Even if your days of working out at the gym are on hold and fine restaurant meals are a distant memory, there are changes you can make that will instantly improve your mood and resilience.
Eat a high-protein breakfast. No sugar-packed smoothies or coffee and a granola bar. The old standard still works best: eggs, whole-wheat toast, fruit such as apple or banana, and bacon or sausage if you're so inclined. See 4 other quick and balanced breakfast ideas
Notice how caffeine affects you. I’m not telling you to give up coffee, but do notice how it makes you feel. If you're too caffeinated, it can jettison all your good intentions and push you to a massive emotional overreaction.
Love the body you're in, but keep it moving. You probably do a good deal of walking every day. You can walk in a tense, hunched-up way, thinking about what you need to do next, or you can be in the moment—swing your arms and breathe in the air, and use it to get in a few moments of exhilarating movement.
See a sleep specialist if your child's sleep problems are keeping you awake. Specialists can provide personalized plans for infants or even older children.
If your own insomnia is ruining your nights, turn off the screens (computer, cell, TV) an hour before bedtime. Cuddle with your kid or your partner instead. Physical touch (it doesn’t have to be sex) releases the feel-good chemical oxytocin, which will relax you.
Don’t hate yourself for melting down now and then. We’ve all been there! But if you can change the way you deal with your meltdowns and fortify yourself against them, everyone in your family will be happier for it—especially you.
Rita Eichenstein, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with post-doctoral training in pediatric neuropsychology and special education. Dr. Eichenstein is the author of Positively Atypical: How Your Well-Being Affects Your Special-Needs Child—And What You Can Do About It (release TBD) and the popular blog Positively Atypical.