Self-Care for Parents & Guardians

Child attempts to meditate with parent

Often described as the most rewarding job, parenting is a one-of-a-kind experience with ups and downs along the way. Parents and guardians put in long hours over the years because parenting is a 24/7 commitment. 

While it feels like there isn't an off-switch, it is important to remember that taking time away from your at-home duties is necessary to sustain your energy. We're sharing a few tips for self-care - even when that sounds impossible!


  1. Find Your Tribe
    Connection is self-regulating - and it is important for you to find a trusted group of friends who understand your unique parenting situation. Whether your tribe contains friends that you've known for a long time, ones that you've recently met through school or children's activities or members of a virtual support group, the key is to find people who understand, listen and support without judgement. Even listening to a podcast related to your parenting situation can provide you with much needed validation and encouragement.
  2. Take Time Off
    Let's face it, it's unlikely that your youthful clients (aka your children) are going to offer you time off from your parenting job. So, it is up to you to make and take time for yourself. This may be the hardest act of self-care, but it is the most important. 

    Time away from your children is good for your entire family. Your children will increase their independence and resiliency while you recharge your batteries.

    If you don't have family members who live nearby or a trusted sitter, there are other options. Look for a Parents' Night Out event at the Y or consider a child swap with another local family - you'll watch their kids for a night if they'll watch yours a different night.
  3. Establish Boundaries - And Stick to Them!
    You have many responsibilities around the home - but being in your home shouldn't mean checking off tasks 24/7. It is perfectly acceptable and necessary to take a break in your home. Doing so requires setting boundaries and sticking to them. 

    Is there a quiet corner where you can go - no phones, no task lists? Or, perhaps it's a time of day that you set aside just for Y-O-U. Boundaries could also be rules that you put in place to eliminate screens at the dinner table or talking about school/work past a certain hour of the day.

    The keys to establishing boundaries are to make sure the limits are specific to your needs and make sure that you stick to them!
  4. Eat for Nourishment
    It's far too easy to stress eat with the pressures of daily life. And this can easily turn into an unhealthy cycle. When we eat poorly, we don't feel our best. 

    Convenience is key for working families. Try prepping meals over the weekends to ensure that you have healthy foods at the ready for weekday meals. You can boil eggs ahead of time, soak overnight oats or chia seeds, pre-chop fresh veggies and more. 

    Of course, the occasional treat is great, too. When you do indulge, be sure to enjoy your treat and not let it send you into a shame spiral.
  5. Don't Forget the Family Fun
    When you are responsible for keeping the family in line, you can get lost in your to-do list and forget to save time for family fun. Be sure to include time for connection each day - family games, family bike ride, drawing contest, telling silly jokes, playing catch outside or just goofing off. 

    Whatever you do, make sure to put your phone out of reach and give your attention to your family. Children have a knack for noticing distracted parents.
  6. Give Yourself Grace
    Raising children can be challenging - and there isn't a guidebook. Always give yourself grace. Enjoy your best moments and cut yourself a break when you wish you could have handled things differently.

    In times when you lose your cool, admit it to your child. Apologizing goes a long way in building a strong relationship and models important social skills. 

Be sure to take care of yourself - so that you can take care of your children. We're always here to lend an ear or connect you with a support system.