The average day for any parent can seem literally impossible on paper. From waking up and making breakfast to getting the kids to school, grocery shopping, appointments, sports, meals, events, travel, and fitting work and chores into the mix – there rarely seems to be enough hours in a day! Parents often have to ‘bend time’ in order to get everything done, and it’s pretty amazing what we’re capable of when we need to be – but what’s all this hurrying, worrying, and remembering doing to our stress levels? It turns out that parents are some of the most stressed out people on the planet. We worry about our kids and our families and we often push ourselves hard to go above and beyond as much as we can. Over time this can lead to fatigue, stress, fogginess, insomnia, and irritability – all things that no parent has time or energy to deal with. To help out, today we’ll be exploring 5 simple ways for parents to relieve stress and so some much deserved self care.
Sit back, take a relaxing breath, and consider these stress-busting tips!
1. Don’t Forget To Breathe
This may sound trivial, but taking time to just sit, clear your mind, relax your body, and take a few deep, relaxing breaths can change everything. A 5 minute time-out where you visualize your favorite places to be in the world, remember happy times, and let your body sink into the chair while you release tension and breathe deeply has the power to completely de-stress and recharge your body, mind, and emotions.
2. Stay 5 Steps Ahead Of Yourself
Many parents find that working on tomorrow at the end of the day can really make things go more smoothly. Preparing breakfast ahead of time, laying out clothing, packing backpacks, etc. at night right before bed can give your mind a sense of accomplishment so that you can drift off to sleep easier and have less to handle during the morning rush.
3. Identify Triggers And Kick Them Out
If you’ve got little things in your life that seem to constantly cause you stress – do yourself a favor and make time to deal with them now. Bad shoes, broken appliances, weird sounds from the car, and so on are all little things that could end up being big, stressful things in no time. Try to do research to see if you can fix them yourself, or talk with a pro to save time and money down the road.
4. Lower The Bar
Most parents are absolutely amazing – you included!
Sometimes we raise the bar so high that we set ourselves up for self-judgment, failure, and lots of anxiety and worry. While we should all try and be the best parent we can be, we don’t always have to be perfect. Give yourself a break, make room for self care, and lower your expectations of yourself if they seem to be causing you a lot of undo grief.
5. Learn To Say ‘No!’
Many parents, moms especially, have an almost impossible time saying no to kids, other parents, teachers, and family members. We often feel obligated to show up, contribute, and go above and beyond – even when we’re already taxed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve truly over-extended myself for fear of having to be the person who says ‘no’.
Learning to say no when you need to is a great way to establish healthy boundaries, stop letting people step on you, and cultivate some amazing self esteem in the process. Saying no isn’t denying the value of any situation – it’s embracing the value of your time, health, and energy so that you always have enough to care for yourself and your family.
Do you have a favorite way to break through stress?
Share it with us in the comments below!