Stay at home parenting is not the easy job some would think it is. Being at home all day with your kids often means you have a 24 hour a day job. Your spouse comes home from work and wants a break, but the stay at home parent stays on the clock. It is a stressful job, and the parent left at home all day can face the same side effects of chronic stress as working parents. Taking the time each day to practice some mindfulness exercises for stress can help the stay at home parent manage feelings of stress when an outlet seems nowhere in sight.
You don’t need a long period of time to meditate, and a regular mediation practice can be a fantastic resource to manage stress. Are the kids down for a nap? Engaged in an activity? Take five minutes (or more if you have it) to do this: Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Inhale to a count of ten and exhale to a count of ten. Continue this for as long as you can, inhaling and exhaling fully.
Get your kids in on the action! Kids love yoga, and can benefit immensely from the practice. Starting a family yoga practice not only helps the stay at home parent de-stress, but helps the whole family to bond. Kids as young as three can learn sun salutations, and kids of any age love learning to be flowers, trees and different animals.Yoga Journal has some great resources, and Cosmic Kids Yoga has a YouTube channel with 20 minute videos.
Spend time outside! When we are inside, we tend to focus on the dishes that need to be done, the phone that is ringing, and the mile long to do list. Get outside and forget the rest! Take a cue from your kids and focus on having fun! There is mindfulness in movement too, so pick a game, gather the family and lose yourself in fun.
Stay at home parenting will never be stress free, but there are so many things you can do to ease your stress. Contact us for more mindfulness techniques for stress management.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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