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Practising self-care as a busy parent

There’s no doubt about it, parenting is often all-consuming – it can be hard to find even a minute to yourself. So what do your fellow parents do to practice self-care, even in the most stressful, time-crunched of times?

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Huffington Post 

We asked the HuffPost Parents Facebook community to share what they do; here are some of the best responses.

“Dancing always perks up my mood so, when I’m really off, I just put on some tunes with my kids and dance around. We have dance party clean-ups where we jam to club songs from the early 2000s and clean up the house. Both my two and seven-year-old kids love it.” ― Annette Nelson

“Sometimes you need to take the long way home, be intentional about decompressing in those few, precious extra moments.” ― Carin Shultz Standish

“Very hot showers, walks outside, and crafting. Sometimes just texting a friend does it in the thick of the day.” ― Colleen McNeil

“I run like someone is coming after me with a machete. It really helps.” ― Helen O’Shea

“I know it sounds weird but, if I had been having a rough day, when I came home I would set five minutes on the microwave. My kids knew that meant they had to give me that five minutes to at least take off my coat, go to the bathroom and catch my breath before they bombarded me with questions and stuff they wanted. It really helped. It wasn’t overused. They respected it. And it was something tangible they understood instead of just saying ‘Give me a minute.’” ― Carolynn Roberts

“Crochet! So therapeutic.” ― Kay May

“At least twice a year my husband takes our kiddo on a trip, just the two of them, either to visit family or for her birthday. I make sure to schedule a massage while they’re gone, maybe lunch with a friend, and I binge-watch my shows cuddling with the dogs on the couch.” ― Gabrielle Tenn New

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“When I was a single mum I used to finish work, get the kids from after school, get home and then have at least half an hour on my bed with a cup of tea and a snack. Then I’d be ready to be the mum and person I needed to be. I also took them to the gym with me when we were all in a mood, or get a duvet and sit on the couch together, snuggling. It helped so much.” ― Kate Hopkinson

“Strong coffee. Long showers.” ― Jordan Greene Roberts

“I run, and paint my nails, for self-care.” ― Jamie Bohm

“I get up earlier than everyone else to work out. It’s the only way it happens!” ― Megan Pohorylo Tucker

“I take a warm bath before bed every night to unwind from the day and slow down my mind. I also get a 90-minute massage on the first Wednesday of every month … worth every damn penny!!” ― Terri Shook

“Netflix and chocolate.” ― Melissa Jones

“When the kids are in bed, I get in the bath, lock the door, and bring a book. 10 minutes makes all the difference.” ― Liz Oreilly

“Stay up far too late at night binge-watching Netflix.” ― Sara Petrick

“The only way I survived years of little sleep; I taught all my kids to let me sleep a little on Saturday mornings. They would quietly put on cartoons and get some cereal. Once I woke up, it was time to get housework done, then fun stuff afterwards.” ― Maritsa Bass

“You mean heating up the same cup of coffee and scrolling through the IG feed for a hot second until you realise you haven’t changed the laundry over, is NOT self-care?” ― Mara Kane Pennell

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