Self-care is important for everyone, but especially for parents and nannies. Caring for children is an emotional–and at times highly draining–experience. Because of this emotional investment, it’s easy to give everything you have to your children and forget to save some energy for yourself. Parents and nannies who neglect their own needs are less effective caregivers because they experience constant stress, exhaustion, and burnout. They also lose the ability to respond quickly and creatively to challenges. Children in their care will sense and reflect these emotions as well as the implicit lesson being taught: “Keep giving to others even when it becomes unhealthy to do so.”
Think of every plane safety lecture you’ve ever heard. Remember the instructions about putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs? The reasoning is that if you become incapacitated, you’re unable to help anyone at all. It’s better to take a few moments for yourself so you can sustainably care for those around you.
Everyone has different self-care needs. Focus on what decreases stress and increases your feelings of well-being. This can consist of anything from exercising to spending time with friends to delving into a new or favorite hobby.