Self-Regulating Stress and Anxiety While Parenting

giphy (15)

By Mila Sanchez

Most of you all know the stress and anxiety that comes with parenting. The kids are screaming at decibels that shatter glass, the house looks like a hurricane went through it during an 8.9 earthquake, and the laundry pile and the dishes in the sink are having a competition to see which can reach Mt. Everest’s height. But fear not. There are self-regulation skills to help manage your daily stress and make your day just a little more manageable.

1. Identify the specific emotions you and others feel

It’s important to be self-aware of your emotions and of those around you throughout the day and to allow yourself to feel and reflect on them. Recognize why you are exasperated; your child is throwing a fit about the corner of crust that is still on their sandwich. Reflect on why your child is upset; you obviously left the worst thing next to death on their otherwise edible food. Now that you have understood everyone’s feelings, you can rectify the situation by removing the stressor.

2. Enhance self-regulation through goal setting

Setting goals it a great way to organize your day, making it just a little less stressful. Start with simple goals like making a grocery list, getting at least one shower in this week without your toddler melting down, and getting a load of laundry done. FYI, that onesie that’s covered in spaghetti and your child’s body fluids definitely counts as one whole load. Bonus: If you wear a set of clothes during your shower, that’s another load of laundry done!

3. Encourage adaptability

I know we all want things to go according to a specific plan, but unfortunately, life is full of changes and unpredictability. Learning to adapt to new or surprising situations is the key to parenting and preventing extra stress. Baby just exploded through his last diaper while at the park? No worries! Your picnic blanket will make a fine makeshift covering until you get home. Adaptability!

4. Practice strategies for self-awareness

Self-awareness is the first step to identifying and solving problems. One way you can become more self aware is by recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. If one of your weaknesses is cooking and your family is sick of the two meals you are decent at, recognize your strength in phone skills and call out for delivery. Can’t you feel the stress floating away now?


About the Author

Mila Sanchez is a writer in a permanent state of “just waking up.” She enjoys studying languages, experiencing other cultures, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. She is a very involved Aunt and “backup parent” to four amazing nieces and nephews. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.