Our July Blog, like our June Blog, focuses on mental health. This month however, we want to focus on the mental health of YOU. As parents, we spend a lot of our time trying to make sure our children are happy. We spend less time concentrating on our own happiness, yet this is so important. Take a few minutes to do a Mental Health Check on yourself by answering the following questions:
- Do I make time for myself every day?
- Do I wake up in the morning and think a positive thought?
- Do I go to bed thinking about what has gone well during the day?
- Do I think about myself in a positive way?
- Do I talk about myself in a positive way?
- Do other people around me hear me being positive?
If you answer yes to all of these questions then please get in touch, we need you on our team!
If, like most of us, you answer no to one or more of the questions, you are not alone. Life with children is very busy, but there are ways to find time for yourself and be kind to yourself without having to get up any earlier or go to bed any later.
Studies show that the human brain has roughly 50,000 thoughts every day! A healthy mindset starts with you trying to make as many of these thoughts positive!
10 Top Tips for Parents and Carers who want to be kinder to themselves:
1. Start every day by thinking of one thing that you can achieve by the end of the day which will show your love for everyone in your household, even if it is as simple as giving them all a hug.
2. Make sure your first words to everyone you see are positive ones. Smiles are infectious and positive words can mean a lot to someone who is having a tough day.
3. Eat breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it get your metabolism moving, but it also means you avoid getting ‘hangry’ before lunchtime.
4. Do not fight what you cannot change. We spend so much time and energy worrying about things that we cannot change. Focus on the present moment. Don’t worry about what happened yesterday. Don’t worry about what might happen tomorrow. Concentrate on the here and now.
5. Mindful Breathing - this works brilliantly with children, but it is also great for adults too. The technology giants, Apple, agree with us and are keen to promote Mindful Breathing too, as anyone with an Apple watch knows when a reminder to Breathe pops up. As soon as you feel yourself getting tense or worrying about something, take a deep breath in through your nose and then exhale slowly. This slows your heart rate and releases tension in your body.
6. Give yourself credit for the little wins - If you managed to get showered, dressed and eat breakfast - that’s a win! If you get your children to school on time - that’s a win! If you tick off anything on your To-Do list - that’s a win!
7. Take at least 5 minutes for yourself that doesn’t involve a screen - listen to music, read a book, take a walk, do something that you enjoy.
8. The Rule of Three - always list three things that have gone well during the day. Do this as a family, so that your children get into this habit too.
9. Talk. Find time every week to talk to someone that you haven’t seen that week. This could be over the phone, a video call or meeting someone for a walk. Share your positives for the week, share the tough moments, show other people that you care. You never know what battles other people are fighting and hearing your voice could be the one thing that brightens their day.
10. Don’t be afraid of asking for help. Below is a list of websites and contacts that provide support.
Magic 4 Children’s Recommended Websites for supporting adult Mental Health:
The following websites have a wealth of information about mental health. As we said last month, admitting that you need extra support is not a sign of weakness or defeat. It takes a strong person to realise that what they’ve tried already is not working and to look for alternatives.
We write a new blog each month and would love to include information and guidance that helps you the most. So, if you have any requests or want advice or additional support for you or your child/children, please send us an email to email@example.com, and we’ll do our best to help.
We’ll leave you with this interesting quote for the day:
"If you were friends with someone who speaks to you the same way you speak to yourself, how long would you be friends with that person for?"
The Magic 4 Children Team