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Stress Relief for the Whole Family

Posted by itsupportgroup
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on Monday, 02 February 2015 in General Interest


familystressWe’ve all experienced these not-so-pleasant feelings before: a pounding headache, an upset stomach, a sleepless night. Many times, these feelings stem from a stressful situation or an overwhelming concern. Just like adults, children feel stress over a number of things, including earning good grades, scheduling too many afterschool commitments, being bullied by their peers or witnessing a family conflict at home.


Although experts say a certain amount of stress is normal — and it is — too much stress for extended periods of time can lead to a host of health problems, including headaches, nausea or repetitive cold or flu-like symptoms. Over time, stress can even cause more serious concerns, such as anxiety, depression or the risk of developing heart disease later in life. While stress is often inevitable, there are many tips and tricks to help children, teens and adults better manage it:


Make room for downtime. An overbooked schedule can quickly result in an overwhelmed, overworked or overtired child or teen. Take some time to review your kids’ weekly schedules and make sure there’s enough downtime to relax and rejuvenate. Do you find that your kids have just enough time to eat dinner, do homework, brush their teeth and head to bed, only to perform the same routine night after night? Better yet: do you often find that your children eat meals on the run, rather than together as a family? If you’ve answered yes, chances are it’s time to cut back on some extracurricular activities.


Set the standard for open communication.If your children feel comfortable talking to you about their concerns, they will likely come to you when they feel upset or stressed. Let them. Sometimes there’s nothing better than to have a listening ear, a word of advice or a shoulder to cry on. Plus, studies show that something as simple as a warm touch — such as a loving hug — can work wonders to reduce tension.


Let your children follow your lead.Your children look up to you, especially when it comes to responding to stressful situations. If you are anxious, or if you often find yourself getting caught up in negative thinking or self-criticism, guess what? Your children will follow your lead. Quite the contrary, if you show your children that you face your fears, think positively and regularly block out time, each day, to slow down and take care of yourself, they will too.


Practice relaxation techniques.Yoga and meditation have been around for thousands of years as a form of mind-body relaxation. A typical class centers on the importance of taking slow, deep breaths and connecting to a positive mantra. Whether at home, in school or at work — or even at a local yoga studio — help your children understand that taking a few deep breaths, or reciting a positive mantra, such as “This too shall pass” (for the older kids) or “Hakuna Matata” (for the little ones), will help them better handle stressful or intimidating situations.



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