It’s no secret that parenting can be stressful on its own. Then, you add on top of that the responsibilities that all adults face in today’s day and age. Work must-dos, paying bills, caring for aging parents — it can all cause a lot of strain.
As such, 56 percent of employed parents find it tough to balance all of their responsibilities. And that figure fails to incorporate the time that moms and dads should be spending on their own to relieve the stress that comes with their endless to-do lists. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to take much to add a few minutes to yourself into your schedule to fight this tension. Here are seven ideas of how to relieve stress for busy parents like you.
1. Start the Day in Silence
Your little ones are safe in their cribs, so you don’t have to get them up as soon as you do. Instead, take five minutes to breathe deeply and focus on a comforting thought or sight. A quick breath-centric session will impart the benefits of meditation upon you, including decreased stress. You can enjoy these effects all day long, and it only takes five minutes of practice to get them.
2. Walk It Out
Nature has soothing effects, and exercise can help you fight off stress, too. Even if you don’t have time to fit in a full workout session, try and head outdoors for a walk during your day. The kids can come, of course, or if you do work, you might slip a lunchtime walk into your schedule from now on. You’ll relieve stress and boost your energy, too, making you a better employee when you return. Plus, because you released tension at lunch, you’ll come home in a better mood for family time.
3. Plan a Date Night
Sometimes, busy parents just need a break. So, schedule a babysitter and get out of the house for a few hours. Together, you can participate in an activity that’ll reduce stress. You’ll bond during the one-on-one time — and that bond is something you must maintain through parenting and beyond.
Get creative the next time you go out for extra stress-fighting benefits. Instead of going for the classic dinner and a movie, try a more active date night. For instance, you can fight anxiety and tension by suiting up for a game of laser tag. Playing like kids again will undoubtedly help you to ease your stress.
4. Use Your Days Off
When you go, go, go all of the time, it can be impossible to stop. However, your employer gives you time off for a reason. Be sure you’re using these breaks when you need them. Even scheduling a random day off to stay home and relax can give you the boost you need to get through a stressful time. Then, you’ll return to the office with renewed energy and ideas, thanks to the breather you gave yourself.
5. Pencil in Some Pampering
Having a monthly beauty or wellness appointment can help fizzle parenting stress, too. So, don’t be shy — indulge yourself at least once a month. Choose the treatment you like the best and schedule it. Whether you want a manicure, facial or massage, you’re penciling in “you” time that will help you refresh and recharge.
6. Socialize With Friends
Sometimes, household responsibilities can take you away from your social life. Of course, you want to spend as much time as possible with your kids, but you should also take the time to spend with your friends, though. Such relationships give so much, including stress-fighting abilities. Isolation, on the other hand, amplifies such feelings.
You might find even greater support in friends who have become parents, too. You all can share tips and tricks — and commiserate over the tough times you’ve faced. So, head out with a friend and take a break from your responsibilities. You’ll come home refreshed and recharged, and so will the other person.
7. Take a Bath
It’s refreshing enough to hop into the shower, but you can make your end-of-day rinse even more relaxing by turning it into an evening soak. Once you put the kids into bed, the house will be quiet anyway. So, take their toys out of the bathroom and fill the tub with bubbles. Enjoy the warmth and the stillness of the water, and take time to breathe deeply and reflect. When your soak’s over, you’ll feel relaxed and ready to hit the hay. As such, a warm bath could be the ideal way to wind down after a stressful day — and the perfect prep for doing it all again tomorrow.
De-Stress and Feel Good
When you’re a parent, life is hectic — but you wouldn’t change it for anything. You could probably do without the stress, though. Start incorporating some stress-relieving activities into your daily routine. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter you feel in a short amount of time. Better yet, a de-stressed mom or dad can handle all of their responsibilities that much better. That way, you can tackle the important stuff in time to enjoy your family — it all goes so fast, and you don’t want your stress to get in the way of a single moment.