Stress-Busters for Parents
Parents often feel guilty about taking time to de-stress, but doing so is an important way to make sure we don’t feel too overwhelmed. Believe it or not, you don’t need a lot of time, extra energy, or a therapist to combat stress if you have a few healthy practices in place.
Put yourself in timeout.
What’s the difference between a timeout for kids and a timeout for adults? Grown-ups will welcome the opportunity to be forced to take a break every now and then! When you’re feeling overwhelmed, find a quiet place where you can relax all by yourself. Ask your partner or oldest child to watch the little ones, or if there is no one around to help, ask your kids to play quietly by themselves, and tell them you need to take care of something important (because your emotional balance is important). Use your time however you want to in order to take a mental break from the craziness of life. Try to do something that doesn’t focus on parenting or work; this isn’t a time to schedule a playdate or catch up on client emails. Instead, meditate, call a close friend, or read a chapter or two of your favorite book.
Find a kid-free hobby.
As parents, it’s easy to make our families our whole world, but it’s important to pursue interests that aren’t about them. Find something you enjoy that’s uniquely your own by adopting (or picking back up) a hobby, whether it’s something you do at home or outside of the house. If you’re not sure where to start, try joining a book club, creating crafts or artwork, or volunteering for a cause that’s close to your heart.
Spend quality time with your partner.
Because our kids need so much of our time, it’s easy to take our partner for granted. It’s important to take time for just the two of you without your kids, so don’t feel guilty for taking a kid-free date night or even a getaway where the two of you can rekindle your romance and appreciate and relish each other’s company.
Whether alone or with the kids, heading outdoors can instantly boost your mood. Make time to not only be outside, but disconnect from technology and appreciate the wonders of nature. Head to a park, the beach, your backyard, or even an outdoor space at work, and leave your phone, tablet, and laptop behind so you can take in the sites and sounds of the natural beauty that surrounds you.