Why parents need to keep their mental wellness in check

When you take care of your own needs, it helps create a healthy family environment for you, your partner, and your child.

If you’re a parent, you’ll agree that your child’s health and wellbeing often take preference to your own mental and physical wellness. However, moms and dads need to adopt mental health-boosting strategies to be the best parent they can be. After all, parents are still human beings – and we still deserve to be happy and healthy – just like anyone else!

According to Pampers Parenting Expert, Sister Yolanda Mpilo, “some parents might find the reality of re-adjusting their lives and getting to terms with the responsibility of parenting quite overwhelming”. Here are a few pointers from Sister Yolanda on keeping your balance in check.

Set aside some “me” time

Having a child means most of your time and energy takes on a new direction whilst neglecting your usual daily activities. Parents need to make time for the hobbies or activities that they enjoy. Keeping busy with fun things that are also relaxing helps keep the mind off the heavy responsibility you are always thinking about. It can be as simple as doing crosswords puzzles, planting something in the garden, or listening to your “feel good” music playlist.

Take care of your body

Taking care of yourself physically is one of the most important things you need to take up on a daily basis. It is said to improve mental wellness at a high rate. Eating nutritious meals, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and exercising may decrease anxiety and improve your mood.

Lean on family and friends for support

Spend time with family or friends and make plans. Keeping in contact with people you enjoy being around makes you feel happy, and happiness is good for your mental wellness.

Learn how to deal with stress

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, so it’s essential to practice good coping skills. This will help you deal with the pressure of being a parent. Learning to recognise that you are stressed and that there are tools to help you manage it, will assist you in avoiding being consumed by it. When feeling stressed out, always take a few minutes to yourself. Put your child in a safe place (e.g. cot, or their bedroom) while you try some deep breathing.

Get professional help 

Seeking professional help is often viewed as giving in to your problems or a sign of weakness, but that is not the case. A parent who gets appropriate professional care can recover from their mental and emotional exhaustion so that they are able to be a present and happy parent to their child.

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