There is no doubt that exercise improves emotional well-being. Aside from its general health benefits, exercise has consistently been found to improve mood and to help with stress and anxiety. Clearing the mind, having time and space away from the children, and increasing general levels of energy can make an enormous difference in the day- to-day functioning of parents.
Although we know the benefits of exercise, a number of blocks can stop us from achieving this goal. The common blocks parents report include:
2. More patience with children
I have never met a parent who didn't wish they were more patient with their children. Parenting is hard. Parents are constantly pulled from pillar to post, attending to children’s needs, to their ever-changing idiosyncrasies and to their unpredictable and seemingly irrational emotional outburts - often while trying to get other things done.
3. Better communication with partners
Having children can take a toll on relationships. Communication can become about who's doing what, who's going where, what domestic tasks need to be done, and what the children need. Irritation and resentment can simmer, and a 'tit for tat' discourse can become commonplace.
All three goals invovle becoming aware of your thinking, your assumptions, and your expectations. Clarify what it is that you want, and set your intentions clearly for yourself. You may want to write them down or post them somewhere in your house where you can see them. You also may want to tell a friend, family member or partner about your goals to help you to stick to them.
Wishing all parents an active, patient and communicative 2017.
Written by Dr Renée Miller
Perinatal Clinical Psychologist
Antenatal & Postnatal Psychology Network