If only that were true. Stress in small amounts is a good thing. It can help keep us alert, allows us to be more attentive throughout the day, allow us to problem solve, and help us realize we can handle our day to day tasks.
But there are days were we feel the complete opposite...
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Help Me Grow (a free parent information line) has a great resource library on a variety of topics that parents have questions on or are looking for more information about. Stress is one of those topics. Although stress is normal there are moments that we need to take a step back and evaluate how we are affected by it to become more aware of how it affects children.
What you might be seeing (Signs of Stress Indicators)
Feeling angry or irritable a lot of the time
Having trouble making decisions
Worrying all the time
Arguing with friends or your partner
Overeating or not eating enough
Being unable to sleep or wanting to sleep all the time
What can you do (it is important to learn how to manage stress- for your own benefit and that of your children)
- Identify What is Making you Stressed- everyone has different stressors i.e. money, work, surroundings, child’s behavior, health issues.
- Accept what you cannot change- Ask yourself “Can I do anything about it?” if the answer is no, then focus on something else. If it’s something you can do then break it into smaller steps so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
- Have Faith- Look back at the times where you have overcome challenges and know it will soon pass!
- Relax! – Try deep breathing , yoga, meditation, listening to music.
- Take Care of Your Health-Get enough sleep , eating healthy, and get some exercise
- Take Time for Yourself- Take a bath, read a book, when you can have someone watch your children and get out for a few hours
- Develop a Support Network- ask for help. Have your spouse or partner take over bedtime for few nights. Accept help from family and close friends to pick up kids, help you make dinner, to give you a break.
Learning to manage stress will improve your happiness and show your children that they can handle stress too!
If your interested in additional informational resources or have any other parenting questions please call Help Me Grow at 801-691-5322 and we will be happy to connect you resources and answer any questions you may have on your child's development.
Sources: United Way of Utah County Welcome Baby Parent Handout "Stress Management"
Healthychildren.org also has articles on stress management for children and adults