Working mums and dads have a lot of responsibilities to balance when they’re busy raising a family and succeeding in their careers. As you might expect, managing these crucial parts of your life without letting either slip is a stressful experience that causes even the most organised person to struggle.
Fortunately, several actionable techniques help relieve parental stress. Whether you may not have the financial security to leave your job behind or don’t want to give up your career, you have the power to be an outstanding parent and elevate your job prospects at the same time.
Stress relief activities for working parents
Ready to juggle childcare and professional interests like an expert? These stress relief activities will help you refocus on self-care while ensuring you make the most of every hour without the anxiety-inducing side effects.
1. Stick to a daily routine
You might discover that creating a daily routine is a difficult task as a working parent, as no two days are ever the same. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t outline a schedule that structures how you arrange your time while ensuring you don’t forget an important responsibility.
Following the same morning alarm, set aside time for a quick shower before packing the kids’ lunches made the night before. You might squeeze in a gym session at lunch and create a time slot to help your kids with homework after school. Whatever the case, a realistic daily routine will have a positive impact.
2. Focus on one task at a time
Things can get hectic as a working parent. In the morning, you’ll get your child cleaned, fed and ready for school while catching up on a work project, responding to client emails and preparing to head into the office for a make-or-break meeting.
It will probably seem like everything is piling up at once during these times. However, taking a moment to slow down and give each task your full attention should mean making fewer mistakes. This deliberate approach means you regain more time and have fewer things to remember.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
It’s all too easy to compare yourself to others as a working parent. Whereas much of daily life revolves around caring for your children and performing at work, you’ll undoubtedly overhear colleagues planning their next holiday or spending their weekend on activities you don’t have time for.
Alternatively, you might pay too much attention to working parents on social media who never seem to have an issue balancing their career and childcare responsibilities. The reality is certainly very different, so focusing on what you can control and blocking out the noise is the best approach.
4. Set appropriate boundaries
Learning to say ‘no’ is one of the best strategies a working parent can adopt. While many people, particularly working mothers, have trouble turning down extra requests from their boss, setting clear boundaries that convey where your priorities lie is an important skill.
These boundaries shouldn’t just be limited to professional life, either. If you have friends or family who take up your spare time with unnecessary requests, an occasional ‘no’ can reduce your everyday stress and ensure people understand that you have other responsibilities to consider.
5. Prioritise self-care
Working parents can never prioritise self-care enough. As even the most organised person is bound to have overly stressful days where nothing seems to go right, having a strategy for dealing with these situations ensures you can get back to your best as soon as possible.
While it might seem impossible some days, getting enough sleep, eating fresh food and carving out some time for relaxation can significantly reduce your stress levels. Meanwhile, relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation and reading a good book can help you unwind after a challenging day.
6. Stay in touch
Both working fathers and mothers who feel overcome by their responsibilities have the unfortunate tendency to shut down around friends, family and colleagues. However, talking through your concerns with dependable people within your personal and professional networks can be a massive help.
It’s common to feel all alone when dealing with a challenging situation. Plus, many people don’t want to feel like they’re burdening others with their issues. But you might discover that speaking openly means you ease stress, receive helpful advice and even get more assistance from those around you.