Karen Casey Coaching

Ten Small Things That You Can Do Right Now If You Are a Parent Struggling

I have had many moments of feeling overwhelmed, tired, fed up, and despair. When it feels like we have no gas left in the tank or our “want to” is absent, it isn’t the time for big gestures and impressive goals. It is time to break it down and think “inch by inch” to walk through these emotions that feel so big. When we adults learn more about how to do this ourselves, we can teach our children by example how small actions can change our mood and mindset.
You don’t need to quit. You don’t need to burn bridges. You don’t need to run away. You need a second to breathe. To cry. To do the tiniest action which by the way is pretty powerful. Changing our mindset sits in our control and we must learn as parents how to take a mental break from the demands and rigor of the job.

  1. Take a bath. Brush your teeth. Do one thing that represents the tiniest degree of self-care. Show yourself you do care. If you already brushed your teeth, do it again. It sets things in motion. Like making your bed each morning. Tiny action, but powerful.
  2. Go for a walk. We all know at least in our mind that walks can cure many ills. So often, we just never do it. If you never walk, go walk for 5 minutes. 2 minutes? Whatever minutes but get moving. It’s just a walk, not the Ironman. Settle your mind. Pray. Quiet your mind. Breathe.
  3. Message a friend. Someone you trust. Anyone you like or find interesting. Take the first step and reach out with a word of greeting or support. When we hurt, there is power in putting some kindness into someone else’s day. Just connect.
  4. Clean up. Wash the dishes. Clean a mirror or one drawer. Anything. Just clean something. It is hard to move forward in our day when we can’t take care of our surroundings. Perfection is overrated. Keep it simple.
  5. Put on music. Listen to a podcast or audiobook. Allow yourself to be inspired by other people creating, making, and doing. Enjoy the outcome of other’s creativity and stay curious.
  6. Write a “cool stuff that brings me joy” list. Just brainstorm and don’t overanalyze or judge what you write. List things, places, and people that interest you. Brainstorm. What are things you would like to explore or check out?
  7. Choose to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Refuse to cower to the brutal voice that says you failed. You may have made a mistake, but you are not a failure. Ask for wisdom. Get in the driver’s seat of your life. If you choose to feel sorry for yourself, set a timer. I have done this. I give myself a certain amount of time to feel sorry for myself and then I get moving.
  8. Grab a notebook or journal and do what I call a thought download. Jot down everything that comes to mind for 5 minutes. Don’t judge or hold back. Just dump it all out. When done, sift through what you have written. See anything that stands out? See a thread of worry that needs to be laid aside? Any area that you need to address?
  9. Take a nap. Nothing is worse than trying to deal with the demands and emotions of a parent when you are tired. More importantly, take a nap and choose not to feel guilty, lazy, or whatever other unkind word you tell yourself about taking a break.
  10. Keep a calendar or agenda for you. Get all those to-do lists out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Keep it simple. Make lists. Calls to make, errands to run, home needs, and other ideas. Remind yourself that this is only to empty your stressed-out mind. I do this daily. You do you. Once a week, every day? You decide. You do not need to tackle all of that list today.
    Taking a small step or tiny action is huge. Why? It keeps you from feeling at the mercy of your current situation. You remain an active participant in your life. You keep writing your own story. If the overwhelm or despair continues to grow, reach out to your physician, a trusted one in pastoral care, or a therapist. If you are looking to plan new parenting goals or practice new approaches, a parenting coach is a great way to get some insight and accountability. Take care of yourself. Parenting is not for the faint of heart!

Is Coaching for you?

Schedule a 30-minute consult call at no cost to you and discover how coaching might be impactful and rewarding for your family.