Day in and day out exhausted moms and dads work their fingers to the bone, desperately trying to keep their families running smoothly. Yet, overtime the daily grind can feel endless and mechanical, often causing anxiety and depression. Dr. Erin Leonard, psychotherapist, shares 6 simple tips to mitigate the stress of daily life:
- Everyday, spend 20 minutes doing nothing productive with your kids: make mud pies, run through the sprinkler, jump on the trampoline, climb a tree, have a pillow fight, tickle them, tell them stupid jokes, let them give you make over, have a squirt gun fight, nap with them, blow bubbles, make oobleck. Enjoy them. Non-directive play with children deepens the parent-child bond, and helps kids work out deep inner conflict, alleviating anxiety and depression.
- Car sing: Always car sing. Singing changes your brain, lowers your stress level, relieves anxiety, and elevates endorphins. Car sing with your kids.
- Be silly. Always be silly. Laughter significantly decreases depression, anxiety, physical pain, medical problems, and it helps people sleep deeply and more restfully. Parents need to laugh with their kids every day. Bedtime will be faster and easier.
- Occasionally, decline social invitations to salvage family time. Adults who have a close relationship with their kids have kids who are less anxious and depressed. So, protect family game night.
- Make a fool out of yourself. Perhaps this is the quickest way to feel alive again. Wear your Metallica t-shirt to church and rock it. Individuals who take themselves less seriously and who laugh at themselves accept and celebrate humanity. They are far more content in life and so are their kids.
- Find a hobby/passion: Adults who have a non-money making hobby are substantially happier than adults who do not have a hobby. A happy parent is a better parent, and it models good things for your kids. Pickle-ball anybody?
Go to www.drerinleonard.com for more tips!