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Parenting

Stress Less Tips for Parents 

Some say the toughest job in the world is being a parent. In fact, being a mom or a dad can highlight the best and worst in you. It stands to reason, since life and soul is often intrinsically linked to the wellbeing of your children, and there is nothing more stressful than thinking you are doing a bad job as a parent. Why can’t you have the same control at home than you can in a boardroom?

The truth is, when you are worried or anxious, your body feels it. It’s the natural reaction we have to external stressors called fight or flight. This is not a conscious action, but rather an innate reaction. We protect ourselves by either attacking or fleeing. These days, there are so many things that can affect your general state of peace and we deal with a profound amount of tension. While this may affect each of us differently, it’s safe to say that it still has an unfavourable effect, especially on our families.

Signs that you are too stressed out:

Clues that you are too stressed out include

  • A tight or lumpy throat
  • Profuse sweating
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or restlessness
  • Depression or mania
  • Disturbed eating patterns
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety
  • A frequently upset stomach
  • Decreased satisfaction with life
  • A burning desire to drink a lot more than normal
  • An increase in clumsiness or accidents

None of those symptoms are particularly pleasant, and the problem is that when we start to feel them, we panic even more and forget that we have the tools to combat these effects. So here’s a reminder for you on how you can ensure less stress and achieve maximum efficiency at home (which, in turn, pretty much affects every other aspect of your day-to-day functioning) according to:

  • Take a deep breath – this will quieten the mind and allow concentration to happen.
  • Learn to accept the things you cannot change – like the bills, time constraints and the fact that the only constant in life is change.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – especially if it’s not a big deal in the greater scheme of things. You don’t need the anxiety.
  • Be grateful for what you do have, and work harder to achieve what you don’t.
  • Meditate – or find something similar to do at the beginning and end of each day.
  • Spend time alone – everyone needs a break now and then.
  • Don’t try to be supermom – you are already a hero in your child’s eyes. Try not to freak yourself out attempting to be perfect.
  • Eat well – this solves most of life’s problems and keeps your metabolic functioning at a place where you can cope with what the day throws at you.
  • Exercise – again, this will allow for greater peace of mind and a much healthier you.
  • Focus on the big picture. Sure, we want them to be doctors or lawyers, but not as much as we want them to be happy and healthy.
  • For an hour a day, switch your phone off. Studies show that ringtones actually affect people’s general mind sets.
  • Play and joke – have fun with your family and spouse. It’s an amazing de-stressor.
  • Get lots of sleep – it’s not just the kids who need naps sometimes, nor are they the only ones who should have curfew.

And for general health and well-being, here are some proven general stress reducers:

  1. Rise 15 minutes earlier in the morning so that when things go wrong, it won’t affect you as badly.
  2. Use the evening before to prepare for your mornings, especially when it comes to choosing what to wear, preparing breakfast, making lunch and checking homework.
  3. Write stuff down – don’t rely on your memory.
  4. Duplicate all sets of keys in your home and for your cars.
  5. Practice preventative maintenance, especially with your car.
  6. Set a softer alarm tone so that you do not wake up in a state without knowing why.
  7. Make sure your petrol tank is always full. It may seem expensive, but it works out cheaper in the end.
  8. Be patient – life makes you wait for things as much as people do.
  9. Do not procrastinate – rather delegate.
  10. Have a sense of humour when viewing the world. Some things really are just that funny.

Be grateful for what you have, and work harder for what you don’t.

If you are battling with mounting stressors and these tips are not feasible for your situation, speak to a psychologist about how you can manage your stress more effectively. After all, they’re there to help.

A bit of comedy

Modern comedy legend, The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Balik, shares how she handles mom stress. Have a laugh:

Sources: Center for Effective Parenting: www.parenting-ed.orgchilddevelopmentinfo.com and Dr Robyn Silverman: Drrobynsilverman.com

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