Parenting is one of the toughest roles that you will ever love. This last year has taken its toll on everyone, but parents have had it especially hard. The global pandemic forced many parents to transition to working from home while keeping their children on task with virtual learning. If you’re like most parents out there, you are probably in need of a vacation. Though that vacation may still be out of reach, there are a variety of ways in which you can practice some much-needed self-care, and decrease your stress levels. Here are a few tips and tricks you can try, in order to stress less and recharge your spirit.
Take the Time to Make Yourself a Priority
So many parents do not take the time to address their own mental health needs or sense of well-being, and you are probably no exception. Nowadays, parents have a never-ending list of chores and things they have to do in order to keep their family running smoothly, however, they never put themselves on that list. It’s okay to say “no” every so often. You don’t have to accept every volunteer position at your child’s school, or take them to every playdate they are invited to. It’s exhausting to run from activity to activity without ever getting a chance to just breathe. Get used to saying “no” every once in a while, and use that time for yourself. Has it been months since your last spa day? Go get a facial or an aromatherapy massage. Do you enjoy wandering around in a bookstore for hours on your own with a cup of coffee in hand? Take the time to make yourself a priority, and you’ll find that you’re a much more relaxed parent.
Try to Incorporate Meditation into Your Life
Stress has a significant impact on one’s overall well-being, and parenting is one of the most stressful roles that anyone could have. Stress has been known to cause problems with blood pressure, elevated heart rate, as well as cause bouts of insomnia. When you are constantly stressed out, your mind often races through the plethora of tasks and chores you need to tackle. This prevents you from ever truly living “at the moment”. Meditation is the perfect way to retrain your brain to slow down and focus on the present. Mediation is one of the most highly effective techniques you can use in order to decrease your stress levels and encourage your sense of inner peace. Consider going to a specialist who can help you learn how to use meditation to ease your stress.
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Find Support From Other Parents
I am sure that you’ve heard that “it takes a village” to raise a child, and this year has proven how true that statement is. Between the pandemic and social distancing measures, it became increasingly difficult for parents to reach out to one another during times of need. You may have experienced this yourself, especially if you have had to help your child navigate through virtual learning. If you can’t reach out to parent groups in person, look for online parenting support groups. There are a number of forums online which focus on offering fellow parents sympathy and support. Just knowing that other parents are experiencing the same difficulties and hardships as you are dealing with can decrease your stress levels, and help you start feeling better soon.
Consider Daily Workouts to Manage your Stress Levels
Have you ever heard of “runner’s high”? This phrase is meant to describe the exuberant joy that a runner may experience about halfway through their workout. “Runner’s high” is actually caused by the release of endorphins inside the brain, which work to decrease cortisol levels (also known as the “stress” hormone) in the blood. The next time you feel stress taking over, consider taking a brisk jog around the neighborhood or get the blood flowing with a short callisthenic workout in your room. Sometimes a quick workout is all you need to center your mind and calm your spirit.
Try to Improve Your Time Management
If you’ve tried all of the tips above and still find yourself stressed out and running on empty, you may want to consider reevaluating your daily schedule. You probably feel overwhelmed when it seems as though you’ve got far too many tasks to accomplish, and not enough time to do them all. See if you can wake up a bit earlier in order to complete some chores around the house before the rest of the household wakes up, or leave some of the more menial chores for the evening after everyone has gone to sleep.
Yes, parenting can be overwhelming at times, and you may feel as though you’ll never get your stress under control. There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to easing your personal stress level. Give these techniques a try, and see if any of them can help you breathe a little easier, and soothe your restless mind.
Regina Thomas is a Southern California native who spends her time as a freelance writer and loves cooking at home when she can find the time. Regina loves reading, music, hanging with her friends and family along with her Golden Retriever, Sadie. She loves adventure and living every day to the fullest.
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