Many parents end up in a busy living situation they never expected, which is only natural when you have children. For the most part this is usually a great thing, but there are some risks involved when you end up spending almost all of your free time putting your kids first. It’s never a good idea to compromise on your own health, but lots of parents end up feeling that they have no choice but to do so.
Here are a few common ways that parents (especially those bringing up children on their own) could really benefit their own health.
Cut down on drinking
For a majority of people, consuming alcohol is a convenient method for managing stress on a short term basis, as well as being something that they enjoy during their limited downtime. Some guidelines allow adults to drink up to two standard alcoholic drinks on five days per week, although a common problem is knowing how much alcohol this actually refers to. Most people tend to over-estimate what counts as one drink (a typical wine glass technically holds up to three or four times as much as “one glass of wine” in scientific terms), so it’s easy to overdo it.
Of course, there are many health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption and the long-term effects on stress levels are usually worse than the impact of giving up or cutting down.
Make time to eat healthily
Children can be more flexible with what they eat in some cases, but it’s expected that adults know better. Unfortunately, temptation makes everything more difficult, and parents tend to have a lot of this around in the form of sugary, fatty and otherwise unhealthy snacks. Maintaining a healthy diet for yourself is extremely important regardless of what your family eats, so look into time-saving snacks and recipes that won’t negatively impact your health or your schedule.
Relax to reduce stress
It can seem counter-intuitive to make time for yourself to relax and do nothing when the source of your stress is not having enough hours in the day. However, it’s highly recommended so that you can clear your head and maintain a healthy balance both physically and mentally. Not getting enough sleep is common for parents, especially those with young children, but this is a dangerous risk as it can negatively affect many aspects of your overall well-being.
Tired and stressed-out parents tend to rely more on sugar and caffeine to get through the day, which continues to have a knock-on effect. Weight gain and decreased mental stability are common side effects of this strategy, so try to improve your sleeping pattern if this sounds like something you’re experiencing.