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  • Recharge Your Parent Batteries (and Ditch the Guilt)

    Solitude is so important for you as a HSP parent. You may logically understand that alone time is crucial, however something is holding you back. Guilt is your enemy. It’s reminding you of all the chores you have to do. All the busywork of being a parent. dentist appointments..the list goes on and on. If you relax now, you’ll still have to do it later. Not to mention that relaxing is tough when all of this is on your mind. And your child is growing up before your eyes; you honestly don’t want to miss any milestones or important moments. It’s understandable that many HSP parents put themselves last. It’s no wonder that burnout becomes a problem.

    HSP parents need to fight back against the guilt. Self-care is not a luxury or indulgence. It’s a necessity for being a better parent. Think of it as “recharge my parent batteries” time. You recharge your electronics every day. You need to recharge yourself too. You will break down if you don’t. The resentment and anger of running on empty can easily morph into depression and anxiety. Your child deserves a healthy parent who takes care of her own needs.

    Practical steps of combating guilt:

    Write about your guilt. Explore its origins. Just the act of writing can be freeing. Get your thoughts and feelings out of your head and into the paper. Some people even feel catharsis by shredding or ripping up the papers.

    Talk to a friend, family member, or therapist about it. We think we’re alone and different, when in reality everyone has secrets. Nobody is perfect, and nobody has to be. Being open and vulnerable with someone you trust will lead to connection. Connection kills guilt.

    Process and release your emotions through physical movement and exercise. Emotions can get stuck in our bodies, yet it’s amazing how moving really helps. Go for a walk and clear the cobwebs from your mind. So much research has been done about how exercise improves your mood. Let go of your guilt, step by step.

    Practice self-compassion. HSP’s have so much compassion for others, but struggle with turning their light inward. Sometimes imagining yourself as a child helps. If you believe in a higher power, that can help to internalize compassion.

    How to recharge your parent batteries (even with young children at home):

    If your child naps, use this time for self-care and solitude, not chores. Rest is so important when you’re taking care of demanding (yet lovable) babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. You’re probably stuck at home. Listen to a guided meditation app on your phone. Sleep if you can.

    With older children who don’t nap anymore, make “relaxation time” mandatory. Let your child know that she must stay in her room for at least an hour, looking at books or quietly playing.

    Keep external stimuli to a minimum. Sure, mindless tv or social media is easy. Nothing wrong with that in small doses, but too much makes HSP’s numb ourselves. It’s fast food, when our souls crave something more substantial.

    Meditate, exercise, read, journal, listen to music. Whatever feels right for you that day. Experiment and figure out which modalities are most soothing and meaningful.

    If possible, take a class in something that interests you. Remember your hobbies and interests before you had kids? You’re still that person.

    Ask for help. Be open to family members or friends babysitting, if possible. Or pay someone. Maybe it might be just once a month, but it’s worth it.

    If insomnia is an issue, have a bedtime routine. Drink herbal tea, journal and/or meditate. Allow your nervous system time to slow down.

    Picture your child. Now imagine her as a grown-up. You’d want her to do whatever it takes to be happy, right? Of course. She deserves solitude/alone time/recharge your batteries time. Especially if she’s an HSP. Treat yourself with the same love and respect that you show your kids. You-and your kids-will be grateful.