For all of the perks that come with parenthood, there is no doubt that it can be stressful. After all, managing your own life can be challenging enough. So, once you add kids into the mix, there are just so many more things to stress over!
You are likely to have a much busier schedule for starters. Finances are also bound to become a bit tighter. Beyond that, there are plenty of other things to worry about. So, in this article, I’m offering up five tips to reduce your stress level as a parent.
Make Time For Your Hobbies
One of the easiest traps to fall into as a new parent is to give up your entire identity as an individual as you dive into parenthood. Indeed, in the first few months of being a mom or a dad, it’s just not practical to make time for your hobbies. But, as soon as you start to get the hang of things, it’s a really good idea to start getting out and doing the things you enjoyed.
You might not immediately go back to playing tennis every day or attending four yoga classes a week. But, you do want to make time for the things you enjoy. Hobbies are a part of what makes life fun and they are also a great way to get yourself a mental break. So, whether you love painting, photography, stamp collecting, or golf, make sure to carve out some time.
Get Outside And Smell The Roses
Being cooped up inside all day with kids can really be rough. Taking them outside is a great way to let them burn off some energy. But, it can also be a good way for you to de-stress. Sometimes a simple change of scenery can really help, especially if the weather is nice.
There is just something about seeing a blue sky, birds, and nature that can put you in a more relaxed state of mind. You might take your kids for a walk, or a bike ride. Or, you might just put your feet in the sand in your sandbox and watch your little ones dig and play.
Play Like Your Kids
When you’re a parent, it’s your job to make sure everything is going well. For that reason, once your kids are a few years old, it’s easy to start spending all of your time telling them what to do – eat your vegetables, wash your hands, clean your room, brush your teeth, and on and on.
Try not to lose track of the fun part though. Instead of just being boss, spend some time losing yourself in play the way that kids do. Play hide and seek, or break out some walkie talkies or board games and try not to worry about anything but having fun.
Keep Your Schedule Manageable
In today’s world, overscheduling has become the norm for a lot of families. It’s not enough that kids go to school and play a sport anymore. It seems that they need to learn three languages and two instruments as well. When this happens, it’s easy to start feeling more like a chauffer and personal assistant than a parent.
But, jamming your kids’ schedule full of activities can add a lot of stress to your life as well. After all, if their schedules are packed, that tends to mean your schedule is packed too. This makes it harder for you to get everything else done, and can really leave you feeling stressed out.
Enjoy Some Low Key Time Every Day
Beyond keeping a manageable schedule, it’s a good idea to plan a little bit of down time every day. Evenings are an ideal time to decompress so that by the time you get in bed, you’re feeling relaxed. For some people, this means a good book. For others, a little Netflix might be in order.
Making time to unwind is naturally stress reducing. So, whatever your low key activity of choice is, be sure to fit it in.
Ryan Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.