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Self-care is an essential part of parenting with far-reaching benefits for you and your child.  

Parenting is a rollercoaster of a ride – physically, emotionally and mentally – and as parents, we tend to prioritise our family's wellbeing before our own. For many, self-care and taking time to recharge our batteries feels indulgent, selfish or unnecessary. When, in fact, the opposite is true. 

When we meet our physical and mental needs, we are better positioned to deal with the pressures and stresses of our day-to-day lives. And all with the added benefit of role modelling the importance of self-care to young people – a habit they will adopt and carry through to adulthood. 

Parent doing yoga in their house. © UNICEF

Self-care for parents and caregivers  

Ask for help from other parents, friends, and family members.

When you feel overwhelmed, take deep, calming breaths and begin again.

Get active, even if it’s for only 10 minutes a day.

Nourish your body, but also eat the last cookie and don’t feel guilty.

Forgive yourself; it’s human nature to make mistakes.

Keep hydrated. Water is needed for overall good health.

Step away for five minutes to breathe and give yourself space.

No is a complete sentence. Don’t be afraid to use it.

Make time to read, watch a show or immerse yourself in a hobby.

Know which battles to fight and ones to let go of.

Offer help to other parents and carers in need.

Play your favourite song and dance it out.

Plan a night out (or a night in and send the family out).

Unplug from technology from time to time – especially social media.

Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you need.

Children working with coloured pencils© UNICEF/UN0647138/Evgene Kanaplev and Julia Leidik

Family Friendly Workplace

We have a bold vision to make Australia's workplaces family-friendly. With the support of the Office for Women, we are asking organisations to provide flexible, gender-inclusive, childcare assistance and wellbeing workplace policies and practices. To help Australia become family-friendly, tell your colleagues, families and employers about this program. 

Helpful resources