Being a parent can be very stressful. Whether you are a single parent, a stay at home parent or a working parent, the responsibilities with raising a child are large. A parent wants their child to be healthy, kind, respectful and successful. There are many challenges to being a parent. These challenges can be finances, school issues, transporting to sports or activities, or maybe balancing work and home. These challenges can cause a high level of stress. High levels of stress can cause physical and emotional damage to the parent, but also to the child. If a parent is not able to have appropriate stress management, the child can also be affected by feeling inadequate, feeling unwanted, frightened or sad depending on the negative parent response. There are many ways a parent can reduce stress. Stress reduction will help a parent to perform better personally, parentally and professionally.
There are many ways to reduce stress. First is to breathe. Sounds simple, but it is actually the first thing we lose control of physiologically. When a person experiences stress, their breathing pattern becomes irregular. In addition, the increase in breathing pattern, triggers your fight or flight response, increasing your agitation. Focusing on your breathing pattern decreases your natural response. Start by taking 5 deep breathes slowly. Breathe in through your nose and out your mouth. Count to 5 while breathing in and breathing out. If stress still is high, take 5 more breathes.
An additional way to reduce stress of parenting is to remember to take care of you. Keep up with your physical and emotional health. Just like you were taught when you were young: eating, sleeping and exercising right are all helpful. When you take care of yourself physically, you are better prepared to take care of others. A parent can also have better stress management if they care for themselves emotionally. Remember to have fun, take time doing activities you like and with people you care for.
Another good way to reduce parenting stress is to seek assistance. Many people struggle to ask for help, but there are many supports available. Talk to other parents in your neighborhood, at school or activities. Many libraries, hospitals, doctors offices, park districts offer activities or resources to parents. They may be play groups for the kids to meet while the parents meet together, or they can be a support group. Therapists are also a good resource for many to help a parent learn how to cope and reduce stress.