Check out these ways to find more health and happiness today, and every day.
It’s almost National Parents Day Off, a time for parents like you to take some well-deserved me-time. To celebrate you and help you relax, we pulled together some tips to fit in that all-important self care (even if you can’t take a full day off). Take a look below!
What’s self care?
Let’s start with what it isn’t. It’s not indulgent or selfish. It’s taking well-deserved time to enjoy yourself and recharge. Self care promotes health, happiness and lasting well-being so you can thrive amid the challenges of daily life and be (and feel!) your best. Even though extra time can be hard to come by, moments to reset and get more joy out of your day ARE obtainable. Here’s how:
1. Treat yourself.
We’re not talking about TV binges and shopping sprees (although admittedly those can be fun). We’re suggesting those little treats that promote good feelings that last beyond the moment and leave you feeling refreshed all day. Make a little time for the little things: It could be a smoothie or a trip to your favorite froyo spot. Take yourself out for lunch or soak in the tub listening to some relaxing tunes or give yourself a hand or foot massage with some essential oils. Simple pleasures go a long way.
2. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness—being present and in the moment—helps cut into the chaos and create that sense of peace that we all need (and crave). Take this day to make a point of finding that moment. Whether it’s meditation or deep breathing, even a few minutes help. There are also lots of free apps to facilitate creating this mindful, calming space for yourself, like Smiling Mind and UCLA Mindful.
3. Embrace mini-moments.
Research shows that even microbursts of me-time can make life feel less overwhelming. So take five minutes to indulge in activities that bring you joy. It could be getting a little further along in an uplifting book, practicing an instrument, getting some zen with an adult coloring book, doing a crossword puzzle, or anything else that fills you with a sense of peace and happiness.
Happiness Lab podcast host Dr. Laurie Santos calls this “time confetti” and teaches this method of finding ways to use the small tidbits of time throughout the day for self care in her Yale course: The Science of Well-Being. Tip: You can take this course for free on Coursera!
4. Fit in some exercise.
It’s no secret that exercise is a huge mood booster—even a 15 minute walk can help relieve anxiety and stress, and offer a welcome break from the demands of work and kids. According to this post on verywellmind.com, “…after exercise, people reported a better mood with decreases in tension, depression and anger.” So get moving! You could go for a quick jog outside to clear your head, sneak in some aerobics or even try yoga right from your living room.
Ever heard the phrase that laughter is the best medicine? Science agrees. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing relieves stress, enhances mood and satisfaction and has a host of health benefits, from stimulating vital organ function to improving our immune systems. So find some time to chuckle today. Check out this post from Daringtolivefully.com for more on the benefits of laughing and ideas for bringing more laughter into your life.
We hope these tips help bring more rest, relaxation and joy to your daily routine, and wish you a happy National Parents Day Off! For more ideas on how to cultivate more happiness in your life all year around, check out this webinar hosted by Dr. Santos during our March Spring Into Happiness event.
Celebrate with us!
Join us on 9/14, along with Chrissy Tiegen, and share a pic on your social feed showing us that you’re a parent—no matter how silly or messy—for a chance to win a prize that’ll give you that extra time you want and need.
Tag #NationalParentsDayOff and @epic4kids.