Being a mom is more than a full-time job. You never really get a day off (or a union break, for that matter) and whatever the working conditions, it’s your job to keep the family together and on task. When family members get stressed, your job gets even harder.
Your personal methods of stress management will affect your children, University of Maryland Medical Center reported, so don’t forget to take care of yourself.
“Young children of mothers who are highly stressed…tend to be at high risk for developing stress-related problems.” It’s easier to prevent these problems than to treat them later.
The key to stress reduction is really stress prevention. “Getting enough sleep, a proper diet, avoiding excess caffeine and other stimulants and taking time out to relax may be helpful in this regard,” American Institute of Stress reported. Despite your best efforts at enforcing bedtime and providing a balanced diet, stress will still happen. No mom wants to be captain of the S.S. meltdown, so learning— and using— stress management techniques is critical for your sanity.
Divert Attention From Stress
Sometimes just removing focus from the stressor is enough to reduce stress. When siblings are arguing, for example, a few minutes of focus on anything else can dissolve the tension. Depending on your kids, you can use anything from a coloring book to free game downloads onto a phone or tablet. Obviously, you don’t want to reward bad behavior, but a change of focus can make a huge difference.
Physical activities are a great way to disperse symptoms of stress. From simple yoga poses and “oms” to going for a run or playing a game of catch, concentrating on a physical task can be a big help. Channeling excess energy into an activity will also help kids work out their anxiety in a healthy way.
Try Some Tunes
Arbitrarily drugging your children isn’t really an acceptable solution for anything. If you’d love to dose your little ones with something to calm them down, try substituting classical music instead.
“Listening to 30 minutes of classical music may produce calming effects equivalent to taking 10 mg of Valium,” Webmd.com reported. That sounds like it’s worth giving it a try in any household! If you don’t have a stash of classical music, try Pandora or Spotify to see if it works out.
When you’re pregnant, how do you cope? Breathing. When something bad happens and you can’t fathom anything worse, what do people say? “Just breathe.” It’s good advice. Taking some deep, calming breaths before making decisions or acting on stressors is a very good habit to develop for both yourself and your children. Additionally, this is a trick everyone can use in every situation. You don’t need anything external, just the presence of mind to stop and clear your mind.
Do you have any tried and true tricks to share? We’d love to hear about them!