Find time just for yourself
To be a good parent and a good employee you need to take care of yourself first!
Do you remember what is being said when you’re on the airplane and the flight attendant gives safety instructions?
“In the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure …, secure your own mask first before helping others.”
When you are a parent you tend to put your family needs first and forget about yourself. Remember though that if you are lacking in energy and sleep or if you are going to get sick – both your family and work will suffer. It’s vitally important to regularly plan some time just for yourself.
This has to be done on the 2 basic levels:
Basic human needs
Take good care of your basic human needs, such as: sleep, nutrition, exercise, rest. If you neglect your physical needs, the effects are very quickly noticeable.
If you are lacking sleep, you will have difficulties to focus or you will feel easily irritated with the children or your colleagues. Bad nutrition can also impact your mood and ability to focus.
If you are a new parent, we know that it’s extremely difficult to ensure proper sleep, so let us share 2 strategies that worked for us.
- The first strategy is about planning some days when you just go to bed together with your children even if your house is a mess and you have a pile of unfinished work tasks.
- Second strategy is about getting an agreement with your partner that for instance on Saturdays they will take care of children in the morning and you will sleep until 9 or 10 while on Sunday you change roles.
Higher level needs that ensure your well-being
Caring about your own well-being is equally important. Plan some time to regularly do things you enjoy, such as reading, working out, meeting friends, caring about relationships with others, going for a concert or to the theater, etc.
Not immediately, but in the longer run if you stop doing the things that you enjoy and taking care of your close relationships, you may experience burn-out, feel less joy, have little energy and motivation. On the other hand, if you do take time to do these things, you will have more energy for all aspects of your life. We’ve experienced that ourselves many times. Doing things we enjoy, such as cycling, meeting friends and listening to a good music makes us come back home full of positive energy, with more patience for my children and better ideas for the job.
Finding the purpose in life is also a great source of life energy. Do things for causes and things that you believe in.
Time for reflection
To conclude we encourage you to think about the following 2 questions:
- What need of yours have you recently neglected?
- What are you going to do to make up for it?