Parenting Stress – How to Win the Battle

Great news, parents! March is National Stress Awareness month! Okay, it may not be THAT great of news, but there certainly is a silver lining. You see, parents know about stress all too well, in fact, we’re pretty sure it was first-time parents who coined the term! Which is why coaching yourself to combat that stress can be the most valuable weapon in your parenting arsenal. Here are 5 strategies to keep in mind.

  1. Sleep

Doctors recommend anywhere from 7-8 hours of sleep every night. But for parents, this is a luxury. For parents with newborns, it’s unheard of. Yet, a lack of sleep can be one of the easiest ways to yield stress, mood swings and even problems focusing. That’s why learning to adjust your sleep cycle can prove to be one of the most beneficial approaches to reducing parenting stress. Although…easier said than done right? Try taking a mid-day afternoon nap to get some extra shuteye. Once you get into a regular rhythm, push yourself to wake up a little bit before your kids normally do, even if it’s 10 minutes! Use those extra minutes to just relax and reflect, you’ll be glad you did.

  1. Meditate

Some people may find the thought of meditating a little bit silly. But there are studies that support the theory that meditation can have a positive effect on our stress response. Challenge yourself each day to take some time for just you and really promote some inner peace of mind. Take it to the next level by laying out by the pool or even by taking a warm bubble bath!

  1. Disconnect 

Being a parent is a nonstop job. You blink and suddenly you have 20 unchecked emails, 10 text messages, 2 voicemails, a baby in hand and, chances are, a little throw up on your shoulder. One of the most effective methods to handling that stress head-on is to simply disconnect. Whether it’s for 10 minutes or 10 hours is totally up to you, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to leave your kid with a relative and unwind in whatever way makes you happiest. You’ll be a much less stressed our parent because you did so. 

  1. Exercise

The health benefits that come along with exercising are absolutely endless! Most of which, parents can directly benefit from! Adding a workout to your routine helps raise endorphins, energy and improves your mood. Most importantly, it helps reduce stress! Even if you only factor in a 30-minute workout into your week, you’ll be glad you did. To make it even easier, try doing something that you love (bonus points for getting a workout buddy and having some friendly competition).

  1. Have fun!

We can’t stress this point enough. Taking time for yourself and having some fun is absolutely vital to overcoming the plight of parenting stress. At this point, you might have even forgotten what the word “fun” means, which only indicates that you’re in more need of a night out than ever! If you simply can’t afford to get out of the house, have your very own dance party with your kids or plan a family activity! After all, laughter is one of the best remedies for, well, just about anything!

Michela