Need stress management for parents? Becoming a parent is one of the most worthwhile, satisfying and beautiful things you will ever do in your lifetime. But let’s face it; it certainly comes with its fair share of hard work.
Not only are you your child’s caregiver, but being a mum or dad automatically makes you a nurse, a taxi service, a cook, cleaner, peace maker and much, much more. There are no days off and night shifts and early mornings are mandatory!
Every now and then a parent needs to de-stress, relax and take a few minutes out. These ten tips are great ways to manage the stress of a busy lifestyle with kids. As much as being whisked off to a relaxing spa day sounds like it will do the trick, these tips can be done from home without breaking the bank and there is no need to book a babysitter.
1. Get organized. ‘Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today;’ wise words spoken by Thomas Jefferson, use them as your mantra for keeping organized. This may mean doing ten minutes of tidying up before bedtime, making packed lunches the day before and getting up ten minutes earlier in the morning to avoid the inevitable morning panic.
Being that bit more organized and prepared will save you numerous stresses, mean nothing is forgotten or rushed at the last minute and you are able to keep on top of things without going completely crazy.
2. Develop your own support network. This is great stress management for parents. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to do what you have to do, and having a support network available can greatly reduce your workload.
Having the kids’ grandparents watch them for an hour after school or letting your siblings take them on an outing one weekend gives you a few more stress free hours to either get jobs done or simply relax and unwind.
3. Relax. Speaking of relaxing and unwinding, these are very important to create a stress free and balanced lifestyle. Stressed adults make for stressed children, and so it is important that you spend at least some time each week where you are able to be calm and tranquil.
You may feel like you have not had a peaceful night since your children were born, but simply enjoying a long bath when the kids are in bed will do wonders for your mood.
4. Exercise. We all know the importance of exercise, but with children you may feel like you simply don’t have the time. This isn’t true at all, and going on bike rides with the kids, playing field games or simply chasing them around the park will release stress- busting endorphins. Not only is exercise important for both yours and your children’s lifestyle, but good for you psychologically too.
5. Start a hobby. Of course now is not the time to take up skydiving but there are many activities you can get involved in from the comfort of your own home at very little cost. Painting or drawing, reading, writing, card making or gardening are just a few examples.
These can be done in the daytime while your children are playing, and kits can be bought very cheaply for all skill levels. Having a hobby sets a good example for your children, and allows you to do something you enjoy in order to de stress.
6. Don’t take on too much. Every parent wants the best for their child, and so booking them a full schedule of extracurricular activities is easily done. Like adults, children need time off too and a full week of school followed by a week’s worth of after school clubs and weekends practicing further skills can be just too much.
Decide on a maximum of three activities for after school and weekends for your children, and don’t overbook their schedule. This also saves you the added stress of ferrying them from place to place every day, and means you have more of a chance to spend time with and enjoy your children’s company.
7. Prepare for emergencies and plan ahead. What would you broke down on a cold winter’s night, miles from home with the kids in the back of the car? If just the thought makes your hair stand on end think of practical ways the situation could be improved.
Ensure you have blankets and some extra warm clothes for the children in the car at all times, that your mobile is always charged and topped up in order to be able to make a call in case anything ever goes wrong.
8. Eat healthily and restrict caffeine. You are your child’s number one role model. Not only does this set a good example, but leading a healthy lifestyle is a proven way of reducing stress.
High energy, sugary foods as well as caffeine will give you a ‘boost’ but with that also comes an energy slump which can make you feel tired and irritated. Don’t rely on false energy to get you through the day, instead get your energy from fruits and vegetables and healthy grains
9. Get enough sleep. Staying up for that extra hour to watch the end of a movie might seem like a good idea at the time, but it may be the difference between feeling fine and feeling tired and stressed the following day.
As soon as you have got things prepared for the following day go to bed; sleep is precious, getting enough of it will set you up for the day to come
10. Take care of your appearance. When becoming a parent, it is easy to lose your own identity. Spending a little time each day making yourself presentable will improve your confidence and combat low self esteem.
If you find yourself looking in the mirror and stressing over what you see, try and take small steps to improve yourself. Just because you have a child doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself.
Remember stress management is a must do for all mums and dads!