As every parent learns, you can’t be a good mom or dad when you’re stressed out, no matter how positive your intentions are.
It’s true that modern life creates a lot of stress, but it’s also true that what stresses out one person may just roll off the back of another. So stress is partly what happens to us, but mostly our reaction to it. Each of us has a responsibility as a parent to manage our own stress. After all, do you want your kids to have the best of you — or what’s left of you?
Here are five stress-busting strategies that you can use starting today!
- Breathe – Pay attention to breathing, calmly and deeply as much as you can. Taking deep breaths so you get more oxygen reduces the stress hormone circulating in your body. Every time your about to lose your temper remind yourself to take 3 deep breaths, this will make sure you deal with stress much better
- Trim down your schedule – As parents we tend to over-schedule, thats simply a choice we make. Kids thrive on connection, the less time you spend with them, the more they act out. Prioritise spending time with your kids and cut out activities that are not necessary.
- Sleep – You may not realise it but sleep is one of the most important stress busters. Sleep often feels out of control because of the kids, so try to sleep when your kids are. A few days of good sleep will reduce anxiety and lift your mood.
- Exercise – Twenty minutes of a sweat inducing activity every day will cut cortisol levels and put you in a great mood. You should definitely include some form of exercise in your daily routine.
- Cut your kids slack – Stop stressing on every little slip up from your child. Most childish behaviour is developmentally appropriate. Your child’s acting out can be cured by some laughter, which heals both your stress.
There are days you will want to tear your hair out, on those days remind yourself of the moment when you first held your child in your arms, and how lucky you felt. You’re still that lucky, and you can still feel that way!