…that don’t involve wine.
Parenting is a tough gig at the best of times, and given the current situation we’re all finding ourselves in, it feels even tougher than ever. Indeed, life for us all has changed dramatically of late (emphasis on the ‘drama’ for those with young kids and teenagers) and finding wholesome, holistic coping mechanisms amongst it all can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Aside from using that needle for acupuncture, here are 5 tips to help relieve stress, IDEAL for parenting through the pandemic.
GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO SLEEP
Parenthood and sleep deprivation go hand in hand. When you’re juggling a job, children and everything everyday life throws at you, sleep all too often feels like a luxury, snatched in moments when you’re lucky enough to have a moment’s downtime.
After the kids have gone to bed, instead of sleeping, it’s all too easy to stay scrolling through your phone, watching late night TV, doing extra work and trying to get those extra chores done. However, if there is one thing you should be doing, it’s prioritising its sleep.
Sleep deprivation is physically and emotionally draining and without your regular dose of the good stuff, your stress levels will skyrocket. Though it’s tough, try and forget about any non essential jobs, switch off from your screens and go out of your way to get good sleep.
We’ve written an article here on 5 tips for sleeping better during uncertain times, IDEAL for improving your wellbeing with a good night’s sleep which includes no late night news, having a bath before bed and replacing that glass of wine with a cup of herbal sleep tea, which brings us to our next point…
A cup of CBD tea or adding a couple of drops of a CBD oil like MedterraCBD to some warm water with a slice of lemon just before bed could be the ideal natural sleep aid you’ve been looking for. Indeed, some studies suggest that CBD shows promising signs of being an effective and safe way to get more sleep and is thought to help stabilise sleep patterns.
CBD has become well known for helping to tackle anxiety and stress, and it can go a long way toward helping you to feel much brighter on a day to day basis. Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director of Healthspan, told Stylist magazine that ‘‘Cannabidiol (CBD) oil interacts with your endocannabinoid system to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, sleep quality and feelings of general well-being’’. There are lots of other benefits of CBD, too. It’s thought that it can improve our mood and energy levels amongst other positives – something all parents need, don’t you think?
There are lots of ways to incorporate CBD into your day; perhaps our favourite is by water. When the kids go to bed, try and unwind with a relaxing bath, and add some CBD bath products to the water. Baths are a good way to absorb CBD; the warm water opens your pores and allows the CBD to be absorbed into your system. Consider making it a ritual every other evening to run yourself a hot bath and drop some CBD bath salts into it.
SPEAK TO YOUR PARTNER
A recent survey found that almost half of mums, 46%, admitted that their partners were causing them more of a headache than their children! If you’re feeling stressed, then do endeavour to speak to your partner about your concerns. This isn’t a time to be suffering in silence or trying to take on too much of the work on your own.
If you’re in a two-parent household, try giving each other a set amount of time each day to have to yourselves. If sharing responsibility isn’t a realistic option right now, then there are still plenty of other ways to relieve stress…
TRY THESE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
That study we mentioned also revealed that 72% of mums admitted to stressing out about how stressed they were – and that’s a cycle you want to avoid at all costs. Some simple relaxation techniques to put into practice include:
- Deep Breathing: Deep breathing can be an effective way to decrease stress, as it has been scientifically proven to lower your body’s cortisol levels. As a result, it can significantly reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. What’s more, deep breathing techniques are believed to result in a temporary drop in blood pressure.
- Yoga Exercises: Grab a yoga mat and comfortable clothing to enjoy a relaxing yoga session. The ancient practice is believed to reduce stress levels as it focuses on a combination of stretching and deep breathing techniques. It is, therefore, the perfect physical activity for those wanting to feel happier, healthier and more flexible, all in one.
- Listen to music: Whenever you feel a little overwhelmed by an intense situation, take a break by listening to some relaxing music, as calming sounds can positively impact both your brain and your body. Gentle sounds and music, such as birdsong or classical music, can reduce cortisol in your body, which is the hormone directly linked to stress. It can also lower your blood pressure, and maybe most importantly, music is just so darn enjoyable.
- Have a Hug: Combat stress by wrapping your arms around your kids. Hugging a loved one can increase the oxytocin levels in your body, which is the love hormone. It’s therefore believed to be beneficial for both your stress levels and heart health. Even a ten-second hug can ease depression, boost your immune system and fight infection, while a twenty-second embrace can decrease the physical effects of stress, such as an increased heart rate and high blood pressure.
As a parent, it’s all too easy to skip meals. However, doing so only leads to tiredness and stress.
In fact, your emotions and sense of wellbeing are so often connected to your diet. You might be tempted to turn to fatty or sugary foods during times of stress in the name of comfort or ease, especially if you’re eating at different times to your kids, but try to avoid this. According to the BBC, ‘’eating a balanced and healthy diet is key to helping our bodies to manage the physiological changes caused by stress’’.
DON’T GUILT TRIP YOURSELF
…as it will only make you feel more stressed. Between at-home schooling, child care and working, pandemic parenting is hard. Trying to balance working from home and your kids demanding more attention is a serious business, and at times your house may feel like pandemonium.
No doubt you’re feeling guilty for occasionally being irritable and short-tempered. Just remember that you’re parenting during an unprecedented pandemic, and you’re getting through; you’ll come out the other side stronger as a family and more resilient than ever. You’re doing great!