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There are many reasons why you may be feeling more stressed than usual, whether you are preparing to return to ‘normalcy’ after the COVID-19 pandemic or have taken on more than you can handle at work. However, stress can have an increasingly negative impact on your health, happiness and even your ability to parent. As a result, you must be able to respond to and deal with stress in a healthy manner.
With that in mind, here’s a helpful guide that you can use to live stress-free this summer!
Talk to others
Talk to others about how you are feeling. While you may prefer to keep your feelings to yourself, being open and honest can help reduce stress and allows you to bring in new perspectives when dealing with a problem. Being emotionally vulnerable also sets a great example for your children – as they learn that they can always express themselves around you. If you find that stress and anxiety are a constant issue for you, you may wish to consider therapy or counselling.
Organise your home
Make an effort to organise your home. While cleaning may be on the bottom of your to-do list, reducing the clutter and keeping your home clean and tidy can actually have a positive effect on your mood. This is because it helps you feel more relaxed and focused. However, you should ensure that you share the workload with other members of your family and don’t spend hours cleaning your home yourself. For example, you could put together a cleaning rota and ensure that each member of the family has their own job – whether this means they take the bins out or simply put away their toys each evening.
Resolve financial woes
If you are dealing with any financial woes, make resolving them a priority. For example, you could put together (and stick to) a budget, get serious about saving your money, or even take out a loan. If you consider taking out a short loan, ensure you rely on a reputable company such as Buddy Loans and put a repayment plan in place as soon as possible.
Take a break
Whenever you feel stressed, try to remove yourself from the situation, even if you can only spare a few minutes. Taking a break can help you reassess the situation and clear your mind, thus reducing any feelings of stress and anxiety.
Get into the habit of treating yourself. Whether this means you devote some more time to your hobbies or take the plunge and buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for a while. If you’re a parent, the majority of your expendable income likely goes towards your children but it’s important to realise that buying something for yourself from time to time is a necessary act of self-care.
Strike the perfect work-life balance
Ensure that you cultivate the perfect work-life balance so that you do not spend too much time at your desk or work late into the night. While you may be trying to manage multiple deadlines at once, working ridiculous hours will only allow stress to flourish. Once you’ve figured out a work-life balance that works for you, not only will you feel happier and healthier, you’ll also notice a change in the quality of the work you produce. You’ll also find it easier to enjoy your day off.
Working out is another great way to reduce stress due to the fact that it encourages your body to produce mood-boosting endorphins. As a result, you should ensure that you get started on your fitness journey sooner rather than later. Once you’ve committed to working out more often, ensure that you set aside some time for exercise in your daily schedule. This means that you will hold yourself more accountable when working out.
Get a good night’s sleep
Stress always seems to reach us when we are already feeling our worst, such as when we have slept poorly the night before and are struggling to stay awake. Therefore, one way you can effectively beat stress is by ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep. While sleep can easily evade a busy parent, putting together a sleep schedule for the entire family can help ensure that you all get the shut-eye you need.
Spend time with your family
Make an effort to spend more time together as a family, as this is perhaps the most effective way to reduce stress and lift your spirits. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money in order to have fun either. For example, you could head out for a day of adventure at your local park or visit a museum to learn more about the world around you. If the weather isn’t great, you could even spend quality time together at home by playing some board games or watching a film.
Reduce your workload
If your stress is the result of being overworked, then do your best to reduce your workload as much as possible. For example, you could ask your coworkers for additional support and guidance or speak to your boss if the problem is persisting. Remember, asking for help is not a sign of failure – it just means your human. Furthermore, it’s better for you to get the job done right than it is to get it done quickly.
Spending more time outdoors – whether you go for a short walk each evening or start your day with a brisk jog – is another great way to reduce stress. This is due to the fact that it allows you to get some much-needed fresh air, interact with others or simply spend time among nature.
In short, there are plenty of different ways in which you can go about responding to stress. While this does not mean that you can remove it from your life altogether, developing your coping mechanisms and finding healthy outlets for your emotions will allow you to reduce stress as much as possible.