While raising children is one of life’s most rewarding experiences, it can also be stressful. Parents are on call 24 hours a day, which can cause stress levels to build. This anxiety can lead to difficulty sleeping, headaches, or a lowered immune system. Here are a few things you can do to help you relax and manage the stress that often comes with parenting.
Watch What You Eat
Not only is a balanced diet good for you physically, it also helps you to manage stress. Eating right keeps your energy levels up throughout the day, and helps you to fall asleep at night.
One thing to be sure to include when planning out your meals is complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grain pasta and bread. These carbs may increase your brain’s level of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps to keep you calm and in a good mood. Omega-3 fatty acid is another dietary addition that can help you to stay on top of any situation. Commonly found in fish, seeds, and nuts, omega-3s help to regulate the stress hormones in your body.
Get Plenty of Exercise
During a workout, your body releases endorphins, which brighten your mood and make you feel accomplished. In addition, the positive stress of an intense workout helps to prepare the brain for negative stress down the road. Consider starting an exercise routine, whether it’s walks around the block or even a gym membership. Not only will it help you to feel positive, it may also give you the energy you need to keep up with the kids.
Set Aside Some Time
Don’t feel guilty for wanting to take some time out for yourself. Whether it’s being able to watch a movie uninterrupted or finding the time for a spa day, devoting a little time and energy to taking care of yourself will help you to maintain a positive attitude. If the children are old enough, you might encourage them to explore after-school activities, which will give you more time to tend to your own needs, as well as heighten your children’s interest in hobbies and activities.
Look for Help
At times when stress levels start to get high, it’s important to remember that you can ask for help. If you hire a babysitter or even give the kids a little time at their grandparents, this frees up some time so that you can take care of whatever you may need to get done. If you need to vent about the things that have you stressed, try calling a friend or even inviting them over to help you unwind.
When parenting gets stressful, it’s important to relax and stay in control of the situation. Your kids learn by watching you. So, responding to stressful situations with a positive attitude is more than a little important.