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People aren’t kidding when they say parenthood is a full-time job. When you aren’t carting the kids off to baseball practise or music lessons, you are entertaining them at home. When you aren’t imploring them to stop drawing on the walls, you are teaching them how to channel their creative energy elsewhere. Then there are the workaday demands that don’t cease just because you have kids: work, cleaning, errands and – if you’re lucky – a social life too.
Being a parent can be stressful. That’s why this post is looking specifically at stress relief strategies for busy parents. This short guide will break down mitigative strategies into three basic categories: mental, physical and emotional. How do you clear your mind, satisfy your emotional needs and give your body the boost it needs to lower your stress response? Let’s find out.
Mental Strategies: Decluttering and Diaries
Clutter can cause stress. According to psychologists, clutter creates excess stimuli, causing your brain to work overtime processing it all. Further, clutter can leave you feeling ashamed, overwhelmed and helpless. Implementing workable organizational systems at home can be challenging. Luckily, you can hire a professional home organizer to help. Working with you, a professional home organizer will declutter your home and set up easy-to-follow systems for organization.
Psychologists also find that journaling can mitigate stress. The act of expressing and compiling your emotions can help you let go of things more easily. Experts recommend setting aside a little time each day to reflect on your emotions, investigate your feelings and make sense of the day. Just make sure to lock it somewhere secure, so the kids aren’t tempted to read it.
Emotional Strategies: Community and Comedy
Time and again, psychology experts extoll the many virtues of having a support circle. Fostering a sense of community with friends, families and like-minded acquaintances not only has practical benefits (free babysitting!) but emotional advantages too. If you find that you have recently let your social relationships slip, take some time to rekindle them. A long chat with a friend might be just the emotional invigoration you require to lower your stress levels.
Next, here’s an even simpler strategy: include more comedy in your entertainment diet. You’ve probably heard about all the scientific studies on the benefits of laughter. Well, they aren’t lying. A few hearty laughs in a day are great for emotional and physical wellbeing. After putting the kids to bed, instead of watching that new true-crime documentary, click on a light-hearted comedy instead.
Physical Strategies: Diet and Exercise
You can’t separate the body and mind – they are inextricably linked. What is good for one is oftentimes good for the other. That’s why researchers, psychology experts and counsellors often recommend paying close attention to diet and exercise for stress relief.
Exercise, in particular, can have immediate and noticeable effects on stress. When you break a sweat, your brain boosts its feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. No wonder you feel like a million bucks after a jog around the block!
Being a parent in the modern world is tough. But, by paying attention to the three facets of overall wellbeing – mental, emotional and physical health – you can mount a serious threat to your stress levels.