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Stress Relief Secrets You Need To Know If You’re A Busy Parent


Stress Relief Secrets You Need To Know If You’re A Busy Parent

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Ah, Summer. A time for us to sleep late, relax, go on bike rides, take a vacation, and play with our friends. Oh wait… that’s summer for children. Summer for adults can, unfortunately, quite often, be the exact opposite. Creating (and managing) our children’s schedules, figuring out how to pay for expensive summer camps, and finding the time to go to the beach makes it easy and common for our stress levels to reach new highs. Sometimes everything on our plate can take a toll on our mental health, and we aren’t even able to notice the little moments of joy all around us in the summer months.

It’s no secret that it’s not easy being an adult in today’s world and especially not easy being a parent. But there are tools available to you to make it more manageable and less overwhelming. This article will explore summer stress relief ideas for busy parents.

Use These 5 Tips to Decompress and Relax

Take a few deep breaths. While it sounds almost too simple to be helpful, breathing is a potent tool for calming the nervous system. When you’re stressed and feeling ungrounded, your breath is shallow and fast, making it nearly impossible to relax. Next time you’re feeling stressed, try using the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It’s a standard breathing method to calm someone with a panic attack. You breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and then breathe out for 8 seconds. You repeat this pattern as many times as needed until you start to feel a sense of relief. The great thing about this technique is that you can do it anywhere.

Listen to a short, guided meditation. When it comes to meditation, we often think the practice must be long and intense for it to count or be impactful. But the truth is, you don’t have to take an hour of your day or be sitting, chanting mantras in Sanskrit to feel the benefits of meditation. You can take a few minutes and focus on your breath or listen to a guided meditation on YouTube or a meditation app like Calm or Headspace. Taking the time to ground yourself during a stressful moment can positively affect you.

Be selective with activities. As a parent, it’s common to want to give your children every opportunity in the world to grow into happy, healthy, well-versed people. However, running yourself into the ground because you overpacked your child’s schedule will not win you the parent-of-the-year award. Chances are your child won’t even be able to enjoy the activities if they feel it’s causing you stress. It’s also important to teach your kids that they won’t always be able to do everything they want in life and that learning to choose and prioritize is a vital skill set.

Bring awareness to what you consume. When life feels stressful, sometimes we want to escape reality by binge-watching shows or scrolling through our social media accounts. But bring awareness to what you’re consuming. If you’re reading about stressful events every day or watching tv shows about negative topics, you’re not helping your mind relax but teaching it to live in constant noise and chaos. If you’re experiencing stress, watch and read about positive or neutral topics or content that makes you smile or interests you. Saturate yourself with the good.

Prioritize self-care. If you’re someone who tells yourself you’ll get around to self-care one day when the kids are grown, stop putting it off. Yes, you’re busy and have a lot going on, but if you can’t find a little time every day (we’re talking five minutes) or at least every week to care for yourself, then you will most likely struggle with stress for a long time. And remember, stressful energy eventually impacts the body, causing pain and disease. Going for a walk, taking a bath, reading a book, writing a gratitude list or journaling, and taking the time to wash your face are all simple actions you can take to care for yourself. You don’t have to spend money; you just choose to show up for yourself in some way consistently.

Contact Us Today

If you’re struggling to find ways to manage your summer stress or mental health as a parent, you’re not alone. The world is a challenging place right now with so much negative noise in our ears at all times; sometimes, the simplest actions on your to-do list can feel too hard to accomplish. If you feel like talking to a counselor or therapist could be beneficial, Advanced Behavioral Health is here to help. We have an extensive team of professionals who specialize in various therapy modalities, including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy), CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and Animal Assisted Play Therapy, to name a few. Call us at 301-345-1022 or send us a message on our website here.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.