all the sleep in the world and still be tired during the day. I make no bones about my afternoon nap. It makes me feel refreshed. An hour to an hour and a half of sleep is a good way to make me feel like a new woman. So do yourself a favor and take yourself a nap whenever you can. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Make sure to eat and stay hydrated
Your health is just as important as your child’s health. Making sure to eat three meals a day to keep your energy up so you can keep up with your kid(s). It’s really easy to skip a meal when times get hectic, trust me I have and there wasn’t a time where it worked out for me. Missing a meal left me with headaches, not feeling like myself, and just plain ole angry.
I also know during the summer you might not want to cook cause the heat outside and the heat in the kitchen isn’t fun. But Good Housekeeping has 60 quick summer dinner recipes that will have you in and out of the kitchen.
And while you’re in the kitchen, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. It’s summertime and you’re gonna be outside a lot more which means you need to prevent dehydration. How do you know you’re dehydrated? You’ll start to feel any number of things from thirst, headache, dizziness, and tiredness. You’ll also notice that your skin will feel super dry and your urine will be darker. To avoid this you should make sure you’re drinking at least eight or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Do an activity that would be considered good exercise
Exercise can help keep you in shape. If you’re stuck at home, you can do simple things like floor exercises or walk around the neighborhood. This can be especially helpful if you cannot afford a gym membership right now.
But just because you’re exercising at home that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are tons of fitness videos you can follow right in your livingroom like yoga, pilates or even kickboxing. You can even involve your children too which might even lead to a nap afterward – although I can’t make any promises.
As an additional tip, with it being summertime be on the lookout for any local free outdoor classes you can attend. But if you can afford a gym membership check out Classpass. This is my personal favorite as it allows me to attend different fitness classes all over the city. It’s my go-to for everything from candlelight yoga, barre class or a relaxing steam. Oh, and please before you start any workout regiment make sure you have the proper running shoe and don’t forget an SPF moisturizer of 30 or greater while outdoors.
Take a family staycation
Everything isn’t about venturing off to faraway lands. You and your family can have blast together at a nearby hotel. Make lasting memories with a little weekend poolside fun and rediscovering your neighborhood. It’s a great way for everyone to have a little escape without the big-ticket travel price.
Keep your skin clean
During the summer months, it’s imperative that you keep your skin clean. Sweat and dirt will clog your pores and can cause skin irritations or in worse cases infection. So you have to make sure your skin is cleansed and moisturized daily, or even twice a day.
Now the thing to remember with your shower is that you don’t want the water too hot. I love hot showers year-round they soothe my body and make me feel rejuvenated. However, while hot water opens your pores to help you clean your skin but if it’s too hot water it will dry out your skin and can aggravate existing skin issues.
Make it a good mix of hot and cool water. Taking a cool shower also has its benefits like increasing blood circulation and can even promote weight loss as you burn calories as you try to keep warm in the shower.
Plan and delegate tasks to not overwork yourself
Feel frazzled and don’t know what day it is or can’t remember why you have a 9:30a appointment? Then it’s time to get yourself a planner. Mom brain is a serious thing. One minute you can remember your entire shopping list and the next minute you can’t remember where you left your coffee. This is why I suggest getting a planner. You don’t have to go crazy like some planner lovers unless you want to. It’s a fun hobby – but that’s another conversation. But you can get yourself a simple weekly planner to help you keep track of your appointments and other notes.
Now that your day and week is planned out you can start to delegate other things around your home. It’s okay to want to be the super parent, but sometimes, a little help can reduce your stress, and also allow time for family fun. If you’re married or have a partner, get them involved if they aren’t already. Get them involved by bathing the kids or taking them to the park. If you have a child that is old enough assign them some chores.
Remember, the key to running a household and raising children is to never overwork yourself.
Log off the internet
Social media can be addicting. It’s important for you to take breaks from time to time. Log off for a couple of hours, a day, a week, a month. It’ truly up to you. But the point is to reconnect with yourself, your family, those in your inner circle outside of Facebook. Also, while social media can be a fun place for laughs and memes it can also be very toxic, and that can lead you to feel sadness, frustration or even anger. It’s not healthy to have any of that in your life.
Now, what happens if you have a hard time logging off social media? Well, there are plenty of apps that will monitor your social media usage and set timeframes when you can and can’t use it. The apps work as long as you don’t go tinkering with the settings or uninstalling altogether. You have to want to take a step back.
Take up a hobby
Now that you’re spending less time on social media you now have time to take up a new hobby or revisit a hobby you used to indulge in. I would recommend taking up a hobby that you’ve never done before as a way of trying new experiences. You can either take a local class as a way to meet people in your area with the same interests as you or you can watch how-to’s on Youtube in the privacy of your own home.
Take some you time once a week without the kids
You can’t always be cooped up in your house, and you can’t always have your children attached at the hip. Having your partner spend time alone with the kids or getting a babysitter will allow you to have a little bit of time to yourself. Even if it’s just an hour to yourself. As much as you may not think you need the alone time, trust me you do. The benefits of spending time alone will prevent burnout, stress, headaches, and losing patience just to name a few. You need time that is spent on you doing what you enjoying doing.
Spend time with your partner
For those in relationships spending time with your partner is crucial. Yes, I’m all about getting you time in but you also need to consider your partner and make some us time. I know you’ve had a long day of being with the kids and they’ve had a long day at the office. Both of you are tired. But as a couple, making time for one another is important. By fitting in a date night (it doesn’t have to be romantic, although it can be) you’re telling each other that you want to be together and are doing all you can to prevent the relationship from becoming strained over time.