5 Ways for New Parents to Relieve Stress
Parenting is one of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences you will ever encounter. Children can motivate you to get up in the morning and work hard to create the best life possible for your family. If you are new to parenting, you may experience the mixed emotions around raising your first child. You've heard the stories of how your baby will melt your heart and fulfill your purpose in life. Perhaps you've also heard the stories of getting no sleep and dedicating all of your time and efforts to your child. If you are worried about the stressful part of parenting, prepare yourself with these easy stress relief ideas so you can fully enjoy your early days as a parent.
Exercising may feel more difficult when your sleep schedule is interrupted and you are constantly attending to your newborn. Although your exercise schedule will not match your pre-baby workout routine for some time, you can build a flexible fitness routine that truly works with your new lifestyle. Maybe you consider shorter workouts or change your exercise location to your basement if needed. Adapting and being open to new ways of working out will help you build your fitness journey at every stage of your baby's early years. You can also stretch while your baby naps, fit in a walk with them in the stroller, or lift weights while your partner puts them to sleep.
Take a Mental Health Day
Taking a day "off" from parenting may not be a concept you've considered before. You have likely been told that parenting is a 24/7 job that you must attend to always. Luckily, this is far from the truth. Taking mental health breaks and asking for support can give you hours or a full day to catch up on your rest, get a change of scenery, or catch up on important work. Grandparents, other family members, nannies, and daycares are wonderful ideas to give you confidence that your baby is taken care of while you take care of yourself. Instead of feeling guilty for taking a mental health day, remember that spending time relieving your own stress will help you show up for your child as a happy and relaxed parent.
Get Professional Help
Relieving stress as a parent should be your top priority, second only to your child's wellbeing. Since minor stress can grow into larger issues and can affect you mentally and physically, do your best to be proactive and ask for help when you need support. There are so many emotions and stressors you may face as a new parent, so process them in a healthy way and with professional help if needed. Look out for warning signs of stress-related addictions or symptoms of depression if you are often fatigued. By asking for help, you can relieve stress and serious issues proactively and protect your child from the effects of serious stress at the same time.
Self-care is a powerful habit that protects you from unnecessary stress and keeps your morale high even when you are busy. Your attention will mostly be aimed at treating your child well, but remember that your baby also benefits when you are taken care of. Do your best to eat healthy meals made of whole foods, take the time with your hygiene, and rely on essential oils and herbs to soothe your family's energy. Self-care can also look like hiring a babysitter so you can work on projects you love, or simply spending time playing games with your baby if that's what you enjoy. For new parents, self-care looks like whatever nourishes you and keeps your stress levels down.
Delegate and Sleep More
Attempting to do it all when you have a strong support system at home is damaging to your overall stress levels and mental health. You might find yourself run-down and exhausted if you refuse to delegate or ask for support. When your community is involved in helping you parent, you can take much-needed time to rest so that your energy levels are high for your baby. Communicate with your partner if you are fatigued and need more time asleep each night. Sign your toddler up for activities or commit to taking turns babysitting with other parents so you each get extra time to rest. Delegating aspects of your parenting are healthy for you and expose your baby to new environments.
New parents like yourself deserve just as much care, nutrition, and rest as your children do. Your parenting style is a reflection of your own mental health and energy levels, so consider it an investment in your children when you take care of yourself. Stress is a natural part of parenting, but you do not need to struggle if you learn to ask for support and release stressful energy in healthy ways. Lean on these ideas if you are new to parenting and want a great start to your healthiest mindset as you raise your child.
Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.