Parenting is a tough but rewarding job. If you are highly sensitive then it makes sense to take extra care to look after yourself so you don’t end up frazzled and incapable of giving your children what they need. Here are five fundamental survival tips for highly sensitive parents.
We encourage our children to get to bed on time. We consistently remind them of the importance of getting enough sleep. And it’s good advice we should take ourselves.
Waking unrested and tired isn’t a good way to start the day.
Sleep is the foundation of any day.
Especially when you are highly sensitive and your nervous system is so active and sensitive to external stimuli.
The days are emotionally and physically draining for most highly sensitives, and sleep helps us reset and recharge.
Sleep is your best friend when it comes to surviving as a highly sensitive parent.
2. Do Something for Yourself
It’s important that you have something that is yours, and yours alone. That could be an exercise class, meditation, a hobby, a regular meet up with a friend or dedicated daily journaling time. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it takes you away from your work, parenting and being a spouse.
3. Create a Network
You need a village to raise a child. It’s true. You need help. You need support. You need a network of helpers around you who can step in and help when you have reached the end of your tether.
It can be child care, family, friends, neighbours, other parents, online groups, a close friend you know can always call or text. A shoulder to cry on. Others in the same boat.
It doesn’t matter who it is as long as you know there is someone who has your back when things get overwhelming.
4. Plan Ahead
Take time out at the beginning of every week to go over your schedule. What do you have coming up this week? It’s not just highly sensitive kids that get overwhelmed and over stimulated by all the appointments and commitments they have. You are likely working out the logistics and taxiing your children between football training and dance lessons, on top of your own personal commitments.
Understand and accept your own sensitive traits and what that means for daily life.
Recognise when your commitments will be too much for you to handle and ask for help. Maybe your child could ride with a friend. Maybe you can postpone appointments.
Be realistic and don’t overstretch yourself.
5. Build in Bucket Time for Yourself
Bucket time is not just good for the kids. It’s good for you too. Make your own bucket box and build bucket time into your family’s daily routine. Here are more ideas to help you empty your own bucket.