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How to Reduce Stress as a Parent

Laura Kuehn, LCSW
Written by Laura Kuehn, LCSW

If you are a parent, you likely feel stressed-out from time to time. It goes with the territory. We give to others all day long and what we “get” in return often isn’t enough to replenish our dwindling supply of energy. We don’t have to be martyrs, however. Let’s make some changes. Here are some things you can do during your day to reduce stress.

Institute a daily quiet time

Quiet time is good for you (for obvious reasons) and also good for your kids. Although they will protest and complain, don’t let this deter you. Consider removing any media (tv, computers, etc.) from the bedrooms to encourage your children to use the time to unwind, be creative and relax. If you have children with shared bedrooms, you can assign rotating “quiet corners” throughout your house.

Do things with your kids that you enjoy as well

Do you like puzzles? Get them involved in one of your own. Do you like evening walks? Take your kids with you.

Try to save “me time” for the kids’ quiet time or bed time

I know. We are tapped out and sometimes we just need a little “me time.” But the truth of the matter is, if you try to squeeze “me time” into all the possible slivers of free time during your day, you will reap some pretty hefty consequences later (like resenting your kids when you are interrupted, having to play catch-up on your daily duties, or ending the day feeling frantic, rather than calm).

Make sure “me time” is quality time

Catching up on Facebook, surfing the web, or sports apps may be enjoyable to you, but if those activities don’t replenish you, but drain you (or leave you craving more), they are not the right kind of “me time.” Everyone is different, so what fills you up will be different from someone else. Try to figure out what works for you. Maybe a cup of coffee on the porch, uninterrupted prayer time, or some time alone in the kitchen to cook is what you really need.

Send the kids to bed at a reasonable time

Even if they don’t fall asleep right away, add a “wind-down” time to the beginning of bed time. Lights out may be at 8:30pm but your kids can head up to their bedrooms at 7:45pm. They can read, listen to audio books or enjoy soft music. Pop in for night time prayers, a quick story and a kiss goodnight when it’s time for lights out. They will have a quiet end to their day and you will get more time to refuel.

What strategies do you use to refresh and refuel both during and at the end of a long day?

Image by Pexels from Pixabay
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for treatment from a qualified mental health professional. Cornerstones for Parents is not liable for any advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations the reader chooses to implement.

About Laura

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura is a licensed therapist who offers individual and parent counseling to individuals in Connecticut. Cornerstones for Parents is the place she combines some of her favorite things: writing, parenting and God's word. She is happily married with a young adult son and a teenage daughter.

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