It may seem like a contradiction to include the words “simple” and “reduce stress” in the same sentence. However, there are ways that you can learn to relax even in the midst of your seemingly non-stop parenting schedule. If you feel like your day starts too early, ends too late, and is filled with too many errands, soccer games, grocery lists, emails, work responsibilities, and other stressful factors, take a deep breath and read on.
Take a Time Out
If a child is frustrated, throwing himself on the floor, and screaming because he can’t have what he wants, what is one of the most popular parenting tools to deal with the tantrum? You guessed it – a time out! But, this tactic isn’t just for toddlers. A time out can help you calm down, refocus, and deal with your feelings. So, when you’re experiencing a stressful situation, step back, take a few deep breaths, and if possible, go to a quiet area (even if that just means locking yourself in the bathroom!).
Take Care of your Finances
While time outs can help with acutely stressful situations, some of the most common causes of stress in families are more fundamental in nature. Money is one of the things that keep a lot of parents awake at night. So, work with your spouse or partner to eliminate debt and stay on top of monthly bills. For many families, this doesn’t mean the need to make more money. Often, you can improve your situation by simply spending less.
The only way that I can get out of the house each morning with my two toddler boys without stressing about what I’m forgetting to bring or do is to follow a routine. I know what needs to go into each bag that I’m bringing with me, and I always keep my keys in the same place. By setting up a daily routine for your home, you essentially set that part of your brain on autopilot, which allows for a less stressful experience overall.
Eliminating or dealing with these common stressors can make a world of difference in your day-to-day life. So, give these simple tips a try!