In my last post, I walked through how to prevent stress in a large family. But some days, despite best efforts, family members experience stress. Kids feed off of the stress from their parents and siblings, so in a big family stress can spread among family members quickly. Parents can use stress management techniques to enable the family to combat stress and avoid the negative health effects prolonged stress causes.
1. Interact with your loved ones.
Spending time with family members helps you avoid overreacting to the stressful situation, helps calm your nervous system by being around others who make you feel safe and loved, and releases hormones to reduce stress. Taking a moment to chat with your child about his day or playing a game with your daughter can help you, your child, or both manage stress.
2. Play stress management games.
While physical versions of these activities are preferred, online versions can be a great tool for your kids (and you) to manage stress -check it out here. Online Zen gardens, creating kaleidoscopes, and playing with stress balls can be a fun way for your family to play and reduce stress at the same time. You can involve your whole family in a game, such as getting everyone to paint on an online easel and then share what they created.
3. Go for a walk.
Exercising with a short walk offers many health benefits, particularly stress reduction. After a few minutes outside focusing on something other than the stressor, stress levels go down. Take a solo walk, or gather your whole family to spend time together outside.
4. De-Stress after work.
Be intentional about de-stressing after work. Don’t carry stress from work home with you, it can set a stressed out tone for your family in the evening. Moms and dads should take time to meditate, do an essential oils massage, or whatever they need to reduce stress after a long day.
With large families come a number of people who can become stressed. Using stress management techniques helps decrease the stress in the family member and keeps the stress from spreading. Play around with different techniques to see what works for your family, and remember a low stress family is a happy healthy family!