Monday, October 18, 2010

How Can Parents Destress?

Parents can have high levels of stress especially when they have a child with special needs or a child with a diagnosis.  Parents can also have high levels of stress by filling their schedule to a point that there is not enough time in the day to do all that is required of them.  Another stress for parents is having super duper high expectations for themselves and their children.

With all the stress that parents deal with, asking how they can destress is a very valid question.

The number one way parents can destress is through prevention.  Preventing stress is a tall order and it really just takes a little pro-action.

Stress prevention is preparing yourself for what is to come.  So, how does one prepare?

We can prepare by taking care of ourselves.  We can take care of ourselves emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

How do we take care of ourselves emotionally?  We learn how to be happy.  Sounds silly, I know, but many people, especially parents, have the habit of anger or irritation over the smallest things. 

One of the best ways to learn to be happy is to focus on all that you love and all that is great in your life.  A very bad habit that people have learned from their own parents is focusing on the negative.  Children do a thousand things right, all day long, and if they do one or two things wrong it is focused on.  For example, if a child gets, lets say, 3 A's and 3 C's on their report card, the parent may focus on the C's and how they can make the C's, A's.  What really should be done, to help the child empower themselves and develop the habit of focusing on the good, is parents should magnify the A's.  In other words celebrate the A's, even if the child has C's or F's.

If children do a thousand things right all day then parents should compliment them at least one hundred times.  Complimenting a child, just a couple times a day, would make that child very confident and happy.  A confident and happy child makes a happy parent.  Pretty cool, eh?

How do we take care of ourselves mentally?  We think good thoughts.  Have you ever heard the term auto-pilot?  Well, many people have their minds on auto-pilot and what that does is it allows us to think randomly.  When we think randomly we may think about what we don't have and how we are not what we want to be, which is very human of us. 

What kind of good thoughts can we think?  We can think of all of the blessings we have in our lives. 

If I were to tell you a story about a woman who lost all four of her children, one at a time, you would think how lucky you are to have all of your children.  Guess what?  It is not necessary to hear a sad story of a woman who lost her children tragically in order to know how lucky we are to be able to hug and kiss our kids everyday.  In other words, know your blessings. 

How can we take care of ourselves physically?  Eating right, getting plenty of rest, and exercising is the way we take care of ourselves physically.  This small, but very important list will help us create energy, and it takes energy to manage stress.

How do we take care of ourselves spiritually?  We fill ourselves with the love of God and we fill ourselves with loving others.  This can be done everyday.  Going to church really helps to refill us spiritually too.  If I miss going to church just one Sunday, boy I feel it.

So, how can parents destress?  Here is your list of stress prevention, in short.

Take care of yourself emotionally by learning to be happy, all the time.  TOTALLY POSSIBLE!

Take care of yourself mentally by thinking good thoughts, all the time.  TOTALLY POSSIBLE!

Take care of yourself physically by eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of rest.  TOTALLY POSSIBLE!

Take care of yourself spiritually by filling yourself with the love of God and loving others.  TOTALLY POSSIBLE!

I believe this because I live it and I know that it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE!

You can do it!  You have the power all you have to do is think you can.

Have a great week and don't forget to have fun and be playful.

Love you lots ;0)


Elizabeth Stanfill

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