The holiday season is full of so much—fun, celebration, joy, and connection—but at the same time, it can also be a source of anxiety and the unexpected stressors that come up in all the planning and coordinating this time of year involves.
While we support self-care as an all-year-round practice, there’s never a better time to begin paying attention to your needs and start committing to taking care of yourself than right now. Of course, self-care is a key part of this, but it’s also important to acknowledge that when we add curiosity and self-healing to the mix, we can improve our emotional state and show up stronger, better, and more authentically for all those we love.
But we understand: During this season of giving, it’s not only hard to make time for yourself, but there can be a little (or a lot!) of guilt for any time you spend not taking care of others. It’s for that reason exactly that we rounded up our top three reasons why self-care isn’t just a gift to yourself, but to all of those around you—friends, family, and your little ones included.
- Parents’ Mental Health Can Impact Children’s Emotional Well-Being
It’s important to realize that caregivers’ and children’s mental health and emotions are connected. When we incorporate healthy practices and give ourselves the time to do activities that feel supportive, it’s easier for us to show up as our best selves. We’re more patient and playful with our children if we’re making sure to pour into ourselves. Even if we aren’t losing our tempers, children are wired to pick up on our emotional states and will often react to our internal stressors without knowing why. When we’re calm, children feel it and benefit from it. They can better regulate their emotions when we do the work to regulate our own.
2. Spending Less Time on Your Phone Helps You Be More Emotionally Present
While social media can be an amazing resource for connection and community, we also know, of course, that too much time spent on any platform can negatively impact our mental and emotional well-being. Scrolling through the highlight reels not only of friends, family, and acquaintances, but of strangers and celebrities as well can take us out of a state of gratitude and lead to the downward spiral of comparing our lives to others.
What’s more, when we spend our time mindlessly glued to our phones, we use up precious minutes and hours that could instead be dedicated to doing the things we truly enjoy. Creating the space for a little unplugging can help you find more time in your busy schedule to tune into your child and have the all-important quality time that helps them see that they are valued and loved.
3. Prioritizing Yourself Can Inspire Healthy Habits in Children
Whether you’re dreaming up a weekend away or want just an hour to dive into your new book, take this as our invitation to make that happen. Working some time into your day for anything that feels resetting, energizing, or inspiring is a great way to ensure you’re consistently connecting with your interests. If a daily date with yourself sounds impossible, don’t worry, we get it. Start by trying to commit to a once-a-week cadence. Meeting up with a friend or engaging in a hobby that you enjoy simply for the pleasure of doing it is a great way to help your child develop meaningful relationships and interests.
Our little ones will see us modeling ways of taking care of ourselves. We feel better and our children have an example of how they can best take care of themselves as they grow. We’d call that a win-win.
How to Kickstart Your Self-Care Practices This Season
At Slumberkins, it’s our mission to ensure that all children, caregivers, and family have what they need to take care of their emotional well-being. While presents and toys are fun gifts to give and celebrate, we invite everyone to remember that during these holiday months and all throughout the year, the true gift is the relationship we have with ourselves and our children.
And whether it’s by trying out any of the suggestions above, practicing one of our free meditations, or doing anything else that feels rejuvenating for you, we hope that you can find the time to take care of yourself in the midst of this busy season. Your child will feel the benefits of your self-care practices now and well into the future.