SELF-CARE FOR PARENTS
Simple Time Saving Tips
Do you ever feel like there's not enough time to get everything done? And that self care for parents comes way behind everything else...
I recall when I was working full-time I seemed to be rushing from when I woke in the morning until when I went to sleep at night.
And although I always hoped that somehow it would get easier, as my babies grew older, they began to have commitments as well. And somehow I had to factor that in too.
And in my working life, as I grew older, I received even greater responsibilities that took even more of my valuable free time.
I felt like all my responsibilities kept getting bigger and bigger while my available time for enjoyment and self care got smaller and smaller... until it almost disappeared.
Some days, when I got to the end of them, I realized there'd been nothing in it for me.
I was in a constant guilt loop feeling that I wasn't exercising enough, or I hadn't spent enough time with the kids, or the house wasn't as tidy as I'd like it to be, or we'd been eating too much takeaway.
And the guilt list went on and on.
So how did I make time for self care for us parents?
1. I started off being more mindful with my time taking notice of what I was spending it on. And I realized I'd become preoccupied with the urgent rather than the important.
I was really surprised just how many 'time stealers' I had in my life.
I found I had been giving my attention to what was demanding or urgent (like the phone ringing) rather than concentrate on what was truly important in my life, (like reading to my kids, cooking healthy meals, exercising or some other parent self care activity.)
And when I really looked at my day I saw many, many opportunities I could create for parent self care and time savers in my life.
4. The other thing I did differently was, unless I was waiting on an important message I would only check social media first thing just before commencing work in the morning, when my time was limited.
I answered emails and texts and after my allocated time I didn't get back to them again until after the children had gone to bed. And I still give myself ten minutes maximum on Facebook/Instagram a day.
And financially I felt like we were chasing our tail too.
We had a huge mortgage, and although we had a fixed double-income most of our money was being used just to keep a roof over our head.
I realized I needed to do come up with some extraordinary ways to create time for self care and 'savers' in my life or I knew I wouldn't be able to sustain it all.
For example: Instead of staying back at work to catch up after everyone had gone home, I left before our lovely cleaner got to my section as she always liked a catch up.
Some days that saved me twenty minutes to an hour that I could use for what I chose instead. For example: Reading to the kids or self care for us parents (Exercising for me and surfing for my husband)
Self Care and the Phone
2. I also began to always let my phone calls go through to voicemail unless I was waiting on a call. Then I got back to callers when it was convenient for me.
It was surprising the caller had often sorted out their problem or later was too busy to chat for long.
If I made phone calls I asked if it was a convenient time to speak.
3. I always specified at the beginning of the call how much of their time I expected to need. e.g. Have you got a couple of minutes? Therefore if the call turned out to be brief I wasn't being rude.
After devising those simple time savers I then began to look at other areas of my life that I could streamline or outsource.
For great ideas to save money and time check out the links below:
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