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5 Ways to Look After Yourself as a Parent This Winter

In the past, we’ve talked about how important it is to look after yourself when you’re a parent. After all, how can you effectively give it your all when you’re not even feeling it yourself?

January can be a fun time of year with many winter activities that can’t be enjoyed any other time of year, but the short, dull days and long, dark nights have been shown to have an effect on many. This is why “Blue Monday” is a thing, a name given to the third Monday of the month since it was calculated to be the gloomiest day of the year.

As 2019 rolls around, make it a resolution of yours to look after yourself (and not feel guilty about it!) with these tips.

Make Time for Yourself

Christmas and New Years Eve/Day are often associated with visiting family and friends. This can be a joyful time – but let’s face it, after everyone leaves, it can be a big sigh of relief! Sure, it may be sad to see everyone go at first, and I am not implying otherwise, but entertaining can be exhausting. It can be overwhelming for a lot of people, whether you’re having people over, visiting family, or even just at home with super excited kids.

In January, remember to make time for you. This may mean taking time to go get a manicure, deciding to meet up with a friend for a coffee or meal out (not a play date!), or even something as simple as going to bed a bit early to snuggle up with a book you’ve been wanting to read. Whatever you do, make sure it’s your choice and something you’d find enjoyable. And don’t feel guilty about it!

Get Some Vitamin D

Vitamin D is something we get from the sun, and it contributes to our mood levels. Therefore, not much sun means not much vitamin D. This is where SAD (seasonal affective disorder) because we’re not getting as much sunshine and vitamin D that we need in the winter than we do other times of the year. The cold days don’t always make it desirable to go out even when the sun is shining too, so lots of time is spent indoors. These winter blues can be helped with extra vitamin D or even with a specialized sun lamp which is used for a few minutes a day, directing light onto the face to help generate that essential vitamin. We can often get what we need from a healthy diet, however if you feel like you need a little extra help during these gloomy days, then talk to your pharmacist or even doctor.

Most importantly, know that it’s okay not to be okay. SAD is incredibly common, and you’re not alone.

Exercise More

Whether you decided to indulge or not over the Christmas period, exercise is still a good habit to get into for the new year. For me, I always feel in a bit of a slump after Christmas, and regular exercise definitely helps pull me out of that. Exercise releases endorphins, which make us happy! Yes, it will help us get in shape too, but whether or not you want to exercise for weight loss or to tone up is completely up to you. Just a walk around the park with the kids (or without if you want some of that quite “you” time), will get those endorphins going.

If you’re stuck inside this winter, find a fun fitness video or even just put on some of your favorite tunes and walk in place or do an exercise routine at home.

Eat a Balanced Diet

I know this one has been said time and time again, but I am not talking about for weight loss here. A balanced diet will give you all the nutrients your body (and mind) needs to be able to ward off all of those nasty winter cold and flu bugs that like to appear and spread. A colorful plate is a great way of getting a variety of vitamins and minerals that help the immune system. You shouldn’t need any supplements if you’re having well-rounded meals, however if you do need a little extra help, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what’s best.

Get Organized

If your house looks anything like mine after Christmas, it looks like there has been a little tornado through it. Toys and gifts are everywhere, and despite how much I try to prep for it, I always end up with a lot of clutter. This can seem overwhelming so get the kids involved in putting away their new presents whilst you do the same. This may mean a bit of re-organizing or even getting rid of items you no longer use to make way for the new, but you will feel much better for it as cluttered spaces contribute to feeling stressed.

What ways do you like to look after yourself? Do you enjoy a bit of yoga, or always have a super healthy smoothie that gives you a boost for the day? We’d love to hear how parents cope this time of year when things seem so gloomy and cold outside! Talk to us over on Twitter or Facebook and let us know.

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