Parenting Self-Care

Parenting is hard work!

Many feel the stress and pressures that come with parenting. There are new challenges, adventures and rewards at every age and stage.

Taking care of our health and wellness is fundamental to being the best parent we can be. When we prioritize our self-care needs, our kids benefit, too. We will have more patience, energy and passion to give them, and we have an opportunity to role model self-care. Kids often learn more from what parents do rather than what they say!

Even small acts of self-care can help decrease stress, improve relationships and promote wellness.


  • If you have a young child, you may need to sleep in small blocks at a time. Try to get 7-9 hours of total sleep a night.
  • Stop using screens 30-60 minutes prior to bedtime.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes quiet or meditation time.
  • If sleep issues persist, talk to your doctor or therapist.


  • Staying active by exercising has been found to release chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that can improve your mood. Go for a walk, run or bike ride.
  • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise several times a week. There are many online exercise opportunities that are free through YouTube.
  • If possible, get outside for your walk. Time in nature is soothing and calming.


  • Keep up on regular hygiene habits.
  • Take medication as prescribed.
  • Create a meal plan to keep regularly scheduled meals easier. Have “grab & go” foods available so that you can easily choose healthy snacks and meals when time is tight.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Schedule time for yourself as you can. Do something that brings you joy such as watching a funny movie, playing a musical instrument, coloring or journaling.
  • Relax. Listen to relaxing music, try deep breathing, meditation, guided imagery, or yoga.
  • Cry. Crying is an emotional release that can leave you feeling more relaxed and free from stress.

More Self-care Resources

Connect with Family, Friends and Your Health Care Providers

  • Connecting with others during times of stress actually releases hormones that help protect and heal; make connecting a priority.
  • Be honest with your people about how you are feeling. Friends and family can help.
  • Keep your doctor or therapist updated on how you are doing and any changes.
  • Attend a community event, go to a coffee shop, mall, gym or library.

Ask for Help When Needed

  • If needed, ask someone to take over your child’s care for a short time. Accept help when offered. If help is not offered, ask for it.
  • Hoping mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, will go away on their own can lead to worsening symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms that last for several days in a row, make you miserable, or cause problems in your daily life so you find it hard to carry out normal responsibilities, it’s time to ask for help. Talk to your doctor, your child’s pediatrician or a therapist.
  • For resources and help in navigating the mental health system, please contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 1-888-NAMI-Helps (888-626-4435).
  • If you are having suicidal thoughts or experiencing mental health-related distress, please call or text 988 Suicide & Crisis Line for Support.
  • Click here for local Minnesota-based resources.

You are not alone.