Entrepreneurs whose second or third or thousandth job is being a parent know that self-care is an integral part of being a good parent. Being a good parent means we raise great kids who will go on to make amazingly valuable contributions to society. They might become president or even doctors and we have their little lives captive until their eighteenth. We all know how important it is that the parent be present, happy, and connected to our kids.
But how do you accomplish that and still keep your sanity? You work a twelve to sixteen-hour day because you’re juggling getting the kids to school, then managing plays, guitar lessons, football and soccer practice, and making nutritious meals. Then there is the whole listening to their day thing.
Here are some five-minute self-care practices that make you a better parent and probably a better entrepreneur too.
Take a Walk
That’s right. Take a 5-minute walk. It probably might only take you down the block and back, but it’s power is phenomenal and it will clear your head. Inside those walks you can life stack and listen to your favorite podcast.
We forget that podcasts and most online video or audio apps have a pause button. That means you can take five minutes to walk and listen, then pause it and when you’re stressed or overwhelmed you’ll be excited to take that five minutes to catch up on your podcast. We have this idea that once we start listening we are required to finish it in that session. If this were true, there would be no pause button. So take advantage of that joyful anticipation, get out there and walk, then hit pause.
Five minutes of stretching could bring fun into your household or your office. If you work from home, you can involve your kids for some much-needed face time with you while you easily stretch your bodies together.
This little five minute routine can be done multiple times a day and helps us focus, plus moves our bodies. There are even apps and short videos on YouTube that will guide you through the process. Try different ones to see what works best for you.
Take five minutes to make yourself a protein rich, low calorie snack. Our brains need this little jump in nutrition and using five minutes to grab some nuts, make a protein shake, or even a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread (sans the jelly) will help our bodies to be present because it’s not using all its resources to keep us from going over the edge.
Yes, you need to schedule time to breathe. There are many breathing techniques that only take five minutes or less to accomplish and this is key to making sure your brain gets enough oxygen to think logically and process that your toddler just tipped over the cat litter box and used his little plastic rake to spread it all over the living room floor to make a beach.
You can google breathing exercises and find the perfect one for you, just make sure it’s one you’re willing to do on a regular basis. You can even invite your kids to join you and make it a game. As adults, we don’t laugh enough or play enough, so find ways to make breathing fun.
The new Apple watch and some Fit Bit models have apps that will even remind you to breathe from time to time, and will help you with techniques. Use your technology for more than just work, and you body and your kids will thank you.
Laugh, a lot
Speaking of laughing, adults don’t laugh nearly enough and laughing brings your hormones into play and helps relieve your stress. Find funny videos online, have a five-minute tickle fest with your kids, watch your favorite comedian, just laugh. Find the funny in something then let loose with five minutes of belly laughs.
You’ll be amazed at how these few five-minute techniques will help you as a parent. And if you’re an entrepreneur, life stacking helps, so find ways to reduce your workload, too. You can find places to take the load off you while you laugh, snack, breathe, or stretch with your kids. Companies like Square Ship who help you market your business while you’re doing the fun stuff are an important part of the process too.
Just remember that five minutes doesn’t seem like much, but in truth, it’s enough time to do many things that will make you a better parent. These are just a few of them and are important self-care methods that will not only make you a better parent, but a better person. And we all want our kids to say, “My parent is the best. They laughed with me today!”