Parental Wellbeing: Looking after yourself during the Summer Holidays
It’s hard work being a parent, especially during the summer holidays. Make sure you schedule some me-time too!
One of the toughest jobs in the world: being a parent.
One of the toughest times to be a parent: the six-weeks Summer holidays!
As Mum or Dad, parenting is a rewarding yet demanding role that requires immense dedication and energy. With the 2023 summer holidays approaching, it's crucial for parents to prioritise your own wellbeing amidst the busyness of family life, work and other adult responsibilities.
Taking care of yourself not only benefits your own mental and physical health but also enhances your ability to be present and engaged with your children. In this blog, we will offer some helpful guidelines for mindfulness and explore valuable strategies to help parents nurture wellbeing during the summer holiday, allowing you to thrive in both your role as a parent and as an individual person, too.
Self-Care to Prevent Parental Burnout
“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Just be a real one.” Sue Atkins
Parenting is a role that requires high physical, emotional, and mental energy. It’s important parents are on top of their game in the Summer holidays, for the wellbeing of the family, and of Mum and Dad as individuals.
Self-care is not a luxury; it is a fundamental need that allows parents to recharge, replenish their energy, and maintain overall well-being. It involves nurturing your physical, emotional, and mental health.
Parents naturally want to put their children first, but that can sometimes mean accidentally neglecting their needs and wellbeing in the process. This can lead to overwhelm, exhaustion, and parental burnout. This is when daily life becomes more stressful and focused on external tasks rather than internal self-care. According to WebMD, approximately 2/3rds of parents experience burn out.
Parental burnout manifests differently for everyone. Parents may find themselves constantly putting others' needs before their own, experiencing difficulty in setting boundaries, and feeling a lack of personal fulfilment. This can be even tougher during the long, hot days of the Summer holidays, with no school to offer a much-needed break. We can’t always be the strong one 24/7 - it’s okay to ask for help, unlike Luisa in Encanto.
This is why it is important to put on your own oxygen mask first, metaphorically. Especially when the warm weather and lack of school can make the six-weeks Summer feel hectic and limit your me-time. Taking care of yourself relaxes your body, resets your mind, and re-energises you, to in turn better care for and enjoy time with your family. It is essential to listen to these signals from your mind and body, as they indicate that you need to prioritise self-care and seek support.
Wellbeing ideas for Parents
Here is where mindfulness comes in. What is mindfulness? Mindfulness involves lots of wellbeing examples as part of self-care, to reset, relax, and reinvigorate your mind, body, and energy.
We’ve put together a list of mindfulness examples as part of wellbeing and resilience training for parents, to help you put you first (so you can put them first, too).
1. Make Time For Activities
Engage in activities that bring you joy - whether it's exercising, practising gratitude or meditation, journaling, crafting, or indulging in hobbies. By dedicating time for self-care, you will experience increased energy levels, reduced stress, and a greater capacity to meet the demands of parenting.
2. Set Boundaries and Delegate Responsibilities
Parents often feel the pressure to be constantly available and meet every demand. However, setting boundaries is crucial for preserving your own time and energy. Communication is key - it takes a village, after all! Communicate your needs with your partner, extended family, or friends and delegate responsibilities when possible. By sharing the load, you create opportunities for self-care and personal time, allowing you to be more present and attentive when you are with your children.
3. Nurture Your Own Interests and Personal Growth
It is important to remember that you are more than just a parent - you are a person! Continue to nurture your own interests and personal growth. Pursue interests and personal growth projects that fulfil you and ignite your passion. Whether it's taking up a new hobby, attending a health and wellbeing course online or free mental health workshops, or investing time in your career. Be active, purposeful, and mindful in carving out this time. By fostering your own personal development, you not only enhance your sense of fulfilment but also serve as a positive role model for your children.
4. Prioritise Quality Family Time
While it is crucial to make time for yourself, it's equally important to prioritise quality family time. Create traditions, plan outings, and engage in activities that promote bonding and connection. Balancing personal time and family commitments allows you to maintain a healthy equilibrium that benefits both you and your children, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Go to Local Activities and Events
Venturing outside and engaging in local activities and events can have a profound impact on overall wellbeing. Stepping into the community allows parents to break away from the daily routine and immerse themselves in new experiences. These are good for your physical health as well as mental health and wellbeing training.
For some wellbeing workshop ideas that are perfect for parents in Leeds, here are a few options we have selected, yet there are lots of activities and local business events:
A community of small business owners and parents in Leeds (yes, it is possible!), that has both family-friendly and parent-only events, to be social, get creative, and reclaim your me-time.
An organisation that brings together communities of fathers for social interaction, activities, and support.
The Den Leeds
Reclaim your little ‘pockets of time’ through this family club, which offers a range of activities, drop-off playrooms, and moments for parents to have time together as children play. They also have a weekly creche available!
An event for socialising with other parents as to meet new people and enjoy adult conversation as part of a ‘non-mumsy’ mums club.
A vibrant 3 month festival in Leeds that will transform your local parks, village halls, high streets, and shopping centres, through 33 events across the city of Leeds, and most of them are free!
Check out these events and schemes or see if your local area has anything to offer!
Get in Touch
As the Summer holidays approach, remember that nurturing your own wellbeing is an integral part of effective parenting. Embrace self-care as a powerful tool for recharging and maintaining balance. Set boundaries, delegate responsibilities, and prioritise personal growth to ensure a fulfilling and well-rounded life.
By investing in your own well-being as a parent, you create a positive ripple effect on your family dynamics, fostering a happier and healthier environment for everyone involved.
For more guidance and information, get in touch with us at: email@example.com.