Stress Management for Families, Strategies for Success

Stress is a human experience! Stress is a normal aspect of life that people go through in reacting to threats. We all encounter stress differently; however, managing it allows you to live a better life and maintain physical, mental,and emotional health.

Stress can be any event that triggers emotions in our daily lives. Taking care of family, work, financial challenges, relationships, diseases, or illness; a significant life event like the death of a loved one and the recent covid -19 global pandemic may hurt a person’s life hence stress.

Knowing yourself, identifying something beyond your control, or feeling helpless to manage a situation is vital. Families must adopt strategies to manage or decrease their stress levels to avoid frequent stress contributing to potential health problems like fatigue, immune deficiency, depression, and others. Here are some strategies for successful control of family stress.

  1. Practice deep breathing. As a family, it is essential to learn to exercise deep breathing often, if not daily, to decrease anxiety or stress. However, you can breathe in and out by engaging the mind as you count for consistency to relax the mind and be more focused. Practicing at night improves sleep, and families can cultivate the habit of gently breathing deep to control some form of stress. For instance, anger may contribute to shortness of breath, and you must practice deep breathing to calm the situation.
  2. Be health cautious. Yes, you can eat anything you crave and follow your heart’s desires, but you should remember that not all things are good for you. You are unique in your own way, and so are your family members. Consider what goes into your body and be mindful of the choices of meals you serve at the table. For instance, you must consider drinking enough water, exercising like taking a family walk, having fun watching exciting shows, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables to avoid certain illnesses that can stress the family.
  3. Engage children in house chores, develop a positive attitude, and take education seriously. Parents should not perform all the house chores; instead, they must have a shared responsibility. They must include the children in cleaning, cooking, laundry, gardening, shopping, etc. because we want them to grow and become good citizensin contributing to society and not only receiving. So, parents must love their children by raising them to have a good or positive attitude to reduce or decrease the burden of what negative attitudes brings to the family.

Nevertheless, parents must also evaluate themselves to impact their children positively. For instance, we should teach the children good manners to treat people with respect. Children must understand and take their education seriously because education is paramount. Family members must communicate effectivelyto share their thoughts and assist each other.

  • Be open-minded. We live in a global village, and there is the need to understand and welcome new ideas from different backgrounds to build your social network and acquire knowledge. I encourage families to connect themselves to new ideas.
  • Adequate sleep. Seven (7) to eight (8) hours of sleep protect you from disease because when you sleep well, your body and brain get the opportunity to recover from the stress of the day. You’re happier when you sleep well and feel motivated, increasing your energy level to perform your daily activities. Sleep helps support your health by boosting your immune system and managing stress levels. Sleep experts say that daytime naps can decrease stress levels and increase your brain functioning but keep it shorter to avoid nighttime sleep. It is essential to allow children two to three naptimes a week to support their habit of having adequate sleep in the family.
  • Accept the unexpected situation. Life is full of risk, and you must learn to accept unforeseen circumstances. You have every right to be angry, feeling shocked, sad, depressed, or anxious because you lost a loved one, divorced, diagnosed with a medical condition, lost a job, etc. However, it is okay to mourn the dead. It is essential to challenge yourself to accept the situation as part of life; a helpful strategy is to come together as a family, put your strength together and design a new life to limit the stress. Also, you need to identify and understand children’s feelings and talk to them with love.
  • Seek professional help. You shouldn’t lean exclusively on your own understanding of the challenges creating unmanageable stress in your life. It is vital to seek professional or medical attention when needed. You may communicate the cause of your stress with your partner, a trusted person, or an expert.

The  writer is a certified Nutrition and   Wellness Coach and Master’s    

Student at Ball State Universty

By Mrs. Dorcas Acherekoh.

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