Parenting is a 24 hour a day job- no matter how we feel! Our days are filled with feeding, bathing, cleaning, diapers, laundry, errands, and more! So while we take care of our children, who takes care of us?
Every parent feels stressed from time to time. Here are some helpful tips to ease the stress in your life. Choose 1 or 2 to work on first. It takes some effort and time to establish a new habit. But remember… You are worth it!
- Maintain a healthy diet. Limit caffeine and sugar.
- Exercise . Twenty-thirty minutes of aerobic exercise can alleviate most stress. If it is difficult to find time alone, take the kids for a walk together.
- Get enough sleep and rest. You’ll have more energy in the long run!
- Consider waking up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to avoid rushing.
- Organize, organize, organize! Utilize a desk calendar, day planner, or to-do lists to manage your time.
- Don’t procrastinate.
- Be concerned only with things that you can control. “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”
- Learn to say “no” to those projects you don’t want to do or really don’t have time for.
- Try to make some time for yourself every day. Do something that you enjoy- even if it is just listening to a favorite song or reading a magazine article.
- Think and talk positively.
- Be nice to unfriendly people. A smile is a great pick-me-up.
- Keep a journal. Keeping a journal is a good way to get things off your chest and work through issues.
- Talk to someone that you trust. Just knowing that you are not alone helps.
- Play! Play is not only fun, but energizing and rejuvenating!
- Look for and appreciate the positive things in your life.
- Consider professional counseling. A therapist will listen, and help you find appropriate ways of handling stress and problems you may be experiencing.
As a parent, there may be times that you become frustrated with your child. Make a conscious effort to maintain control until the frustration subsides.
Coping Tips for Frustrated Parents
- Put your hands in your pockets or behind your back. (This will prevent you from using them to threaten or hit the child.)
- Take a deep breath. (Count to ten. Imagine that with every deep breath, you are releasing anger.)
- Give everybody a time out, including yourself. (This will give everyone a few minutes to cool off.)
- Talk to someone that you trust.
- Write it out. (Write down everything that comes to mind, even ugly thoughts. Then, tear it up and throw it away with your frustrations!)
- Get safely physical. (Do some jumping jacks or turn on some music and dance. Have everyone join in!)
Call the Parenting Assistance Line. (Someone will be there to listen and offer resources to help you through this difficult time.)