Being a parent is a rewarding and fulfilling life experience, but the demands of parenthood aren’t without challenges, especially at the beginning of a new school year. Between picking up and dropping off the kids at school, going to work, after-school and weekend activities and household responsibilities, the daily grind of being a parent can bring a great deal of stress. 

As you know, stress can take a toll on your health. When the body is stressed, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, sleep problems, chest pain and/or an upset stomach. To help reduce the amount of stress in your life, use these simple, yet effective tips:

  1. Talk it out: Sometimes we all just need to vent and let go of our frustrations. Talk to your spouse, a close friend or a family member about anything that’s weighing on your mind. Addressing your stressors head-on may help you work through them without the hefty price of a therapist.

  2. Meditate: If you don’t want to share your feelings with a loved one, meditation may be another option to help clear your mind. Even with a busy lifestyle, it’s easy to find time to meditate. All it takes is 15 minutes of complete silence. You can try meditating first thing in the morning before the kids are awake, or right before bed after the little ones are tucked in.

  3. Invest in scents: Aromatherapy is another great and inexpensive way to de-stress after a long day or week! Invest in scented candles or massage oils that contain lavender, chamomile, or vanilla to increase relaxation and reduce anxiety. Let the scents fill your home so the entire family can reap the benefits.

  4. Chew gum: That’s right. Studies have shown that popping a stick of gum can help improve mood, reduce fatigue and lower anxiety levels. 

  5. Laugh out loud: Laughter truly is the best medicine when it comes to stress relief. A good, hearty laugh stimulates blood circulation, lowers stress response and increases muscle relaxation, resulting in a calm and positive mood. So turn on your favorite TV sitcom or check out the latest comedy to laugh the stress away.

Choose the methods that work best for you to help manage anything that your busy life has to throw at you.