We love our kids more than anything in this world, but let’s face it: if we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re no good to them. Sometimes while balancing taking care of our children, working and keeping up with household chores, we find ourselves run-down and depleted. Come to this page to find ways to give to yourself, because no one deserves to be cared for more than the person who is doing it all – you!
PARENTAL STRESS LINE
There is a toll-free number that parents can call when the stress becomes too much to bear on your own and you need information on resources to help you through whatever is troubling you: 1-800-632-8188. While it is a helpline that serves Massachusetts parents and their families, they will take callers from other states and provide you with relevant information for your particular state. Please go to their website for further information:
TOP 35 STRESS-RELIEF TIPS FOR PARENTS
1. Count blessings. Every day! This will help you focus on all that is good in your world, and what you focus on, you help to grow.
2. Prepare for your day the night before. Plan your breakfast, make lunches, put out the clothes you and your children will wear, etc.
3. Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the dry cleaning, when library books are due, etc.
4. Practice preventive maintenance: your car, appliances, home, and health will be less likely to break down or fall apart “at the worst possible moment.”
5. Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today; whatever you want to do today, do it now. If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with. Then, the rest of your day will be free of anxiety.
6. Don’t put up with something that doesn’t work right. If your alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers, friendships — whatever they are — are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.
7. Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures and two hours before international departures.
8. Always set up contingency plans, “just in case” (“If for some reason either of us is delayed, here’s what we’ll do…” Or, “If we get split up on the subway, here’s where we’ll meet…”)
9. Relax your standards. Seriously. This is a BIG one. I used to think high standards were the way to go in life but sometimes they just set you up for stress and nothing more. Become more flexible. Some things are worth not doing perfectly and some issues are well to compromise upon.
10. Ask questions. Take a few moments to repeat back directions, what someone expects of you, etc. This can save hours.
11. Say “No.” Saying “no” to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don’t have the time or energy for takes practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax and be alone.
12. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect. (The possibility of there being a terrible emergency in the next hour or so is almost nil). Or use an answering machine with the ringer and message volume turned all the way down.
13. Turn needs into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don’t get attached to too many preferences. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
14. Make friends with non-worriers. Nothing can get you into the habit of worrying faster than associating with chronic worry-warts.
15. Get up and stretch periodically if your job requires that you sit for extended periods. Take a short walk, even if only to the restroom.
16. Get enough sleep. If necessary, use your TVs “Sleep” function to remind you to go to bed.
17. Organize. Organize your home and workspace so that you always know exactly where things are. Put things away where they belong and you won’t have to go through the stress of losing things (and trying to find them).
18. Writing your thoughts and feelings down (in a journal, or on a paper to be thrown away) can help you clarify things and can give you a different perspective on what troubles you.
19. Remove the fear from an upcoming event. For example, before speaking in public, take time to go over every part of the experience in your mind. Imagine what you’ll wear, what the audience will look like, how you will present your speech, what the questions will be and how you will answer them, etc. Visualize the experience the way you would have it be. You’ll likely find that when the time comes to make the actual presentation, it will be a much less negative experience than you first feared and much of your anxiety will have fled.
20. Talk it out. Discussing your problems with a trusted friend (or friends) can help clear your mind of confusion so you can concentrate on problem solving.
21. Learn to live one day at a time; sometimes even one hour at a time. Do one thing at a time. Be present in what you do. When you are with someone, be with that person and with no one or anything else. When you are busy with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about everything else you have to do. We tend to think that multi-tasking is the answer, but it has recently been proven that multi-tasking often only leads to more stress and poorly accomplished tasks.
22. Every day, do something you really enjoy.
23. Add an ounce of love and full focus to everything you do. If you do, even small tasks will leave you feeling as if you have accomplished much.
24. Take a hot bath or shower (or a cool one in the summertime) to relieve tension.
25. Focus on understanding rather than on being understood; on loving rather than on being loved.
26. Do something, any small thing, that will improve your appearance. Looking better can help you feel better.
27. Schedule a realistic day. Avoid the tendency to schedule back-to-back appointments. Allow time between appointments for a breathing spell.
28. Eliminate destructive self-talk; “I’m not smart enough to…”, “I’m too fat to…,” etc. One phrase I use is “Boycott That Thought!” As soon as a negative thought comes to mind, tell yourself that phrase, thereby divesting your energy from unwanted and draining thought patterns.
29. Use your time off for a change of pace. If your work week is slow and patterned, make sure there is action and time for spontaneity built into your weekends. If your work week is fast-paced and full of people and deadlines, seek as much peace and solitude as is possible during your days off.
30. Allow yourself time everyday (even if only 15 minutes), for privacy, quiet, and introspection.
31. Learn to delegate responsibility to capable others, and then once you have done so — let it go! Do not micro-manage how others do the task, simply be grateful that it will get done.
32. Don’t forget to take a lunch break. Try to get away from your desk or work area in body and mind, even if it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes.
33. Forget about counting to 10. Count to 500 before doing something or saying anything that could make matters worse. If you have calmed down and feel yourself getting riled up again, start counting again!
34. Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.
35. Have an optimistic view of the world. Believe that most people are doing the best they can – because they really are!
NEED TO UPDATE YOUR BATHROOM DESIGN? TEN TIPS BY ‘DESIGN ON A DIME’S’ FRANK FONTANA
Your Single Parenting had the pleasure of attending a fabulous blogger event hosted by Charmin Ultra Soft. Besides introducing us to their new product (which is the softest and most absorbent Charmin to date), we got fabulous tips from Design On A Dime’s Frank Fontana on how to update the look of our bathrooms without breaking the bank. Here are 10 great tips to help you spruce up your bathroom just in time for all the summer company you’re sure to have over at your place:
1. Color Correction – If your bathroom feels stale, the most inexpensive way to make a big impact is by changing the color of the walls in your bathroom. Make sure to choose a color that matches your current decor so that you do not have to make other major changes.
2. Get floored – According to Frank, the floor is the “6th floor” and should be decorated as such. Cool tile is tops for that surface; easy to clean and stylish.
3. Be vain – by changing the vanity or medicine cabinet that hangs above the sink. If you don’t have the money to buy a new one, paint the old one or add some trim molding to creat a new framed look for it.
4. Less is more – Choose your toilet paper wisely. Charmin Ultra Soft has a new embossed pattern that compliments any decor, and it allows you to use only 7 sheets vs. 28 sheets of the leading brand. If that sounds improbable, it did to me too – until I saw a demo that proved it. So spend less money on toilet tissue and more on your bathroom!
5. Change your hardware – So many people overlook them, but new pulls and knobs can make your bathroom cabinetry look refreshed. Don’t underestimate what a huge difference new knobs can make.
6. Accessorize the bathroom – Another great way to add character to your bathroom is with accessories. Pick unique and interesting items for the vanity or shelves that fit into your design style.
7. Three’s the magic number – When accessorizing, groupings and pairings of three are always a good choice.
8. Curtains, please! – Believe it or not, a new shower curtain can do a lot for softening up a bathroom. Consider getting a new shower curtain if your old one is looking tired, or if you are simply interested in a better look.
9. Clutter is not classy – Clutter is the #1 killer of good design, so make sure you keep your countertop surfaces clear and dirty towels in the hamper. Be sure to recycle your magazines every month with new ones.
10. It’s all in the details – Carry over textures and colors. If you have a pattern or texture on your towels, wall coverings, or moldings, you can repeat the textures in smaller, more subtle bathroom accents.
Neat tips, right? Now, go forth and spruce!
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