Learning stress management tips and techniques is something everyone can benefit from. For some, stress is mostly a once-in-a-while occurrence. However, others suffer from extreme and chronic stress. While it’s all-too common, there are many negative effects of stress, both mental and physical. From tension headaches to hypertension, stress has a very real, and very negative, impact on our health.
All that stress undoubtedly takes a toll on us as individuals. But over time, your own stress levels start affecting your family and friends. Moms and dads especially are prone to the added stress that comes with parenthood. Often referred to as “mommy stress,” parents are particularly susceptible to intense stress. In fact, 70% of US moms say that mothering is “incredibly stressful.” In a time that’s supposed to be filled with joy, what can moms and dads (siblings and grandparents, too!) do to relieve the stress?
Know the signs of stress
Before you can jump right into relaxing, you need to know what’s causing the stress in the first place. Stress management tips are more effective if you catch your symptoms early! If you find yourself stressed on a regular basis, try these stress management techniques.
- Recognize your own stress cues. Does your heart race? Do you start to get a headache? Maybe you tend to raise your voice. Stress affects everyone differently, so start to identify what your body does when you get stressed. Having an early warning helps alert you when it might be time to take a break.
- Identify when you get stressed. Knowing that certain situations are more likely to trigger your stress can help you prepare in advance, or control your stress response. For example, if your job is stressful, try some relaxation tactics before you enter the house to leave the work-related stress in the car.
- Check in with your wellness. Prolonged stress can actually cause physical symptoms, like trouble sleeping, chronic pain, digestive upset, and even contribute to weight gain. If your body is showing these physical signs of stress, it may be time to get more serious with your stress management techniques.
5 stress management tips for moms and dads
One of the reasons stress and anxiety are so common is that once it starts, it’s hard to hit the brakes. Stress can be compounding! Especially for moms and parents, the pressures of raising kids are often combined with the stress of work, and a general feeling like there’s not enough time in the day. Even if you’re short on time, these 5 stress management tips are made for busy parents!
- The five-minute break
When things start to get stressful, step away. As a mom, that can be really hard to do. But even just a few minutes alone can be a huge relief for a stressed-out parent! Communication is key for this stress-reducing tip. Create a new process for your “mommy break” so that everyone knows the rules. Maybe you hang a “do not disturb” sign on your door, or have a space that’s no-kids-allowed for when you need a breather.
- Get a massage (without leaving the house)
Moms are busy. Like, really busy. Taking the time to book a spa day just isn’t realistic for most parents, let alone finding childcare during that me-time. That’s why Soothe is the perfect way for moms and dads with packed schedules to get the massage therapy they need. Booking an at-home massage means there’s less planning ahead needed, so you can get relaxation on-demand, whenever you need it.
- Exercise as a family
We all know exercise is a great form of stress relief. But most parents know how hard it is to fit in a good workout when you’re busy with kids! So, have them join you! Go for a family walk, play catch or tag together, or start a family yoga practice. This stress management tip gets everyone to move more, and it also doubles as awesome family bonding time. Plus, when kids see their parents taking care of themselves, they’re more likely to lead healthy lives, too.
- Take deep breaths
Barely have a minute to de-stress? No problem. At the onset of a stressful situation, a few deep, calming breaths can make a world of difference. If you have a little longer, try incorporating meditation into your daily schedule. Even 5 minutes of focused breath work and meditation can curb stress for the entire day! Try these basic meditation techniques for stress relief.
- Build your support network
Sometimes, we just need someone to lean on for support through stressful times. And that’s ok! Whether it’s your significant other, your own parents or siblings, a local parents’ group, or an online forum, having somewhere you can go to talk about your situation is key to stress management.
Time to decompress
Even if you’re not a parent, managing stress is still an important part of taking care of your mental well-being. These 5 stress management tips are great for moms and parents, but anyone can benefit from them!
Know a mom who could use a break? A Soothe gift card is the perfect stress-busting treat for busy moms this Mother’s Day! They can redeem their massage gift whenever it’s convenient for them, without even leaving the house. Professional massage therapists are ready to bring the spa to moms who need it the most.