Hey you, unclench your jaw, breath in, and exhale. If you didn't realize you were hunched over your laptop, here is your friendly reminder to RELAX your body. We understand, we're in the middle of a pandemic, in yet another semi lockdown. Work is work and the kids have exams, dealing with their own issues, tantrums, and "flavor of the week".
There is no easy way to say this. Managing your stress and being a parent? Phew, no easy feat. Whether it is another toddler tantrum or your teenager pushing back sending you over the edge, learning how to manage stress will give you the patience, energy, and perspective to not only be a great parent but benefits, your health, and overall wellbeing.
Here are 5 tips on managing stress for parents:
Leave your stress at the door
Compartmentalize! Take your stress-causing conundrums and put them in a box in your mind and revisit them at appropriate times. This can help redirect your energy when you're at home with the kids. We understand that it isn't easy but separating work life from home life is important!
Naming your stress-causing issue can help defuse it as well. If you're sitting in your car alone you can say "I'm feeling stressed because of my meeting tomorrow". You might find yourself having a solution to your issue. You might think, " I can prepare it for it after the kids go to bed at 8 pm" That will give me enough time to prepare and unwind for the day.
Fun is a stress blocker!
Life is tough. Laughing and having fun is the only way we're going to get through all of it. Find the joy in moments with your children, pick a thing to do that you love! It's going to help you feel so much better and you'll be better equipped to deal with your children.
Did you have a sport you loved playing but have kind of stopped? Well, start again and this time get your child to join in! Quality time and no stress? Sounds like a win to me- an opportunity to be positive, and enjoy a unique closeness with your children!
It's all about Self Care Sunday
Chances are you've heard about Self care. And yes seriously, you have to take time for yourself every day. If you're not, well you're going to start right after reading this article.
Self Care Sunday doesn't have to happen every Sunday. It is a thing you do, where it's just for you. Morning coffee, going for a run in the morning, or video gaming all Saturday night!
It’s really important to have time to ‘reset’ as a parent, and do things that decompress and relieve stress for you.
"I need help." Ask for it.
If you need it, you need it. Anytime you're feeling overwhelmed, ask your family or your spouse for help. There is no need to be “supermom” or “superdad”. That is a recipe for disaster and more stress than you need. Your kids will benefit from your reaching out.
When you ask for help, you will make better decisions, you will become a better listener, and you will also enjoy interacting more with your kids! No more screaming matches and your children are going to learn from the proper behavior you model for them. However, if you do find yourself feeling excessively and continuously worried? do reach out to your doctor.
It's all about balance baby...
Balance. It's always been about balance. That means avoid overscheduling yourself every day and on weekends. It's okay to not have anything planned all Saturday! Signing your kids up for too many activities can stress them out too! All you have to do is make sure you include at least one physical activity per week and voilà! Balance!
The greatest reason of all for managing your stress is a simple one. It allows you to feel the joys of parenting. The more YOU experience good times and have happy interactions with your children, the easier it will be to handle the tantrums, sibling rivalry, and other parenting challenges.