Looking after yourself as a parent

Helping you find time for yourself

When you’re a parent, your life can feel pretty hectic. Family life is non-stop, so it can be hard to stop and think about your own wellbeing when you’re caring for your children 24/7. That’s why we’ve provided a few useful hints and tips that can help you strike a healthy balance between looking after your children – and yourself. Not only that, but with our health insurance our Anytime HealthLine is there to give you health advice whenever you need it, giving you peace of mind so you can get back to family life.

Call our Anytime HealthLine on 0345 601 3216^

Calls may be recorded and, to maintain the quality of our Bupa Anytime HealthLine service, a nursing manager may monitor some calls, always respecting the confidentiality of the call.

Support when you need it most

Navigating parenthood can be challenging at the best of times, especially when it comes to looking after your own wellbeing. Whether it’s perfecting a work-life balance, getting enough exercise and sleep, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

That’s why we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you keep on top of your own health – so you can keep up with your family.

  • Exercise and eating well

  • Coping as a working parent

  • Looking after yourself

For your wellbeing and that of your family, it’s important to exercise regularly and eat well.

Set time aside to exercise

Getting outside to have some exercise will not only get you some fresh air, but it can also help clear your mind too.

Walking is one of the easiest ways to get active and become healthier, and it also helps your mental wellbeing. You can also try running or cycling. Try taking your kids with you – they’ll benefit from being outdoors and you’re also teaching them good habits. Most importantly, it’ll bring you closer together.

Eating and drinking well

For busy working parents it’s important to have a healthy, balanced diet to help banish tiredness. Eating at regular intervals, not missing breakfast and cutting out sugar will be key to keeping you going. Try eating a diet full of fruit and vegetables to help boost your immune system.

Make sure you also drink plenty of water. Hydration has a major effect on your energy levels and brain function. This will help you remain focused and productive both at work and when you’re home with your family. The official recommendation is six to eight glasses every day.

It’s also worth noting, teaching your children about the benefits of healthy eating at an early age will instil good habits in later life.

Looking after children brings a lot of changes to your social and working life, so it’s important to give yourself time to find the perfect balance.

Be organised

Finding that you can no longer fit everything into your day can come as a shock to a lot of parents, but once you accept this you can take back as much control as you can. Try to plan your day around mini goals that you can achieve, while trying not to feel guilty putting off tasks that can wait. If possible, get your children involved in helping with daily tasks.

Turn your phone and laptop off when you finish work

Be strict with yourself. This will make sure you’re not tempted to check your work emails and become distracted from your kids. Ensure good habits by packing your laptop and phone away at the end of a working day, and at the weekends.

Take regularly spaced annual leave from work

Plan trips ahead of time to maximise the fun you can have with your children. Plus it’s always great to have time off to look forward to.

Life is so fast-paced nowadays it’s hard not to feel stressed. Too often, parents put themselves at the bottom of their list of priorities. Here are just a few things you can do to help look after yourself.

Get a good night’s sleep

This is easier said than done when you’ve got kids who’re teething or getting up to the usual toddler antics. As parents we often feel the evenings are our time and we want to stay up late. However, it’s important to remember getting enough sleep is incredibly important for your health, and quite often going to bed earlier can be more beneficial as you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of the day.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Accepting help isn’t a sign that you can’t cope. It’s the perfect opportunity to get some ‘you time’, as well as ‘couple time’ with your partner, which is something equally important. There’s no doubt your children are your priority, but looking after yourself is key to maintaining emotional balance.

Nurture a good network of friends and family around you for support. When you do feel overwhelmed and drained, it’s good to talk to someone you trust, especially if it’s a working parent experiencing the same struggles.

Learn to laugh about it

Few would argue that it’s a serious responsibility being a parent, but everyone has a funny or embarrassing moment they’d rather forget. Whether it’s breastfeeding for the first time in public, dealing with a toddler meltdown or realising you’ve been walking through town with sick down your shoulders, parenthood can be stressful. If you don’t laugh about it, what’s the alternative?

It’s also worth remembering that laughter releases endorphins, which helps you feel less stressed and more able to cope with the day ahead. So don’t worry how embarrassing the situation is – we’ve all been there.

Our health insurance has your mental health covered

If you’re concerned about mental health, we’re here to listen. We’ll arrange a telephone consultation with one of our counsellors. They’ll listen to your concerns and discuss options to help you on the road to feeling better.

Find out more >

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^ We may record or monitor our calls. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 12.30pm.

Anytime HealthLine is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.

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