How to Prioritize ME and my mental health and emotional wellbeing?

As parents, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of raising a family, and we can forget to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, we even feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed. Although it is normal and okay to have these feelings, it is important to take care of them so they do not spoil over into your relationships with your children or co-parent. When we prioritize our mental health and take care of ourselves, handling challenges is a bit easier. Here are some ways to prioritize YOU:

1) Get Outside

Whether going outside means just stepping outside for a moment to breathe or going for a long walk, spending time outside triggers our brains to produce chemicals that result in feelings of calmness, joy, creativity, and may even increase your concentration.  Research shows that spending time in the sun each day has a positive effect on decreasing depression. Remember to stop and smell the roses!


To learn more about opportunities to get outside in San Diego, click here:

2) At Home Spa Day

Take time to care for yourself! What does this look like? For some, they like taking a longer shower or putting on some lotion. For others, they like applying a face mask, lighting some candles, and sinking into a nice warm bath. Be creative by getting some bath salts, fill the tub and give yourself a pedicure. A little extra nurturing goes a long way!   


Need some direction? This YouTube video provides you a luxurious DIY home pamper routine on a budget:

3) Connect with Others

Sometimes as parents, we can feel isolated in our community, in our feelings, in our hardships. By reaching out and connecting with others, we create a support system to lean on in both moments of difficulty and moments of happiness. If you are struggling, the good news is, so are others. Find places to connect. Join a Facebook group related to your hobby, talk with other parents at your kids’ school, ask a friend out to coffee or go to an exercise class or join a team sport for adults. When you connect with others, you will feel better about yourself, so get off the couch and do something different!


Here are some local San Diego Groups and Parents:

4) Therapy

After a hard day, we are able to recenter ourselves knowing that tomorrow will probably be an easier day. During hard times, anxiety, depression, or feeling overwhelmed can come from the lack of certainty that tomorrow will be easier. During these harder times, therapy can help provide an outlet for us to unpack and let go. Not all therapists are a good fit. Sometimes it takes meeting 3 or 4 therapists until you find the right one. But, once you do, there is a lot of personal power in finding someone to help you manage your feelings and whatever else is interfering in your happiness.  


Don’t know where to start? Here is one:

5) Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques are ways that each of us can come back to the present during difficult times. The practice of doing this ranges widely from person to person. For some, grounding techniques are reconnecting to where your body is by lying on the ground, squeezing playdough, or pressing your toes into the floor. For others, they might be paying attention to different senses of your body by lighting a candle, making a cup of tea, putting on calming music, or wearing a comfy sweatshirt. You can find the right technique for you by speaking with a therapist or by doing your own research. Calming mediations are good too.


For more grounding techniques, click here:

 With Mother’s Day just passed and Father’s Day around the corner. Make a commitment to yourself to take extra care of yourself and, if you are struggling, especially your mental health. Remember, feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed from time to time as a parent is completely normal. During these times, it is important to re-center yourself, and actively and intentionally create moments of positivity. Remember, you can’t control what your kids, co-parent, family members, or anyone else does, but you control what you think and feel and how you respond to others. Your kids are watching your every move so make good moves to prioritize yourself, including your mental and emotional well-being.