There are two sides of the coin. Everybody talks about the joys of parenting, but nobody talks about the pains. There’s no doubt that parenting can be one of the most beautiful experiences of life, but it can also be one of the most challenging experiences. With the constant cries, constant chasing, lack of sleep, exhaustion, and the baby’s tantrums, there is a long list of things that can make parenting more challenging than it already is.
You can feel exhausted, you can have burnout, and you can even wish to run away to a distant land where you are alone and can spend time with yourself. If the feeling seems familiar, you are overwhelmed. But just so you know, you are a human and it is only natural to feel overwhelmed. Parenting is hard, and nothing can ever change that.
This overwhelming feeling cannot be undermined, but it can be dealt with. Here are some tips that you can follow when parenting feels overwhelming.
Learn to say a NO, don’t overcommit
All your life you have been taught to be kind and giving. But it should never be at the expense of your mental health. You have to draw a line and say a NO when things become overwhelming. A gentle reminder, you are a parent, you already have so much on your plate, there’s no need to take more.
Whether it is helping out a friend, or attending an event that you don’t wish to go to, listen to yourself. Prioritize yourself and your other priorities for once.
Take a short walk around
4 problems, one solution – walk. Walks can be highly beneficial for your mind when you are overwhelmed. It can give you an opportunity to cool down. Backed by science, it controls cortisol (the stress hormone) in your system, ultimately reducing stress and anxiety. Walking calms you down by sparking nerve cells to relax the senses. Studies reveal that walking also eliminates negative thoughts, improves mood, and energises your spirits.
Do some art and craft
You are never too old to pick up the brush. Art and craft can be a good way to reduce your stress. Not to mention, it is something that kids love. It can be a great way to calm you down, engage your child and have a fun session. Practising art together can remind you of the joys of parenting in overwhelming moments, helping you calm down and hold on tight.
It is a fact backed by science, cognitive neuroscientists found that creating art reduces cortisol levels in the body.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Once again, you can only take so much. When things begin to get overwhelming, you can ask for help. It can be a friend, your partner, or professional help. Seeking help would only allow you to take a break. A break is much needed when things begin to go out of hand. You can utilize the break to rest or do something that you like.
Practice breathing exercises
The world is familiar with the power of breathing exercises. Breathing exercises are known to help the lungs get rid of accumulated stale air and increase oxygen levels. It can be miraculous for mental health as well. Breathing exercises can invoke a stress response, which can lower heart rate and blood pressure, and stress levels, increase physical energy and promote feelings of calmness.
So, if you are feeling overwhelmed and feel that you cannot take it anymore, leave everything and start practising breathing exercises.
Give up the idea of perfection
We all know perfection is a myth but we still chase it. If you are a parent, it is very likely that you are doing the same – whether it is perfectly folding clothes, spreading crinkle-free bedsheets, making 2 to 3 dinner dishes, or deep cleaning your house every day.
You must know that it is okay to be imperfect when you are overwhelmed. Give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack, the world wouldn’t come to an end if you do not do your laundry every day. Just give up the idea of perfection. You don’t need to be a perfect parent every day.
The bottom line
Once again, it is okay to feel overwhelmed. It does not make you a bad parent. Parenting can be tough and it can take a toll on your mental health. But this is when you have to control your emotions, handle yourself. The tips mentioned above can certainly help. Be sure to try them; we hope they work for you.