Explore the benefits of focusing on your own happiness.
Life is busy —with families to raise, jobs to work and dishes to wash—we often forget to make time for ourselves. Yet, not taking time for ourselves can undermine our efforts to be the best we can be.
“It is important to find things you can do that can help you de-stress. If that means finding time to go for a walk, getting up an hour before everyone else in the house to have some alone time or engaging in a hobby for a few hours a week, then you should try to do that. When a woman is happy, it often sets the tone for the rest of the household,” says Erin Boyd-Soisson, associate professor of human development at Messiah College.
Improve Your Relationships
A marriage, or a loving relationship between adults, exhibits what a happy and beneficial relationship is. If you are in a partnership, take care of it by spending time with the one you love and remaining interested in the dreams and ambitions of your partner. Putting children before a marriage can cause cracks in a relationship.
How can you shine the spotlight back on adult relationships? Start small. Little things, daily showing of affection from notes to texts can bring big advantages. Build up to finding a day, or a weekend, to spend with your spouse sans children. If it is too much to plan a weekend away make sure to connect at home, even if it means a monthly night of staying up after the kids are in bed to talk about interests beyond parenting. The bottom line is romantic relationships need tending to. Strengthening adult relationships is essential. So, with love and kindness, care for your relationship, whether you are married or have a significant other.
If you are single, invest time to cultivate a circle of encouraging friends. Friends help us laugh, relax and are a great resource to discuss future plans with. These bonds also demonstrate what supportive, trusting adult relationships can look like.
Be a Happy Human
If you are burned out, you’ll be unable to contribute energy and happiness to your family.
“It is hard to help others fulfill their needs when we aren’t fulfilling our own. It does nobody any good,” continues Boyd-Soisson.
Remember, you are modeling what it means to be an adult. Being an adult is more than being a parent. Take time to pursue your own interests, exercise your body and challenge your mental capabilities. Enjoy being active with friends, hobbies and using vocabulary words that are long, intelligent and inspirational. It’s sound simple, but take care of yourself. Eat well; get your eight hours of sleep a night to allow yourself to be rested and ready to enjoy each day.
Action Plan 1: Is there a class you’ve always wanted to take? A project you’d like to start? Allow yourself the opportunity to pursue your own dreams. Do it for yourself. You deserve it.
Action Plan 2: Create a date night with your spouse or plan a day out with a group of friends. Check out the latest movie or grab a snack at the new trendy bistro. Establish hobbies or interests with others and then pursue it together; go running with a friend or challenge your spouse to a game of Scrabble.
Action Plan 3: Establish a safe and trustworthy support system. If you have a babysitter you trust, give yourself permission to use them. Exchanging babysitting nights with another family to open up evenings. Or, if you prefer to have family help, set up an exchange of support, babysitting for yard work or an afternoon of running errands.