How to Prioritize Self-Care as a Child Care Provider

December 01, 2022
  • You would think, as caregivers, we will be the best at self-care. I mean, our job literally entails caring for people. So, how hard can it be to care for yourself? Turns out it’s harder than I thought. Caregivers spend all day every week caring for others and they leave no time for their self-care.

    Don’t get me wrong. Caring for children is highly fulfilling and rewarding. I won’t trade that for anything. Still, I know for a fact that caring for children is a challenging job. You are trying to impact the right values, promote their development, keep them alive, as well as resolve conflicts between children, and meet up with parents’ demands. It can be exhausting. The more reason why you need self-care. Otherwise, you will find yourself burning out more often and slowly becoming a shadow of yourself. In such state, you can’t do any good for yourself or the kids. So, self-care is essential for you to be a good child care provider.


    In case you don’t know how, here are some ideas I think will help.

    1. Find time to exercise

    Being active is a great form of self-care. Not only does it give you the much-deserved me-time, but it also keeps you fit and rewards you with a good dose of the happy hormone. You must have seen that you feel happier and so much better even after a short exercise. No, you didn’t suddenly lose weight. It is the happy hormone at work. Additionally, keep in mind that exercising doesn’t necessarily mean sweating it out in the gym. Anything that keeps you active qualifies as exercise. Walking, jogging, dancing, hiking, etc. Meditating is another good example of exercising. This involves exercising the mind and trust me, you need it just as much.

    1. Extend your world beyond the daycare

    It is very easy to get consumed by child care that the children become the only people in your world. I have been down that path and I know it never ends well. Please make it a task to meet up with your friends. Cultivate other relationships outside of work. Visit family members. Make new friends. Leave work at work and live your life as it should be. Don’t put your life on hold else you will end up resenting everything.

    1. Create breaks

    I like to say create breaks because I have come to learn that breaks won’t make themselves. You keep waiting for the right time and it never comes. That’s why you have to consciously make breaks. By this, I mean both daily breaks and vacations away from work. You need that mental reset for your health and the job you love.

    1. Accept that you are doing your best

    Child care providers often fall into this vicious circle of guilt. Guilt from mistakes made. Guilt from things you couldn’t do. Guilt from having fun. If no one has told you yet, allow me to remind you that you are doing your best. Don’t let the guilt in. Celebrate the small victories. Focus on the things you did right. Focus on the good impact you’ve made. You are doing your best and your best is good enough.

    1. Do something you love

    This is a blank check. What is your happy ritual? What brings you back to life? Is it binge-watching your favorite movie? Singing out loud in your room? A long walk in nature? Hanging out with friends? Going to the spa? Trying a new recipe? A road trip? Knitting something? A long nap? Whatever fun means to you is fine. Amid the busy life of a caregiver, you must find the time to do the things you love. Start small. It could be 30 minutes daily. Sounds small but the benefits are far-reaching.

    1. Please ask for help

    As much as I love the “can do” spirit, I want you to know that it is okay to ask for help. No matter how small you think it is, learn to ask for help and accept it when it comes. You cannot do this alone. Remember it takes a village to raise a child. Find support.



    Child care is a taxing job. Without good self-care, you will find yourself drowning in the very same job you love. It doesn’t have to get to that. See self-care as a compulsory task to remain a good care provider. Create me-time. You deserve it!

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