Mums relaxing togetherIt is the summer holidays and if you are like most parents, the priority is on making sure your children are happy. But looking after yourself is important for a number of reasons.
Firstly you act as a good role model for your children to show that everyone needs to take care of their own needs, even parents!
You will have more patience with your children
You will be happier and more likely to stay calm
You will feel more willing to carry on caring for your children if you have re-charged your batteries
You will be fitter mentally and physically if you spend time on yourself.
It is useful to spend at least 15 minutes a day doing something you enjoy, such as having a chat with a friend or reading a magazine. It is also good to have a few hours away from your children each week.

Make a list of 20 things that you like doing and take the time to plan to do them.
Here are a few ideas to get you started;

A cup of tea
Reading a good book
Spending time with good friends
Having a foot soak
Eating breakfast in bed
A candle-lit bath
Having a shoulder or foot massage
Writing a list of everything to be grateful for
Setting goals for yourself
Having friends round for a meal
Playing cards
Giving yourself a mini-makeover
Painting your nails
A bunch of flowers
Smell the roses
Your favourite meal
Dancing or just listening to your favourite music
Time to exercise
Going to bed early
A great film or DVD
Watch the sunrise or sunset
Lying on the grass watching the clouds
A walk in nature
Sitting in the sun
Stroking a pet
Spending time on your own interests

Another thing that can help you feel more like a human being: Learn to talk assertively using ‘I messages’ such as ‘I feel annoyed when you leave the wet towel on the bathroom floor’.
And let your children know all about your work, thoughts, feelings, interests and hobbies, so that they develop a healthy understanding that you are a person in your own right and not just a parent!