Now that 2018 is well under way and hopefully your routine is settling down again after the disruption of Christmas, now is the time to turn the focus on YOU for a moment. Be honest. When did you last put your own needs and happiness ahead of anyone else in the family? When you’re a busy parent, it’s easy to put yourself at the back of the queue when it comes to taking time out and this something we’ve already discussed in this post, and this post too. So with this in mind, here are three things you can do to be a happier parent in 2018.
Whatever the issue, if sleep is indeed an issue, now is the time to sort it out. Perhaps you want your little one to start sleeping in their own bed. Perhaps you want to get naps nailed at last. Perhaps you just want a few more hours sleep per night. The fact of the matter is that without sufficient sleep, you energy levels and mood are going to suffer. And if you’re on a mission to improve your happiness levels, this will never do!
Start by writing down what your sleep issue is and what you would like to achieve by way of changes. Then get a plan together on how you will achieve those changes. Don’t set a time limit on it; the last thing you want is to feel pressured. Instead, set a few smaller goals that will help you work towards your overall goal. If naps are the issue, you can sign up to my free 10 day course for help and support.
Say yes more…
… but don’t be afraid to say no too! If someone offers to help you out, say yes. If someone asks you to go out of your way time and again with nothing in return, say no. Now is the time to start being aware of the things you can do comfortably, and the things you need help with. And being firmer, saying no to things that you really cannot manage without hassle, does not mean you’re a bad person. It means you’re a realistic person who is aware of their own priorities and is no longer willing to be taken advantage of. Putting yourself first does not make you selfish- it means you’re taking care of yourself, which will show others that you do indeed deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.
Be in the moment
There are so many stresses in life, especially when you’re a parent. And the days can seem to fly by in a blur of sleepless nights, laundry and other household chores. So when was the last time you stopped? When was the last time you took in your surroundings, your children, and just appreciated what you have? Gratitude journals have become very popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Studies have found that when we take a moment to truly appreciate and express gratitude for the things we have, we start to truly appreciate the small things in life so much more.
It could be spending an extra five minutes reading a bedtime story, or sitting down and really listening to your toddler’s babble. It could be really breathing in the fresh air on your next walk with the stroller. It could be anything. As long as put the phone away and plug back into life, you are guaranteed to feel a whole lot happier.