Whether you work outside the home or are a stay-at-home parent, raising children while balancing necessary daily tasks can be overwhelming at times. If you’re feeling like you’re busy all the time and still aren’t getting enough done, you’re not alone. Research has shown that the majority of parents feel tired, rushed, and stressed.
With the demands of a fast-paced society, it’s understandable that you would feel overcome with the idea that the responsibilities will never end – and, of course, they won’t. That doesn’t mean you have to live with the stress. There are effective and simple ways to help yourself feel better and live stress-free in order to be more productive and centered as a parent. Here are six of those techniques that you can begin today.
Connect with Nature
We live in a tech-focused world where people are always staring at screens. Although technology has made life more convenient and keeps us connected via social media, it insidiously drains our energy. Make it a point to spend time in nature, without your phone or laptop to distract you, and allow yourself to be unproductive. The sounds of the wind and birds and the warmth of sunshine on your face can be extremely therapeutic and healing.
Keep a Done List
Keeping a “To-Do” list is essential for staying organized and preventing unfinished tasks from building up. Uncompleted tasks can become obsessions, however, that clutter your mental space and create emotional chaos and stress. The best way to find emotional balance and change your thinking about undone tasks is to keep a list of things you’ve accomplished wherever you keep your to-do list. Eventually, your done list will be longer than your list of undone tasks and will grow exponentially from there.
Maintain Social Connections
Although you’re probably out in public much of the time, running the kids around or taking care of errands, you may not actually get much fulfilling social interaction. Commit to having lunch with a friend once a week, as well as scheduling date nights with your partner. Maybe take a class to learn something new and make new friends in the process. Your mental health will love you for it and you’ll feel much less anxious and stressed in the long-run.
Keep Things Tidy
Nothing will make you feel more overwhelmed than accumulating clutter. Working amidst clutter causes mental chaos that can cause you to be less focused and productive. Decluttering regularly will improve clarity, increase concentration, and keep you motivated. To make the task of decluttering more enjoyable, set intentions when you tidy up, such as donating items to charity or scheduling a clothes swap.
Involve Children in Household Tasks
Especially when your children are very young, they will be eager to help Mom or Dad do just about anything. They don’t yet understand the idea of daunting tasks, and anything that is new to them is exciting. Involve your children in your daily responsibilities, such as folding laundry, picking up clutter, and kitchen duties. It will encourage you to slow down and teach them as you go, making it a win-win situation.
Try to remember that, although you may find yourself overwhelmed as a parent at times, you only get one opportunity to raise your children. Parenting should be enjoyable, not feel like a burden. Hopefully, these techniques will help you to slow your life down and feel more engaged and fulfilled as a parent.
Amanda Turner is a guest contributor to the HYDAWAY Livin’ simple blog. She’s a freelance writer and recent graduate who is exploring her passions through writing.