Self-Care and Stress Relief For Parents

November 6, 2020

Self-care for parents

Okay, okay…

We know this “self-care” term is overused, but we are all overwhelmed, over-extended and frankly, over it.

So whatever you want to call it, we probably could all use more of it.

Let’s start by echoing what others have stressed more than ever: You are enough.


Be kind… to yourself

There has been a lot of pressure to take advantage of all of this supposed “free time” and pursue perfection. You may still feel that way now.

We’ll say it again: You are enough.

Think of this as a flight safety demonstration. You need to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

Maybe today has you feeling like supermom/dad. Or maybe it’s one of those days where kids are crying, passwords are failing and dinner is definitely going to be PBJ.

It’s important to take care of yourself EVERYDAY, not just the days when you are struggling to get by.


“You Deserve It” Checklist!

  • If possible, carve out quiet time for yourself in the morning before the kids are up and running. Whether it’s enjoying a cup of coffee in peace or taking a quick walk, having a morning ritual can make all the difference in setting the tone of the day. 
  • Put pen to paper! Journaling is an incredibly therapeutic way to process your emotions, relieve stress and find your center in this “new normal.”
  • When you’re experiencing stress, 4-7-8 breathing is a great technique to help you drop back into your body, relieve anxiety and reset your nervous system. 
    • Close your mouth, and breathe in through your nose to a silent count of 4.
    • Then, hold your breath for a count of 7.
    • Finally, exhale through your mouth for a count of 8.
    • Whenever you feel your stress start to spiral, repeat this cycle three times through for an instant calming effect. 


The six S’s of stress relief

With help from our partners at the Howard County Public School System, CA came up with these six S’s to keep in mind:

  1. Stress recognition – Do not just push aside that nagging, weighted feeling that you are stressed! The first step in addressing your stress and the impact of it on your physical and mental health is acknowledging it.
  2. Sleep – You can’t expect to bring your A-game without proper rest. Get enough sleep!
  3. Support Systems – It is crucial to maintain a solid group of people you trust and know you can turn to when times get tough. That could mean scheduling regular check in’s with friends, organizing a virtual book club or meeting up with a running partner. Find something you can look forward to and leave time to trade stories and decompress.
  4. Savings – Budgeting could seem like an extra hassle right now, but staying within a spending plan can help ward off stress down the line.
  5. Sweat – Working out and stress reduction go hand-in-hand. Exercising regularly not only relieves anxiety and tension, but it also strengthens your immune system (pretty important with the flu and COVID-19 still around) and helps you relax later on.
  6. Set aside time – Yes, we know. There aren’t enough minutes. But by carving out a few minutes in the morning for you and a few more to connect with your kids later on in the day. It will put a smile on everyone’s face.


Here are some helpful links for surviving these stressful times:

Cincinnati Children’s Coronavirus Resources for Families | Self Care for Parents

Center For Effective Parenting Stress Management For Parents


Hang in there, everyone! We’ve got your back!


For more tips, check out the CA Parents’ Corner blog.

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To receive our FREE Guide To Distance Learning Success ebook, visit our School Age Services page.


“Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You’ve got to keep going.” – Chantal Sutherlan

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