News & Updates

Taking time for ourselves

“Is it bad that sometimes I feel like I just need some ‘me-time’?”

  • It is important that you consider how you look after yourself, and consider the Māori holistic model of health, Te Whare Tapa Whā, with whānau as the epicentre of one’s wellbeing.
  • Taha Tinana – Physical Needs: exercise, daily walk, regular meals, health food, sleep, massage
  • Taha Whānau – Social or Emotional Needs: friends, family, daily contact with others, fun, to feel accepted, supported, healthy relationships
  • Taha Hinengaro – Intellectual Needs: stimulating conversation, time to read books, time to think, study, hobbies, theatre, concerts, work challenges
  • Taha Wairua – Spiritual Needs: time alone, walks in the bush, meditation, writing, prayer, mentors, music, art, painting

Self-care isn’t selfish!  I don’t think any parent has found parenting to be a breeze all the time and sometimes we all need to come up for air!  As soon as we become a parent, we put so much focus on looking after our babies and children, we often forget to stop and make sure that we’re looking after ourselves sufficiently.

Getting some time out, some ‘me-time’ is essential to being able to function and give back.  Parenting without a break or a little self-indulgence is like trying to run a car on empty – a quick refuel is sometimes all that is needed to get back on the road, and back on course.

Getting into the habit of taking small chunks of time for yourself as early on as possible is one of the best ways to keep yourself from feeling trapped as a new parent and will allow you to give​ the best care possible to your new baby.

It is important that parents meet their own physical, emotional/social, intellectual and spiritual needs.  When you don’t, it can be a downward spiral – children tend to tune in to and pick up on what is happening around them and react accordingly, especially if it’s causing the children’s needs not to be met.  Often, they will respond by misbehaving, thereby exacerbating the whole situation.

Taking time out doesn’t need to be a big weekend away or a night out with friends (although that sounds great too!), but small things every day that help you to recharge and reenergise.

Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Sleep when baby sleeps or put your feet up and read/watch tv.  Everyone tells you to do this, but do you?
  • Get some fresh air every day – either baby in front pack or pram or arrange for someone to be with your child while you take time out.
  • Bath with candles and music.
  • Yoga.
  • Deep relaxed breathing.
  • Plan a movie or coffee date with a partner or friend.
  • Connect with your Parents Centre coffee group – you’re all going through the same thing together!
  • Write in a journal.
  • Lol Lol Lol – yup find something that makes you laugh!  A good old belly laugh is worth so much.
  • Eat well and go to bed early.



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