Pathways to Wellness

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Taking care of personal needs

Personal needs for down-time, privacy, quiet, exercise or going out with friends don't go away just because you have kids.  It won't be as easy to satisfy those needs as it was "BC" (before children) especially if your children are under 5 and therefore very dependent on you. 

  

There are many other things that make living a more balanced life challenging – you may be a single parent, your spouse or common-law partner may have a job that takes them out of town often, or you may feel guilty about putting limits on time spent with your children in the evening when you've been away from them all day at work.  

There isn't an easy answer (you'll hear this a lot) but here are some things you might want to think about and try.

  • Be clear on what your priorities are, and spend your time meeting those priorities.
  • Find ways of being active and socializing which include your kids and other families.
  • Say "no" to spending time with people who you really don't enjoy (unless you absolutely can’t get out of it).
  • Look over your days and see if there are any time-wasters (like playing computer games) that you can get rid of, or at least, reduce.
  • Unplug.  Turn off the iPhone, iPad, blackberry, computer.  Have a warm bath, light some candles, put on some relaxing music.  Even 10 minutes can make a difference.
  • Get support, and ask others to help out.  Or swap babysitting with a friend – you take care of the kids one evening, your friend takes care of the kids another evening.
  • Practice good stress management.

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