Exercise and Self Care Ideas For Busy Parents

Self care and exercise tips for busy parents

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, but it can also be one of the most demanding. You will have so many responsibilities and tasks to juggle, that finding time for exercise and self-care is a challenging task in itself! However, taking care of yourself is important for your physical and mental well-being, not only for yourself, but for your children as well.

Here is an A-Z guide on some ideas you could start incorporating into your life today. (Or tomorrow, but definitely before next week please).

Ok, next month at the latest! You got things to do, I know, I know.

The A-Z of Exercise and Self-Care for Busy Parents

A - Active Breaks: 

Incorporating short bursts of activity throughout your day will have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being.  You could try doing some jumping jacks or other simple exercises during your child's nap time or while you're waiting for dinner to cook. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it's something that gets your heart rate up and gets you moving.

B - Body Massage:

If you're feeling stressed or tense (And who doesn't?), a professional massage can be a great way to relax and unwind. A trained massage therapist can use a variety of techniques to help release tension in your muscles, improve circulation, and promote overall relaxation.

C - Color In: 

Coloring in an adult coloring book is a personal favorite of mine to relieve stress and anxiety. It allows you to focus on a simple and repetitive task, which can help to calm the mind and reduce feelings of overwhelm. Coloring in also promotes mindfulness, as it requires you to be present in the moment and fully engaged in the activity. 

D - Dance Parties: 

Now, I cannot dance, I seriously have two left feet! But it's a great way to bond with my daughter, just let loose and move your body to the beat, or in my case, move my body any way I can regardless of the beat. It's a great way to let off some steam and have a bit of fun with your children.

E - Exercise Videos: 

One way to get in some quality exercise time is by using online exercise videos or apps that offer workouts you can do at home. The videos are designed to be accessible and easy to follow, so even beginners can get started, and many of these videos and apps will offer personalized workout plans based on your fitness level and goals. Or try a calisthenic core workout.

F - Fitness Trackers: 

By using a fitness tracker, you can set daily or weekly goals for yourself and track your progress towards achieving them. This will help you stay motivated and accountable for your fitness routine. Some fitness trackers come with features such as sleep tracking and reminders to move throughout the day, which will help you improve your overall health and wellbeing.

G - Go For a Walk

Going for a walk is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. It will help clear your mind and reduce your stress. Walking can also be a social activity if you go with friends or family and enjoy the scenery. So, put on some comfortable shoes and go for a walk today! (Or next month....)

H - Happy Playlist:

Music has the power to affect your mood and emotions. If are feeling down or stressed, listen to some upbeat songs. It can stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. Music can also distract you from negative thoughts and feelings, allowing you to focus on something more positive and uplifting to help improve your mood.

I - Invite A Friend Over For a Cozy Night In:

Spending a night in with a friend can be the perfect way to unwind and forget about everything else. Take the time to really connect with your friend and enjoy each other's company. 

J - Journaling: 

By taking the time to write down your thoughts and emotions each day, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your experiences. It can also be a therapeutic practice that helps you process difficult emotions, such as anxiety, stress, or grief. 

It can provide a safe space for you to express yourself without fear of judgment or criticism. It can also help you track your progress and growth over time, as you reflect on past entries and see how far you've come. Have a read of my how journaling helps your wellbeing article or how to start a 5 minute journal.

K - Keep A Positive Mindset: 

One way to adopt a positive mindset in your life is to practice gratitude. This involves taking time each day to reflect on the things you are thankful for, no matter how small they may seem. Practicing gratitude has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing stress and improving sleep quality. Read how to use positive thinking in your life.

L - Laughing: 

Try and find ways to incorporate laughter into your daily routine whether it's watching a funny movie or TV show, a funny book or some stand up comedy clips on Youtube. It will help you relax and forget about your worries for a while.

M - Mini Vacations: 

Take a break from your daily routine to maintain a healthy work-life balance. One way you can do this is by planning mini getaways or day trips to explore new places.  You could visit a nearby town, go hiking in a nearby park, or take a day trip to the beach. The goal is to get out of your usual environment and experience something new.

N - Notice and appreciate:

It is very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your daily routine. Joy can be found in the simplest of things, and by acknowledging these moments, you can find more happiness in your day-to-day life.

O - One Minute Breaks: 

One minute breaks are a great way to recharge and refocus. Taking just one minute to step away from your work or task can help clear your mind and reduce stress. This could be something as simple as taking some deep breaths and practising breathing exercises. Even though it is just one minute, it can have a very positive impact.

P - Plank Challenge: 

Holding a plank is an excellent exercise for building your core strength and stability. Begin by holding a plank for 30 seconds each day and gradually increase your time by 5-10 seconds. You can also challenge yourself by adding variations to the plank over time. Or try 5 minimalist fitness challenges?

Q - Quit negative habits: 

Negative habits or behaviors can include things like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, negative self-talk, procrastination, and more. Once you have identified any negative habits or behaviors you may have, make a plan to quit them. This is easier said then done of course, but making a start is a positive step.

R - Reward Yourself: 

When you accomplish a goal or complete a task, acknowledge your hard work and give yourself a treat. By rewarding yourself, you are reinforcing positive behavior and creating a sense of accomplishment. It can also help to boost your self-esteem and keep you motivated to continue working towards your goals.

S - Spa Day: 

Treat yourself to a spa day or just create your own spa-like experience at home. Take a long bath, use scented candles, play soothing music, and pamper yourself with facemasks, body scrubs, or a massage.

T - Time Management: 

Planning your days in advance will ensure that you have enough time for your exercise and self-care and help you stay focused and motivated. This may involve making a list of tasks or activities that need to be completed each day, and then allocating time for exercise and self-care accordingly.

U - Use Affirmations: 

Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself in order to change your mindset and beliefs. They can be used to boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. By repeating affirmations regularly, you can reprogram your subconscious mind to focus on the positive aspects of your life and let go of negative thoughts and beliefs.

V - Validate Your Feelings:

Acknowledge and validate your feelings and emotions, rather than dismissing them or pushing them aside. Your emotions are valid and deserve to be acknowledged and understood. By recognizing and accepting your feelings, you  will better understand yourself and your needs.

W - Water Intake: 

Dehydration can lead to a range of negative effects for you, including fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and even more serious health issues like kidney damage. To ensure proper hydration, you should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. It is also worth nothing that other beverages like tea, coffee, and soda do not provide the same level of hydration as water and may even have dehydrating effects. So no, they don't count.

X- X-Factor: 

You have unique talents and strengths that make you special and valuable. Yes, you reading this. Take the time to reflect on what you are good at and what brings you joy. This can be done through self-reflection, seeking feedback from others, or trying new activities. Once you have identified your talents and strengths, find ways to express them in your daily life. 

Y - You Time: 

Everyone needs to set aside some dedicated time each day for yourself, this can ensure that you are taking care of your mental and emotional well-being. This time can be used to do something that brings you joy and helps you recharge.

Z - Zzz's: 

Not enough sleep each night has a significant impact on your physical and mental well-being. Sleep is essential for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself, and lack of sleep can lead to a range of health problems. To ensure a good night's sleep, try and establish a regular sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine.

Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish but necessary for being the best parent you can be. Incorporate some of these exercise and self-care tips into your routine to feel more energized as a busy parent. (And we have agreed you need to do it within the next month).

Be sure to check out some products that will help you unwind and de-stress as well!