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The moment your child is born, you have entered a new world of parent stress. No, no tells you that this stress happens instantly and never goes away.
Have you ever felt like you’re all over the place and don’t know left from right? Between your child(ren), partner, family, and friends, you already have a lot on your plate. Not to mention maintaining the home, work-life, and bills that you have to manage.
Raising your family is excellent for your heart, but sometimes the demands of parenthood are so intense the stress can feel overwhelming.
This post is about ways to manage parent stress.
If you feel tired and over-it from the balancing act at the end of the day, we are all there as parents, and it comes a time where we have to take a deep breath and realize it’s going to be ok, that is where this post is going to help.
Consider these ways to manage parent stress.
- Focus on what you can control, which is a lot when you think about it. Of course, we’re humans feel stressed when things in life don’t go our way. One of the most vital lessons in life is to learn to pivot focus towards what we can control.
- For instance, there will be moments when your child(ren) doesn’t act right or the way you want them to. Give grace and be mindful that you can’t control how your child(ren) works, but you can manage your reactions to the behavior. Setting an excellent example of how your child(ren) should act is the first step to getting what you are looking for from them.
- Prioritize quality time for you and the family. This requires you to think about what your day looks like daily. If you’re a working parent, like most people, raising a child(ren), it’s important not to feel guilty about having to work and be away from your family. This is why it’s essential to develop ways of prioritizing the time you spend with them so that it’s extra special and won’t stress you out in the long run. Easy ways to incorporate particular time:
- Read before bedtime.
- Play with your children often.
- Teach them new skills, integrate them into the family dynamics by showing them something you enjoy doing
Items that help me decompress and destress
More Ways to Manage Stress
- Breathe. Yes, you have to breathe. When you feel stressed, taking a deep breath in and out seems like the last thing you want to do. Breathing can increase oxygen that goes to your brain. This creates a state of calmness which is always best before reacting to something that just happened. Intentionally taking deep breaths redirects your attention to your body and away from the situation causing stress.
- Optimize family time. Try finding gaps where your family can plan to do things together. It can be as simple as finishing chores, playing, or watching your kid’s favorite show. It might feel like a never-ending list of things you have to do, but starting small can lead to significant improvements in the long run.
- Ask for help. Personally, this is something that I still struggle with. If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for help from your village. It can be as simple as asking kids to cook dinner, listen to your woes, or watch the kids while you take a nap. No ask is too small, and your village will be more than willing to help you.
- What are your priorities in your life? For me, it’s cultivating a life for my son and dog, so I make sure to reshape my life to make this a reality for them. Your priorities will look different, but make sure you outline them to know how to move forward.
- Take a deep dive into looking at things that are not urgent that you are treating urgently. Often, we are creating this sense of urgency in our minds, but really it’s something that can be done later or handed off to another person to do.
Physical Ways to Reduce Parent Stress
- Exercise. That’s right, getting active can help with stress. Trust me, with my constantly changing schedule, I barely have time to go in and out of the house, but I always make sure to take 15 mins every few hours to move my body. Going outside also allows me to clear my thoughts which is essential. If you have limited time, you can always include your kids and pets into your routine to help keep you motivated.
- Schedule daily walks with your family.
- Take your kids and pets to a park.
- Join a dance class as a family.
- Pick a family activity based on your kid’s age that will be fun and exciting. For toddlers, playing pretend is a great family activity.
- Identify your big and small triggers. Really think about what triggers you by closing your eyes, taking deep breaths, and concentrating on your different emotions.
- What makes you the most annoyed?
- What makes you the most anxious?
- When do you notice you are angry?
Identifying triggers is the first step to managing your reaction to these moments.
- Set clear boundaries for yourself and for others. What situations unnecessarily stress you? Take s step back to think about what needs to be done for you to be happy. If you feel stressed or anxious when you receive work calls during family time, pay attention to that. Alternatively, perhaps you notice you are not receiving enough time alone. Set clear and firm boundaries with the people around you by communicating what you need.
Parenthood demands are intense, to say the least. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You may think you’re not doing enough, and it gets compounded when you want to give the people most important to you the world.
Now is the time to take the critical steps to manage your stress that will help you and the ones around you. By being open with the people around you about how you feel and what you need, you will ultimately give more. Here is another post about how to handle stress for women.
This post was about ways to manage parent stress.
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