Self-Care and the Working Parent

Why it’s important to take care of yourself.

by Daisy Dowling, Series Editor

Section 1

Give Yourself a Time-Out

Look at How You Spend Your Time

1. Give Yourself Permission to Recharge

To care for your children, you need to care for yourself.

by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

2. Working Dads Need “Me Time,” Too

They’re just as likely to put everyone else first.

by Alyssa F. Westring and Stewart D. Friedman

3. Does Your Schedule Reflect Your Values?

Organize your time around what’s important to you.

by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

4. Six Ways to Weave Self-Care into Your Workday

Tiny changes to your routine can make a big difference.

by Amy Jen Su

5. Do More by Doing Less (at Home and at Work)

An exercise to identify unnecessary tasks.

by Kate Northrup

Section 2

Learn to Talk

Communicate Your Needs

6. Four Conversations Every Overwhelmed Working Parent Should Have

With yourself, at work, and at home.

by Joseph Grenny and Brittney Maxfield

7. What’s a Working Dad to Do?

Signal your family commitments to your coworkers.

by Scott Behson

8. How to Communicate Your Self-Care Needs to Your Partner

Tips for a calm, thoughtful discussion.

by Jackie Coleman

9. Too Much to Do? Here’s How to Ask for Help

Get the support you need.

by Heidi Grant

Section 3

Deep Breaths

Check Your Mental and Emotional Health

10. Stop Feeling Guilty About What You Can’t Get Done

Practice self-compassion—and acceptance.

by Art Markman

11. How to Refuel When You’re Feeling Emotionally Drained

Replenish your energy.

by Monique Valcour

12. Let Go of Perfectionism

It’s OK to drop the ball sometimes.

by Alice Boyes

13. How Busy Working Parents Can Make Time for Mindfulness

During coffee, meal prep, or your commute.

by Michelle Gale

Section 4

Time for Your Checkup

Prioritize Physical Well-Being

14. How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family

It decreases stress and increases self-efficacy.

by Russell Clayton

15. Find Exercise in Life’s Margins

Every little bit counts.

by Nick Crocker

16. How Working Parents Can Prioritize Sleep

Habits to follow when it feels like you don’t have the time.

by Amie M. Gordon and Christopher M. Barnes

17. Parents, Take Your Sick Days

Don’t be a martyr.

by Tim Sullivan

Section 5


Make Your Time Off Matter

18. The Case for Having Hobbies

They let you relax, learn, and connect with others.

by Scott Behson

19. Make Friendships a Part of Your Routine

Spend time together through shared experiences.

by Neal J. Roese and Kyle S. H. Dobson

20. How to Get the Most Out of a Day Off

Take a break from the day-to-day.

by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

21. Get in the Right State of Mind for Vacation

Unplug, be present, and have fun.

by Alexander Caillet, Jeremy Hirshberg, and Stefano Petti


Try It, You Might Like It

22. It’s Not Selfish to Take Care of Yourself

Test it for a month. See how you feel.

by Stewart D. Friedman


About the Contributors


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