Out of more than 17,000 parents surveyed around the world, American moms and dads feel more levels of burnout than those in other countries. When you’re not feeling like the best version of yourself, that can make you feel like you’re not the best version of yourself as a parent, leading to even more stress.
You owe it to yourself and your children to prioritize your mental health and learn how to manage stress so you can feel your best. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to get started with stress management, we’re here to help.
Keep reading to learn 7 helpful stress management tips that you can start implementing today and in the coming year.
1. Rediscover Past Joys
When you become a parent, it’s easy to feel like taking care of your kids is your whole identity. Of course, over time, this can leave you feeling like you don’t even know yourself anymore. Try rediscovering some of the things you used to love before becoming a parent to reconnect with your former self.
For example, if you used to play baseball, look for a local league to join so you can play once a week. Or, if you used to read a book every week, try committing to reading just 5-10 pages each night. When you rediscover things you used to love, you might find your stress levels go down.
2. Prioritize Your Health
Did you know that 77% of people who experience stress say that it’s so bad it affects their physical health? Busy parents often don’t feel like they have the time to focus on their own wellness, but prioritizing your health is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your kids.
Try to incorporate some movement every day, whether it’s going for a walk or practicing a few yoga poses. You can even get the kids involved to help them learn healthy habits from a young age.
Remember that small changes can lead to big results. You don’t have to run 3 miles a day to focus on your health. Just do what you can when you can, and it’s better than nothing.
3. Ask For Help
As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. If your stress levels are soaring, reach out to your village for help. You might ask your partner to stay home with the kids while you go out with friends or get a babysitter so you can go on a long-overdue date night.
The people who care about you will step up when you need them, just like you would do for them. If you don’t ask for help when you need it, your stress levels could lead to burnout syndrome, affecting all aspects of your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
4. Do Something Fun and Different
Oftentimes, getting into a dull routine takes a toll on our mental health and stress levels. Try to break out of the same old monotony by doing something different, even just for an afternoon. Visit that museum you’ve always wanted to explore or check out a restaurant that’s new in town instead of going to your old standby.
You can even get the kids involved and plan a family staycation for a day in a local hotel. A change of scenery can do wonders for your stress, helping you “reset” before getting back to your normal routine.
5. Make Time for Yourself Every Day
Busy adults often feel like they always need to be “on” for their kids. However, without some time to yourself, that’s not sustainable. Of course, it’s not always possible to get a babysitter if you need time away, but there are small things you can do for yourself each day to recharge.
For example, you might leave for work a few minutes early so you can sit in the car and take a moment to clear your head before diving into your day. If you stay home with your kids all day, create a set “quiet time” for a bit, where they can play independently while you take a moment for yourself.
Even if your alone time is only 5 minutes, take that time for yourself instead of using it to do chores or errands, so you feel like you have a break.
6. Connect With Other Parents
No one knows the stress of parenting better than other parents, so make time to connect with your fellow moms and dads. You can exchange parenting advice or talk while your kids play, giving you the much-needed adult interaction that you crave.
Parenting can sometimes feel isolating, so it helps to remember that you’re not alone in feeling stressed and that other parents are going through it too.
7. Don’t Overschedule Your Calendar
Is an overbooked calendar part of the reason for your stress? If you find that you’re always saying “yes” to activities, outings, and other commitments, it may be time to take a step back and figure out what you can say “no” to instead.
While some commitments are unavoidable, your stress levels will always be high if your plate is too full. Maybe the next time sports season rolls around, you enroll your kids in one activity instead of multiple to help scale back your commitments.
When you have less on your calendar, you’ll have more time for the things that truly bring you joy.
Follow These Stress Management Tips for Parents
After reading these stress management tips, we hope that you have the knowledge you need to feel like the best version of yourself. Remember, to your kids, you’re a literal superhero. Don’t feel guilty for taking the time to follow these tips to lower your stress. Trust us, your kids will thank you for it!
Looking for more advice? Check out our post on school stress to help your kids manage stress as well.