For most of us, a low level of everyday stress is pretty much unavoidable. Life in the 21st century is fast-paced, high-pressured, and can feel more than a little bit manic. And it’s even worse for those with kids: Studies have shown that modern-day parents suffer from parenting-related stress more than any generation before them. Parents today are more burdened than ever with play dates, homework help, extracurricular activities (not to mention to-do lists and the prioritization of other people’s needs above their own).
We all know the stereotype of the dishevelled soccer parent, ferrying their children off to one activity after another, racing to make dinner, struggling through bath and bed times, and then, finally, collapsing at 8:30pm. And none of this is even considering what it’s like to juggle work and home life and the constant pressure to excel equally at the two. It’s no wonder working parents are stressed. But just because stress is everywhere, doesn’t mean we should accept it as part of our daily lives, especially considering that studies show that if stress levels are allowed to rise over long periods of time, they can cause untold harm to both mental and physical health.
This kind of stress can lead to more serious mental health problems such as depression, which can become life threatening if left untreated. Learning how to cope with parenting stress so that it doesn’t overwhelm you is critical for maintaining physical and mental health.
CBD is often touted as a kind of miracle drug, capable of curing much of what ails us. As a result, it’s currently one of the most sought-after natural medicine products on the American market. Scores of consumers are stocking up on CBD oils and using them to treat everything from arthritis to acne. But can it be used to help parents manage their stress?
There is some research that suggests “yes,” it could. In one study, researchers administered a dose of CBD oil to a group of people who suffered from social anxiety. The participants were then obliged to give a speech in public — something which they all found extremely anxiety-inducing. The results of the study revealed that CBD helped the participants manage their feelings and complete the task with significantly less stress.
Another study looked at the effect of CBD oil on mice with chronic anxiety. After 14 days of treatment with CBD, the mice showed significant reductions in stress and marked improvements in their behavior as a result. Further studies on the impact of CBD treatments on patients with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) have led researchers to believe the cannabinoid can be an effective treatment for many patients
Scientific research on the effect of CBD on stress is far from conclusive, but it certainly gives rise to the hope that CBD could be used to reduce stress in the future. Aside from its potential to reduce anxiety, here are some other ways that CBD could potentially help parents who are struggling.
According to Fitbit, the health and wellness device that counts steps, calories, and hours slept, parents in their 40s and 50s (including many others) are getting less sleep than anyone else and it’s messing with their mental health. Stress and anxiety often lead to poor sleep habits.
The good news is that CBD could help you get more sleep. The sleep-inducing effect isn’t caused by CBD itself, but by other chemicals (known as terpenes) which are found in cannabis plants and are often contained in CBD oil products. Some of these have powerful sedative effects, such as myrcene, which could help parents get the sleep they so desperately need.
Stress, particularly as we grow older, can be the result of chronic pain and inflammation. Whether you’ve pulled a muscle simply turning around in the wrong way, or injured yourself at work or the gym, inflammation is something that we all experience and can vary from very mild and manageable to severe.
Pain makes us all a little less patient and a little more short tempered. It can get in the way of our sleep, reduce our appetite, limit our mobility and affect our moods. If you’re a parent who suffers from chronic inflammation, it’s likely that you’ve noticed the effect your pain is having on your mental health. Thankfully, it looks like CBD could help.
CBD topicals have been found to significantly reduce pain, improve mobility and boost mood in patients with chronic inflammation. That’s why they’re quickly becoming one of the most popular natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, one of the leading chronic inflammation conditions in the world, and for others such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
Though most research surrounding CBD remains inconclusive, studies are ongoing — and promising. And, by incorporating a CBD topical into your daily skin routine, or adding a full spectrum, cannabis-derived CBD capsule to your diet, chances are you’ll notice an increase in your sleep and a reduction of your pain and, as a result, a drop in your stress levels.
Coping with parenting stress is never easy. And CBD oil isn’t going to make it magically disappear. However, if you’re looking for an all-natural, non-psychoactive tool you can turn to when you feel stressed, one that will help you transition from boiling point to a gentle simmer, CBD could be a great option.
The secret to managing parenting stress relief is to find what works for you — exercise, meditation, time with friends, self-care — and then to prioritize it. Because as we all know (but so often forget), if you’re not taking care of yourself, you leave yourself unable to take care of the ones you love.