Anyone who thinks parenting is a walk in the park is probably lying to themselves. Being a parent is a hard job, and it’s ever harder during a pandemic. Whether it is cleaning the house, playing taxi-driver, making meals or washing up sticky fingers, parents are constantly on their toes. Here are tips to help all the stressed out parents out there regain some composure.
Anticipate the flaws
Aiming for perfection only sets you up for stress overload. Most days will not be seamless, and most mornings something will make you late. If you anticipate these imperfections, you will be able to more efficiently react to the situation and get the day back on track. If that means setting your alarm 15 minutes early to give you a buffer for your toddler’s daily morning breakdown, do it.
Do not be afraid to ask for help
Parenting is a 24/7 job with minimal breaks and tiny windows of vacation time. When things get way too overwhelming and you just do not have enough time, ask for back up. Reach out to family and friends to help when you cannot be in two places at once. Make friends with other parents and arrange a carpool schedule. Every parent has been there, so help each other out.
Set time to exercise
Working out may be the last thing on your mind, but it is an essential part of both physical and mental health. Studies have shown that exercise can decrease stress levels and help maintain a balanced mindset. This can double as alone time or time to spend with a workout buddy!
Take a break, breathe, stretch
It is OK to stop for a minute. When you are constantly running around and picking up meals and messes, it is important to allow yourself to stop and breathe. After you drop the kids off, do a few breathing exercises and think about things you are grateful for. Before you start making dinner, stretch.
Find a hobby, read a book
Your job title at home may be parent, but that does not mean you should neglect every other activity you enjoy. Treat yourself by finding a purposeful or relaxing hobby. Create something. Collect something. Find a book to read before bed or while you are waiting in the car line. Let yourself enjoy something that is just yours.