You’re drained from another sleepless night with your newborn, frustrated with the performance of your kid who’s failing in all his tests or simple annoyed at the toddler who drew with crayons on the freshly painted wall. Parenting is supposed to be joyful – so why is it so exhausting?
Stress is bad for our health and profoundly bad for our parenting. Raising children is a challenge, no matter how experienced you are. There will be angry moments, defeated moments and moments where you just want to quit. But parenting doesn’t have to be overwhelmin and stress-free parenting is certainly possible. Here’s how I recommend lowering the stress level in your household.
Take control: All stress can’t be planned out of our schedules. We plan to gain more control over our day, but parenting is an exercise in not being in control. Children learn their coping skills by watching how their parents react to and handle different situations. Stay calm and do whatever you must do to ensure immunity against kids who want to push your buttons. We need to learn and train ourselves to deal with stress, through yoga or relaxation techniques .
Take a time out: It is tempting to just react all day long, responding to emails and doing the things that seem most urgent at the expense of other vital tasks. But living this way has a cost. Raising a family is no easy task, and it’s a 24/7 job. Everyone deserves a vacation. Visit a therapist to let your feelings go, or simply call a friend to talk to. Sometimes, a quick mental break can help you calm down and regain your composure.
Get enough sleep: One of the best ways to boost your ability to cope with stress is to get enough rest. When we compromise on our sleep, we can experience problems with mood regulation, focus, memory, illness and stress.
Manage your expectations: Most parents worry about how their children will turn out. Wishing for perfect children is unrealistic and can harm the relationship you do have with your kids. Love them, encourage them and allow them to grow at their own pace and have confidence in your kids. When you believe they will succeed connection with them will change and can even help them get there.
Play: For many parents, life is about crossing things off a to-do list. Without time built into each day for nourishing our spirit, we become more vulnerable to frustration and stress. Learn to have fun with your children with your children by doing various activities like playing, laughing together or just dancing. These small acts can make a big difference in your stress level by helping you reconnect with your kids.
Distraction: If there is no one to give you a break from your kids, stay positive and avoid yelling and punishment that can turn a minor situation into a major one. Instead, take your children outside for some fresh air, give them a chore to help with or calm them by reading a book together.
Don’t take things personally: Have you ever wondered why a particular experience can cause one person to feel terribly hurt, while another shrugs it off as no big deal? Rather than getting annoyed when your mother-in-law suggests that she never had problems getting her children to clean up their toys , listen to her and just let it roll of without bothering you.
Create connection: Stress isn’t just a problem for parents, kids frequently go through stressful situations as well. Bring peace into your home by spending quality time with the kids playing games, exploring the backyard, taking a drive, making dessert, crafting, washing the dog or shopping for clothes. Healthy family relationships are built over time with love, care and empathy. Give each child one-on-one time, listen to what they have to say and allow your children to grow up in a safe, secure environment.
Life in today’s fast-paced world can wear us down, causing us to be increasingly vulnerable to stress. Consider these tips, and take time to re-evaluate where you can make adjustments in your daily life that will help you handle those difficult experiences more easily. This will show them that they too can learn to cope with life’s frustrations in healthier ways. We can’t take care of our families unless we first take care of ourselves. Learn to identify the signs that your stress level is building, and have a plan for stress relief, whether it’s getting some exercise, taking some time for yourself to calm your emotions or calling a friend.