Becoming a parent is one of the greatest things that can happen to anyone in life, but along with the joys, also comes a lot of stress. Between the demands of work, marriage and looking after your home, being a parent is both mentally and physically exhausting. In this article I will provide you with 6 useful tips that will help to reduce your parental stress levels.
Count to ten and take a few deep breaths
This tip is especially useful for moments when you’re ready to scream or pull your hair out. This is not a countdown that your child must obey; this is a countdown for you. Ten seconds may not seem like a long time, but it’s long enough to allow you to calm down before you make a parenting mistake that you’ll regret such as making threats, yelling, or making unreasonable demands.
image from www.Metroparent,com
Set aside some time to relax everyday
Set aside some time each day to relax and enjoy something that’s all about you! Whether it’s relaxing in front of the television, reading your favorite book, shopping, or pursuing a hobby, as a busy parent it’s important for you to unwind. It doesn’t have to be something that takes up all of your spare time or costs a lot of money, but it’s important for your health and wellbeing to make time for yourself a priority in your life.
Learn when to say no
One of the fastest ways to reduce your stress levels is to learn when and how to say no. If you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed, it’s time to sit back, relax, and reevaluate your approach to parenting. Which of your day to day activities are using up the most of your time? Cleaning, food shopping and cooking are the chores that have to be done, but watching television or surfing the web might be a waste of your valuable time. Consider how you can reprioritize your daily activities and you’ll be one step closer to stress free and peaceful life.
Get plenty of exercise
Getting plenty of exercise is an excellent way to relieve any tension and stress that has built up throughout a stressful day. Whether it’s taking the dog for a walk, going for a run, swimming or going to a fitness class, exercising at least twice a week will have a significant impact on your stress levels. Rather than taking the escalators and lifts, take the stairs, or if your drive to work in the mornings, park your car a few hundred meters further away. Although it can take a lot of determination and effort to exercise regularly, the benefits are definitely worth it.
As convenient as it might be to feed your kids and just grab a late night snack for yourself, this is unhealthy and can contribute to increasing your stress levels. Fuelling your body with the correct foods will bring many benefits both mental and physical. Although it’s good to have treats every now and again, a nutritious diet will leave you feeling a lot better.
Don’t sweat over the small stuff
If you are consistently running around picking up after your children, your stress levels are going to be considerably higher. All children make a mess. This is a fact of life and although it is important to teach your children to tidy up after themselves when they are done playing, you cannot expect your home to look like a show home or like it should be in a magazine. By trying to keep your house looking perfect, you’re just creating more stress for yourself. Looking after kids is time consuming so there are not enough hours in the day to do both.
This is a guest post by David at Pathway Care Fostering Agency, an independent foster care agency that provides services throughout Wales and England.