Juggling responsibilities to work and family can sometimes make parents feel a little overwhelmed. That feeling of being stretched thin can contribute to stress, which many parents acknowledge is part of their daily lives.
Stress isn’t always caused by life-changing events. In fact, a recent study of 2,000 parents in the United Kingdom found that the daily worries of bed time, getting homework finished, weekly food shopping, and meal times were parents’ biggest stress triggers. The research, conducted by BPme, a new app that allows customers to pay for their fuel without leaving their car, said the average parent felt stressed six times a day. Data from a 2015 Pew Research Study indicates 15 percent of American parents say their job as a parent is tiring all the time, while an additional 18 percent say parenting is tiring most of the time. Ten percent indicated being a parent is stressful all of the time, while 15 percent said it is most of the time. The younger the age of the children at home, the more stress many parents say they face.
It is well documented that stress can have various negative physical and psychological symptoms, which put stress sufferers’ overall health at risk. Parents can curtail stress by instituting some lifestyle changes and employing other management techniques.
Don’t take work stress home. It’s easy to bring home work-related problems, which can then combine with issues at home. Try to talk to a coworker or a spouse before leaving work to diffuse tricky situations so they can be left at work.
Increase quality family time. Take a break from the extracurricular activities, volunteer responsibilities and the other tasks that pull families in different directions. Slow down and schedule fun activities that foster parent-child relationships, such as game nights or family movie nights.
Seek professional help. Parents who are having difficulty coping can enlist the services of trained mental health professionals, advises Psychology Today. These therapists can offer helpful strategies for coping with life’s challenges.
Stick to a routine. Keeping kids on routine schedules enables parents to know which moments of the day they can get a break to rest and recharge.
Ask for help. Do not be a martyr or attempt to be a superhero. Parents who need help should reach out for assistance, especially if it’s to tame stress. Doing so is in the best interest of the entire family.