As a life coach, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve worked with parents who have felt so exhausted after work that parenting became less than enjoyable.
Parenting should be a joy and not a hassle, so it is important to learn how to balance the two aspects of your life and reduce stress so that neither one feels like a burden.
Here are some tips on how to be present as a parent after a long day.
Your Typical Day
Most people feel overworked and overstressed these days, and they often feel as if there is simply not enough time to fulfill their roles as both valuable assets to their employers and parents to their children. As a parent (regardless of the ages of your children) there are things that you must do on a daily basis before and after work. You likely wrap up your workday tired and still thinking of everything that must be done, only to come home and ensure that your children have done their homework and cleaned their rooms. Then it is off to various practices and activities, and there is still supper to consider later. It is no wonder that working parents often feel too stressed out to cope.
10 Tips to Reduce Stress and Be Present
The most important goal?and the one that will lead to better relationships with your employer and your children?is to reduce stress to the point that you feel comfortable and ?on top? of all of your daily tasks, allowing yourself to be present and more available to your loved ones. Here are 10 tips to consider and implement into your daily life:
- Create a routine to wrap up your day at work. Everyone feels better when they aren’t leaving unfinished business behind. Before you leave for home, take the time to clear your desk and make a to-do list for the following workday. This way, you can leave your job behind and really be present for your family when you arrive at home.
- Utilize relaxation techniques on the way home. Listen to your favorite music, perform deep breathing exercises, and avoid conversations regarding work or family during your drive or commute home.
- Take five minutes to prepare yourself for entering your home. Meditation is a great choice, so check out these guided meditations and visualizations that are sure to help you relax.
- Smile before you enter your home. Smiling will not only make you feel better subconsciously, but it will also help everyone with whom you interact to feel more at ease.
- Don’t rush yourself. Many people make the mistake of rushing to start the parenting routine as soon as they walk in the door. Instead, make a cup of your favorite tea and just relax for a few minutes.
- Take a shower and change your clothes. One of the best ways to leave work behind is to start the rest of your day anew. Taking a shower and putting on different clothes is symbolic of removing yourself from the work atmosphere.
- Turn off your mobile phone. Nothing is more distracting than a mobile phone that is constantly alerting you with emails, text messages and calls. Turning off your phone for the two to three hours you spend with your children helps you provide them with the best gift possible?your undivided attention.
- Embrace imperfection. Striving to be perfect in everything you do is stressful and time consuming. You can reduce stress dramatically by simply realizing that perfection is not necessary.
- Get the kids involved and plan ahead. This may involve getting the kids to help you make grocery lists, taking them shopping with you, assigning chores and even asking them to help you keep track of their various appointments in order to reduce stress.
- Take time for yourself every day. One of the best ways to reduce stress?and to reduce it significantly over time?is to ensure that you always take some time to do your favorite activities. Always keep in mind that no one can be truly happy unless Mom or Dad is happy first. Try this five minute morning routine to create a balanced and relaxed atmosphere all day long.
As you can see, it is possible to be productive at work and still have time to be present and enjoy parenting after you get home. The key is to use various techniques to reduce stress as much as possible – and the most important of these involves taking time out of your busy schedule to pamper yourself.?