Emotional fitness: 3 ways to start building a parenting superpower

Emotional fitness is a phenomenal skill to have, but especially so for mums. Life is full of obstacles, but let’s be real, working mums have it extra tough. You’re out there juggling work and parenting, while your kids push your buttons left, right and centre. 

At the same time, your kids are counting on you, and, being as busy as you are, you don’t have the luxury of having a meltdown.

Emotional fitness is like the ultimate weapon in your parenting arsenal. It means being able to handle whatever comes your way without losing your cool or getting stressed. It means building resilience and coping skills so you can handle those tough moments with ease. And let’s face it, there are going to be tough moments – it’s just a part of parenting.

So, building your emotional fitness is not just a good idea, it’s a must. 

And I’ve been there. I know how unpleasant it is to be emotionally out of shape.

Being emotionally unfit means you’re more likely to react negatively to challenges. And whatever that looks like, whether it’s an anxiety attack or full-blown anger, you don’t want negative emotions calling the shots and causing you to make bad decisions. 

We need to learn how to respond to challenges in a healthy way, not just for ourselves, but for our kids too. We need to be role models and show them how to handle tough situations with grace and resilience.

RELATED: How to Build Family Resilience in a World of Crisis

So, if you want to become emotionally fit, I have picked three practices to start your emotional fitness regime.

Let’s get curious

Being curious means paying attention to the present moment without judgment, and it’s a practice that can work wonders in your life, especially as a mother.

For a start, being reactive is impossible when you’re being curious. Take, for example, when your child is acting out. Instead of getting frustrated and angry, try to be genuinely curious about what’s driving their behaviour. Not only does curiosity replace those negative emotions, but it also helps you connect with your child on a deeper level. They’re more likely to listen to and respect you when you approach them with curiosity and compassion.

Best of all, you can use it on yourself. Curiosity helps you become more aware of your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. When you’re curious about why you’re reacting a certain way, you develop greater emotional self-awareness, which can help you regulate your emotions more effectively.

And it’s simple – everytime you feel an emotional response rising within you, ask questions, be open-minded, and try to understand where the other person is coming from – even if that is you. With a curious mindset, you’ll be surprised at how much more connected and emotionally fit you can become.

RELATED: Breaking Free From Overwhelm: Strategies for Working Mothers

Remember, curiosity didn’t kill the cat – it made her a more emotionally fit and resilient mother. 

Let’s get some perspective, shall we?

You know what’s a real spoiler? Self pity. It’s like wearing a straight jacket and throwing away the key to your own power. 

Life isn’t fair and never will be. So instead of sulking about it, let’s focus on all the good stuff we have. Did you know that what we focus on expands?

Your life is a precious gift, and so are your offspring – even if they’re not perfect (and let’s face it, who is?). Gratitude practice helps you appreciate your unique life without getting bogged down in comparisons to others. Trust me, comparing yourself to others is a one-way ticket to despair.

The key to getting a healthy perspective is to practice gratitude, and it’s one of the easiest things to do. You can keep a journal and write down ten things you’re grateful for daily, no matter how small. 

Or you can meditate and focus on the good things in your life. By shining a light on the positive, you’ll build emotional strength to handle whatever challenges come your way. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

You gotta have faith – in yourself

Believing in yourself is fundamental to handling whatever life throws your way. 

Sometimes when we face a challenge, we react negatively because we don’t believe we have what it takes to handle it. But let me tell you something: you are stronger than you think.

The way you talk to yourself is important. If you’re constantly putting yourself down, you’re not going to have the confidence you need to tackle challenges. So change that inner narrative, my friends. Start speaking to yourself in a supportive, loving way. 

Most importantly, don’t forget to recognise your achievements. We’re all guilty of forgetting the times we’ve overcome challenges in the past. But think back to those moments. How did it feel to conquer that obstacle? Pretty damn good, I imagine.

Making this into a practice is going to strengthen those emotional muscles. At the end of the day or week, write down all the challenges you have overcome. 

Being able to look back through your journal and relive those moments with pride will build your emotional fitness like you never knew.

Are you ready to hit the emotional fitness gym? 

Starting with those three simple practices, you’ll be off and on your way to emotional fitness. Trust me, over time you’ll find it easier to handle whatever life throws your way with grace and kindness. Even when your kids are testing your limits (and let’s be honest, they will), you’ll be able to lead by example and stay calm in the face of emotional turmoil.

Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint, so learning how to handle your emotions is an important skill. But don’t worry, you’ve got this. And when you start seeing the results of your emotional fitness regime, you’ll be so damn proud of yourself. 

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

Alice Chepeau
Verified Coach
Verified for professional standards and commitment to clients. Read more Close

Alice Chepeau is a certified transformational life coach helping parents to flourish without sacrificing themselves. Focus on you first and the rest will follow. Find out how; email hello@alicechepeau.com or book a free consultation here.

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