- 1 Tips to reduce parental stress
- 2 Strategies to deal with parental Stress
- 3 Causes of parenting stress
Parenting is not an easy job. It could lead to parenting stress that could affect the entire family. Parenting involves various tasks like cleaning, cooking, helping children with school work, taking care of new babies, among others.
There are various tips and strategies parents could employ to reduce stress so as to enjoy life to the fullest with their children.
Tips to reduce parental stress
Taking good care of self
Parents should see to it that their children do not neglect themselves due to full schedules. They need to have enough rest, which includes the recommended 8 hours of sleep a day.
Eating a balanced diet will definitely rejuvenate and give the body the required energy. Eating unhealthy food may increase your stress levels.
Exercise: Exercising is therapeutic. Exercise will supply oxygen, making you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day’s schedule. It does not have to be vigorous exercise. Taking a walk while listening to calm music would do.
Balance your life
Plan for the day and give priority to the important activities. Remember, you need to have some rest to be effective in whatever schedule you have for the day. Spread all your appointments throughout the week so that you can enjoy a balanced day, week and month.
Make time for yourself
It is ok to give yourself a break and time to rest. Me time is important as it allows you to focus and re-energies. Taking time for self is beneficial for your body and actually improves your health in general.
A happy parent will spread love to the children, and this will grow healthy relationships in the family. Most parents may feel guilty taking time off from their busy schedules. To reduce stress, you need to be calm, in control of issues, and full of energy.
Having quality time with your family
Set some time aside to spend with your children. This will involve doing enjoyable activities like playing games they love. Allow them to take charge as they spell out the rules of the game and give directions.
Time spent with your children is more beneficial than time spent doing things for them. This can take place when the children come back from school or after a meal before going to bed.
The children could actually advise on the best time to have family activities. This will create a bond amongst the family members and also help build skills necessary for daily living.
Be close to your partner
Have open discussions with your partner about your feelings. Allow them to know what is bothering you and the issues you feel are not going right according to you.
Come up with practical solutions for how to run your family while keeping each member’s needs in mind. Work out ways on how you can assist each other.
By doing this you will realize that some things can be delegated to other family members so as to concentrate with the most delicate and important issues.
Avoid bringing stress into your home
To avoid burnout and stress, one will require courage and self-discipline to separate office issues from family matters. This will go a long way in maintaining healthy relationship with family members.
Thinking of something that makes you happy
Whenever you start feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts, it is good to shift your focus from what is worrying you to something you like.
For example, if you are worried about your sick child, you can reduce the anxiety by thinking about the vacation you had or plan to have. Imagine yourself in the swimming pool or enjoying your breakfast in bed.
This is an instant strategy to relax the body and help it function normally.
Learn to say “No”
You do not need to agree to every invitation that comes your way that you have not planned for. It is tempting to join up with friends for social activities but remember you do not have time or the energy for the same.
This could be overwhelming and detrimental to your body and health in general. Saying “No” takes self-respect and inner courage. It will in turn work out for your sanity and family health.
Getting oxygen to the brain is an immediate way to relax. Whenever you feel tense, anxious or about to bust in anger; take a slow deep breath and release it out slowly. Repeat this as many times as you may require. A calm mind is able to think through issues.
Strategies to deal with parental Stress
Get professional help
If the above simple but workable tips for reducing stress do not work, try getting professional help. This could be from a licensed mental health professional or a psychologist.
They will walk the journey with you, give you strategies that suite your life and any medication you need, if need be.
If the stressor concerns your child’s health or growth and development, you will need to get help from a pediatrician.
Find a support system
Use people around you for support. This can be your relative who could help you with the children at specific hours in a day or few days in a week. This would go a long way in freeing you from the busy schedule.
You can use the free time for self-care and time off. You can also connect with social groups in your locality to listen to and learn from each other’s expertise.
Learn from other parents
What you are going through is something that other parents have gone through or are currently going through. Listening to each other and learning how they cope could be the remedy you need for your situation.
You will also get new ideas on how to cope with the things that you cannot change in your family, for example, if you are dealing with a special-needs child.
Causes of parenting stress
Parents tend to worry about their children. They worry about giving their children the best like saving up for their college. This can be a major cause of parenting stress.
Misunderstandings among family members, especially when the children do not get along well, can be a major cause of concern for the parents.
Thinking about the future
We all have dreams about how we would want our family to be in the future. Many parents worry about their children education and future careers. This can cause parenting stress if not handled in moderation.
Sickness in the family
Taking care of a sick family member is a major responsibility. Having a child who needs your constant care or total support due to disability can be overwhelming.
This means the parents are engaged in the needs of this child round the clock. This is a major cause of stress in the family, especially for the parents.
The death of a family member
This is very difficult to deal with and can cause a lasting scare in the lives of the parents. Parents dealing with the death of a child will require every kind of support to get over the grief.
Parenting is a rewarding role, even though it comes with a lot of demands. The joy a parent receives after their children grow and are able to take care of their lives exceeds the struggles the parent goes through during parenthood.
Parents should learn how to take care of themselves by having less schedules and setting apart time for rest. Maintaining good health is key, this could be achieved through frequent exercise and eating healthy food.
It is beneficial to reach out to other people for help and advice on the issues that are causing you stress. Family members come in handy and if need be, one can always go for professional help.