Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | June 15, 2009

Managing stress

To continue with the ideas from my last post, “Stressed Out?”, I wanted to share some ideas on how to manage stress.

As a parent, it is critical to find effective ways to manage our stress. All parents experience stress, and the better we are at managing it, the more we can take advantage of the unique gifts God has blessed us with, and the incredible blessings of being a mom or dad.

Tip #1: Find out what your stressors are

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there certain situations that cause you stress?
  • Are there certain locations where you can feel yourself becoming tense, or rooms in your house where you get upset most often?
  • Are there certain times of day when you experience stress most often?
  • Are there people in your life who make you feel more stress?
  • What physical symptoms do you experience when you are stressed (i.e. faster heartbeat, stiff muscles, sweating, jittery limbs, exhaustion, etc.)?

For example, when I thought through these questions I determined that the most stressful time for me each day was when I’m making dinner.

I wasn’t stressed out because I was cooking, because I actually enjoy cooking. But I was getting stressed out because of many other factors that were occurring, such as:

  • decision making about what I was going to make
  • feeling pressure to get the food ready by a certain time if we needed to be somewhere for an evening activity
  • my kids would tend to have disagreements during this time, because they were tired and hungry
  • my kids seemed to have a lot of energy during this time, which could lead to rambunctious behavior in the house

Once I understood this, I could brainstorm ways to overcome these stressors, such as:

  1. Plan meals earlier in the day
  2. Reduce our family commitments in the evenings
  3. Give the kids a snack earlier in the afternoon so that they were not cranky from being hungry
  4. Have the kids play in separate rooms when they start to argue
  5. Send the kids outside to run off some of their energy

Tip #1 gets you thinking about what your stressors are. Once you know what they are, you can try to brainstorm ideas for how you can overcome those stressors.

My next post will continue with more tips on stress management.

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Responses

  1. Did someone say “brainstorm?” Here’s how: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqPAUYF2-XQ

    • JV – this video is a riot! I’m sure you had fun designing it…who came up with the idea of the Annie wig? LOL As always, I highly recommend your training.


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