1. Take time for you- everyday!
I know there are only 24 hours in a day, but to be at your best some of that time needs to be devoted to just you. Self-care is necessary to maintain a level of balance within your emotional and mental state. If this means waking up an hour earlier for alone time in silence with your favorite magazine and coffee, or scheduling a yoga class after you drop off your kids at school before grocery shopping.
2. Nurture your marriage.
Remember that spouse you took a vow to way back when? Ensure that you two are on the same page for the health of your relationship and to be a united front with your children. Maybe this means scheduling in date nights again, or taking the time to speak with a counselor.
3. Create a daily routine.
Studies show that structure reduces stress- as much as we don't always prioritize it. Create a schedule where you add in each task that you do daily. You can be as general or specific as you need to be. Just ensure that you have a timeline to keep you organized, especially in times of high stress.
4. Identify your highest levels of daily stress.
Pinpoint your most stressful time(s) of the day, and see if you could build in a break before or after. This could be allowing the children some tv or play time so you can decompress before heading into the hectic nightly routine.
5. Instill a level of autonomy in your children.
Allow them to complete tasks for themselves that are age-appropriate. For example, allow them to fix their own lunch or set out their clothes at night. Instilling autonomy increases the child's level of confidence and independence, leading them to rely on you less.
6. Lean on your natural supports.
As much as you can be a supermom or superdad, we increase our level of stress when we do not ask for help when we need it. Are your parents in town, if so, see if they are interested in spending an evening or weekend day with their grandkids. Does your spouse have a few spare minutes where they could help you by starting a bath for the children? Ask them.
7. Get together with your friends. Isolation is real! Though you may be surrounded by family daily, your relationships with friends and your social life are important to your overall wellness. Even if it is just a monthly pow-wow to watch the game or to grab brunch, make it a priority.
8. Get a hobby.
I know that this is the last thing on your mind with the tons of other tasks you need to do, but I promise this is important for your mental and emotional health. What is that thing you've always wanted to try? See if you could find a way to explore it that can be scheduled in during the day when less of your time is with family. Check out meetup.com for some ideas.
9. Outsource, if you can. Are there people who can do what you do, but more efficiently and effectively within your budget. Call them, and schedule a routine appointment. This could be a cleaning service, a drop-in nanny, a grocery delivery service, or a laundry pick-up.
Kudos to you hard working stay at home parents! Simply reading this list today was a step towards taking time to be the best you for yourself and your family.
If you are in need of additional support, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists. We can address the concerns that may be hindering you- that these tips may not be able to address. We have flexible office hours and accept most major insurance plans.
YOUR MISSION TODAY
When we aren't okay emotionally or mentally, other areas of our lives suffer. Everyone deserves to live a life of fulfillment. Everyone. Whether it is you, your family, your friends...whoever.
Please share this Blog with anyone who you know that could benefit from prioritizing their emotional wellness. We are here.
THE VOICE OF CRAIG COUNSELING
Jessica Craig Driggers, Ed.S, M.Ed, LPC owns and manages Craig Counseling. She started the practice to promote wellness in the community and de-stigmatize mental illness. She has built a wonderful team of therapists that specialize in individual, couples, and family counseling to serve the needs of everyone.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Jessica.