We all experience stress, if not today then tomorrow or the next. If we are honest with ourselves…most of our stress comes from situations we create.
We are all extremely busy these days!! If you have school aged kids you are probably at that stage in your life where the minute the kids get home from school you are running from one thing to the next. Some of us with more than one kid might not even have a night off from the hustle and bustle. Whether we realize it or not this constant “going” can wear on the best of us and creates added stress.
I have learned a few things over the years, mostly with the help of friends who are well into this season of life.
Here are 5 WAYS TO ALLEVIATE STRESS for parents:
1. Evaluate your priorities: YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST!!!
Evaluating your priorities is where you need to start. What is MOST important to you and your family? No matter how much you think you NEED to do something, is it best in the long run?
2. Learn to Say NO!
It can be hard to say no sometimes, but overcommitting is not beneficial to anyone. I’ll be honest this has always been a hard one for me. One of my favorite quotes from Lysa TerKeurst is “Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances.” Don’t let saying YES to all the little things jeopardize the goals and plans you have for the future. (Check out Lysa’s book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.)
3. Limit Your Kids’ Activities
So, we all have kids and some of those lovely little people think they should do EVERYTHING. Maybe it’s because that’s just what all their friends are doing or it’s because they like two sports that are going on at the same time? (Maybe it’s pressure from you??) Whatever the reason may be, keeping our kids too busy not only creates stress on us (the parent) but also our kids.
I have two kids so we try to limit one (sometimes two) sports per semester. It always depends on the amount of practice and games each activity requires. If they want to do more than one or two…they have to choose. (Don’t worry about upsetting your kids! The things they are really passionate about will be their top choices. This decision making process will help them more than hurt them!)
Limiting activities not only helps with the stress of running your kids around all day, everyday, but will eliminate some of the financial stress associated with some of these activities. Which brings us to another issue: don’t sacrifice your financial goals on all the EXTRAS.
4. Menu Plan
Menu planning will help with a whole range of things. It will help you with organization, save you money, time and your sanity. There’s nothing worse than heading out the door at 4 o’clock without a plan for dinner. It will result in eating out (spending more $$) or stressing out when you get home about what to prepare. To help with this task be sure to sign up for our weekly menu plan with printable grocery list: HERE.
5. Have one day a week OFF…from everything!
Growing up, my parents had a rule about not doing things on Sunday (outside of family activities like church and lunch with extended family). They said it was our day of “rest.” They let us break the rule every now and then but we knew there had to be a really good reason! I didn’t fully appreciate the concept growing up but now that I’m a parent I agree with their policy. We all need a day of rest. It doesn’t have to be Sunday but choose one day and make it all about relaxing as a family. Rest helps us recharge and refocus…alleviating stress.
What do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you have any suggestions? We would love to hear them!