Being a parent is hard work, often stressful even in the midst of joy. And if you’re not careful, the pressure and pace can drain you of energy (and patience) when you need it most.
For stay-at-home moms and dads trying to keep it all together, here are tips for conserving your health, energy, and sanity:
• Always eat breakfast. A cup of coffee isn’t a meal. Eat a solid, nutritious breakfast to give you the energy you need to face the day.
• Follow a routine. Don’t reinvent the wheel every morning. Have a regular plan for your days with the family so you don’t stress out trying to think of something new to do. Just don’t chain yourself to the schedule—be flexible when problems and opportunities arise.
• Drink lots of water. You can get dehydrated without realizing it, and suffer from headaches and fatigue as a result. Keep a bottle of water handy and drink from it throughout the day without waiting until you feel really thirsty.
• Get fresh air and exercise. Try to get out of the house for a walk once a day. If the weather is too cold or rainy, at least open a window to get the air circulating in your house and in your body.
• Eat healthy snacks. Don’t run yourself down by starving between meals. Some fruit or a few nuts can help keep you going.
• Connect with people. Get together with some other parents for a playdate. Even a quick session on Facebook can help you feel like an adult again. You need mature conversation to stay centered.
• Take a break. Give yourself permission to let the kids watch a video for a half-hour. You’re not a bad parent for taking time for yourself.
• Get your rest. Have a regular bedtime for yourself, not just your kids. Getting the sleep you need will help you stay healthy and calm