Stress Management - Ways to Relieve Stress
The best way to manage your stress is to learn healthy coping strategies. You can start practicing these tips right away. Try one or two until you find a few that work for you. Practice these techniques until they become habits you turn to when you feel stress. Teach these techniques to your children too.
Stress-relief techniques focus on relaxing your mind and your body.
Ways to relax your mind
- Write. It may help to write about things that are bothering you. Write for 10 to 15 minutes a day about stressful events and how they made you feel. Or think about starting a stress journal. This helps you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel. After you know, you can find better ways to cope.
- Let your feelings out. Talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you need to. Talking with friends, family, a counselor, or a member of the clergy about your feelings is a healthy way to relieve stress.
Do something you enjoy.
- A hobby, such as gardening.
- A creative activity, such as writing, crafts, or art.
- Playing with and caring for pets.
- Volunteer work.
You may feel that you're too busy to do these things. But making time to do something you enjoy can help you relax. It might also help you get more done in other areas of your life.
Focus on the present.
Meditation and guided imagery are two ways to focus and relax your mind.
- Meditate.When you meditate, you focus your attention on things that are happening right now. Paying attention to your breathing is one way to focus.
- Use guided imagery.With guided imagery, you imagine yourself in any setting that helps you feel calm and relaxed. You can use audiotapes, books, or a teacher to guide you.
Ways to relax your body
- Exercise. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Walking is a great way to get started. Even everyday activities such as housecleaning or yard work can reduce stress. Stretching can also relieve muscle tension.
- Try techniques to relax.Breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and yoga can help relieve stress.
- Breathing exercises.These include roll breathing, a type of deep breathing.
- Progressive muscle relaxation.This technique reduces muscle tension. You do it by relaxing separate groups of muscles one by one.
- Yoga, tai chi, and qi gong. These techniques combine exercise and meditation. You may need some training at first to learn them. Books and videos are also helpful. You can do all of these techniques at home.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise. Last Updated: April 20, 2011
How to Calm a Crying Baby
All babies cry and some cry a lot. Do you have a plan for how you will handle it? You need to know what you will do to help calm the baby and what you will do to calm yourself. Check out these tips from Children's Hospital Colorado.
- Check physical needs first:Check for signs of illness or fever. If you think the baby may be sick, seek medical attention immediately.
- - Is the baby hungry?
- - Thirsty?
- - Need to be burped?
- - Too hot or cold?
- - Diaper dirty?
- Rock the baby, hold the baby close, or walk with the baby.
- Stand up, hold the baby close, and repeatedly bend your knees.
- Sing or talk to the baby in a soothing voice.
- Gently rub or stroke the baby's back, chest or tummy.
- Offer a pacifier or try to distract the baby with a rattle or toy.
- Swaddle the baby with a soft blanket.
- Take the baby for a ride in a stroller or in a car seat in the car.
- Turn on some music or noise, such as a vacuum cleaner or clothes dryer.
Try each of the above for a few minutes before trying something else, or try a few together.
If nothing seems to work, it is okay to leave the baby in a safe place (like a crib or infant seat) and take time to calm down. Leave the room. Shut the door. Take a few deep breaths. Call a friend or family member.
How to Calm Yourself
Do something to calm your frustration before returning to care for the baby such as:
|1.||Take deep breaths while counting at the same time to slow down the pace of your breathing.|
|2.||Do a set of 10 push-ups, sit-ups or any other activity in your home.|
|3.||Listen to music that calms you down.|
|4.||Call a trusted friend or neighbor to chat for a few minutes.|
|5.||Have a trusted friend or neighbor come over to watch the baby so you can go outside for a few breaths and take a quick walk around the block.|
|6.||No matter what, never shake a baby.|
For more information, visit www.calmacryingbaby.org
Every parent knows how a missed naptime can wreak havoc on an otherwise perfectly good day. And, every toddler has tested his parents' resolve by refusing to go down for a nap.
Naptime can be the most frustrating time of the day for parents, causing many to prematurely decide to stop the daily nap routine. However, a mid-day rest is one way to prevent late afternoon meltdown and provides parents with a break as well.
Don't let naptime become a battle at your house. When your child refuses to nap, Boys Town Pediatrics offers these helpful tips:
- Put her down right after lunch. This is a good time for napping - any later and she will probably have a hard time going to sleep at bedtime.
- Set a firm rule that he must stay in his room during naptime. About 60 to 90 minutes is a fair amount of time to expect a toddler to sleep or at least rest while in his room. Return him to his room right away if he comes out before the set time. If he comes out again, close the door for a short time.
- If your toddler is at home with you during the day do not let her sleep someplace different than she sleeps at night. Allowing her to sleep in your bed or on the couch will only cause difficulties at bedtime.
- Do not give in and lay down with your child until he falls asleep. This starts a bad habit that will make bedtime frustrating as well.
- Do not let your frustrations show when naptime becomes a battle. Your reaction will only give your toddler incentive to continue refusing to nap.
If your toddler still refuses to nap, provide a few books or quiet toys and insist on a set quiet time in his room each day. At least this will help your child to feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the remainder of the day.
Reading Tips for Parents
by Reading Rockets
A child's success as a reader begins much earlier than the first day of school. Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home. The one-page Parent Tips offer easy ways for parents to help kids become successful readers. Although we've divided these tips by age, many of them can be used with children at various ages and stages — we encourage you to choose the ones that work best for your child. Click here to download the tips.
•Suffocation and strangulation in an adult bed or other unsafe sleeping surface is the leading cause of injury-related death in other states in the first year of life.
• Babies who sleep in an adult bed are 40 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation than those who sleep in their own cribs or bassinets.
• Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the third-leading cause of death for infants in
Safe Sleep Checklist
Promoting Sibling Harmony during the Summer Holidays
Summer is a busy time, and each child can have different ideas about what he or she wants to do. One child may want to go swimming and another might want to spend an afternoon painting. For parents who have more than one child and are looking for ways to ensure that siblings can enjoy each other’s interests, and still be able to pursue their own, here are some suggestions.
1. Talk to your children about what they want to do and then tell them the days
and times that it is possible to follow through with their wishes. One morning
could be devoted to enjoying a special craft activity and another afternoon
could be when you have a picnic in the park together. Listening to your children
and finding ways to involve them in making plans may help to increase their
enjoyment of the activities and enable them to practice skills like co-operating
2. Try to provide each child with some special one-to-one time. This shows your
children that you value their unique interests and that it is important to you to
make time to learn about what each of them likes to do.
3. Suggest some ideas to your children that you think they would both enjoy, for
example, an afternoon playing at a neighbourhood park, a puppet show at thelocal library, or a visit from a special family member. Providing some choices will encourage your children to consider new possibilities for enjoying their summer and to learn to make decisions together.
4. Encourage your children to teach you and each other how to do a special activity. Being able to demonstrate skills like cutting paper, shaping playdough, waving scarves to music, or playing a game will foster pride in their abilities and your children the chance to be both a leader and a listener.
5. Play co-operative games together such as Beach Ball Balancing Game and Ring Around the Rosie. This will encourage your children to focus on just enjoying a game they are playing rather than on who the winner is. Co-operative games encourage turn-taking, sharing and playing for pleasure.
6. When conflict does arise, consider different coping strategies. In some instances, young children can be provided with appropriate choices between one activity and another. Other times, it may be necessary to redirect a child to a different activity, if he or she is finding it challenging to play co-operatively. Let children know that hurting each other is not acceptable, and that it is important for them to try to solve the problem by talking or by asking a grown-up for help, if needed.
These tips cpme from Invest in Kids. Learn more at www.investinkids.ca.
Preventing or Reducing a Child's Aggressive Behavior
The child who frequently hits, slaps and bites other children or destroys their toys is not going through a stage. He is exhibiting an aggressive behavior that is upsetting to parents and other children. Aggressive behavior includes intentionally breaking things; pushing, kicking, or hitting other children; and verbally abusing playmates with threats of violence, excessive name calling, and age-inappropriate swearing.
The following suggestions will help you prevent or reduce aggressive behavior in your child.
- Keep your child away from people or playmates who act aggressive.
- Do not roughhouse with an aggressive child. To do so only serves to encourage aggressive behavior.
- Begin by helping an aggressive child to behave well in situations where he normally does not act aggressively. Later, you can work more directly on the aggressive behavior itself.
- Steer clear of all forms of physical punishment. Spanking and hitting can teach a child to spank and hit others.
- Refrain from all forms of verbal abuse.
- Make sure that each day you give your child at least 50 brief physical touches.
- A child's aggressive behavior is much easier to prevent than it is to eliminate. The less aggressive behavior a child is exposed to, the less likely he is to act aggressively toward others.
Written by E. Christophersen, Ph.D., author of "Little People: Guidelines for Commonsense Child Rearing." Published by McKessonHBOC Clinical Reference Systems. Copyright © 1986-2001 iMcKesson LLC. All rights reserved. Information provided by www.boystownpediatrics.org
How to Handle Inconsolable Crying
There is new research that shows the economy, and the stress that it has caused, is resulting in more cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome (also known as Abusive Head Trauma). Shaken Baby Syndrome is preventable.
The most common trigger for Shaken Baby Syndrome is infant crying. Here are some tips on how to deal with it. Please share them with anyone you know you spends time caring for an infant.
All babies cry -- sometimes for a long time, and sometimes at the wrong time.
When you feel like you're about to lose your mind from the cyring -
• Make sure the baby is safe -- in his or her crib, on his or her back.
• Make sure the baby isn't hungry, sick or in need of a diaper change.
• Then, step away for a few minutes if you have to. Or call someone for help.
Have a plan. Write it down.
1. Step outside and walk around the yard.
2. Call my best friend or mom for advice
3. Play music to relax myself and the baby.
Tips from www.safesoundbabies.com
52 Proven Stress Reducers
1. Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.
2. Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, make lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.
3. Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc. ("The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory."-Old Chinese Proverb)
4. Doing nothing which, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.
5. Make duplicates of all keys. Bury a house key in a secret spot in the garden and carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key ring.
6. Practice preventive maintenance. your car, appliances, home and relationships will be less likely to break down/fall apart "at the worst possible moment."
7. Be prepared to wait. A paperback can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant.
8. Procrastination is stressful Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today; whatever you want to do today, do it now.
9. Plan ahead. Don’t let the gas tank get below one-quarter full. Keep a well-stocked emergency shelf of home staples. Don’t wait until you’re down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy more, etc.
10. Don’t put up with something that doesn't work right. If your alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers, whatever are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.
11. Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures.
12. Eliminate (or restrict) the amount of caffeine in your diet.
13. Always set up contingency plans, "just in case." ("If for some reason either of us is delayed, here’s what we’ll do.." Or, "If we get split up in the shopping center, here’s where we’ll meet.")
14. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend.
15. Pollyanna-Power! For every one thing that goes wrong, there are probably 10 or 50 or 100 blessings. Count’em!
16. Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back directions, what someone expects of you, etc., can save hours. (The old "the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get," idea).
17. Say "No!." Saying "no" to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don’t have the time or energy for takes practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax and be alone.
18. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect. (The possibility of there being a terrible emergency in the next hour or so is almost nil). Or use an answering machine.
19. Turn needs into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don’t get attached to preferences.
20. Simplify, simplify, simplify...
21. Make friends with non-worriers. Nothing can get you into the habit or worrying faster than associating with chronic worrywarts.
22. Get up and stretch periodically if your job requires that you sit for extended periods.
23. Wear earplugs. If you need to find quiet at home, pop in some earplugs.
24. Get enough sleep. If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed.
25. Create order out of chaos. Organize your home and workspace so that you always know exactly where things are. Put things away where they belong and you won’t have to go through the stress of losing things.
26. When feeling stressed, most people tend to breathe in short, shallow breaths. When you breathe like this, stale air is not expelled, oxidation of the tissues is incomplete and muscle tension frequently results. Check your breathing throughout the day and before, during and after high pressure situations. If you find your stomach muscles are knotted and your breathing is shallow, relax all your muscles and take several deep, slow breaths. Note how, when you’re relaxed, both your abdomen and chest expand when you breathe.
27. Writing your thoughts and feelings down (in a journal, or a paper to be thrown away) can help you clarify things and can give you a renewed perspective.
28. Try the following yoga technique whenever you feel the need to relax. Inhale deeply through your nose to the count of eight. Then with lips puckered, exhale very slowly through your mouth to the count of 15 or for as long as you can. Concentrate on the long sighing sound and feel the tension dissolve. Repeat 10 times.
29. Inoculate yourself against a feared event. For example, before speaking in public, take time to go over every part of the experience in your mind. Imagine what you’ll wear, what the audience will look like, how you will present your talk, what the questions will be and how you will answer them, etc. Visualize the experience the way you would have it be. You’ll likely find that when the time comes to make the actual presentation, it will be "old hat' and much of your anxiety will have fled.
30. When the stress of having to get a job done gets in the way of getting the job done, diversion (a voluntary change in activity and/or environment) may be just what you need.
31. Talk it out. Discussing your problems with a trusted friend can help clear your mind of confusion so you can concentrate on problem solving.
32. One of the most obvious ways to avoid unnecessary stress is to select an environment (work, home,
leisure) which is in line with your personal needs and desires. If you hate desk jobs, don’t accept a job which requires that you sit at a desk all day. If you hate to talk politics, don’t associate with people who love to talk politics, etc.
33. Learn to live one day at a time.
34. Every day, do something you really enjoy.
35. Add an ounce of love to everything you do.
36. Take a hot bath or shower (or a cool one in the summertime) to relieve tension.
37. Do something for somebody else. Make a meal for someone who is in need.
38. Focus on understanding rather than on being understood; on loving rather than on being loved.
39. Do something that will improve your appearance. Looking better can help you feel better.
40. Schedule a realistic day. Avoid the tendency to schedule back-to-back appointments. Allow time between appointments for a breathing spell.
41. Become more flexible. Some things are worth not doing perfectly and some issues are well to compromise upon.
42. Eliminate destructive self-talk; "I’m too old to...," "I’m too fat to...," etc.
43. Use your weekend time for a change of pace. If your work week is slow and patterned, make sure there is action and time for spontaneity built into your weekends. If your work week is fast-paced and full of people and deadlines, seek peace and solitude during your days off. Feel as if you are not accomplishing anything at work? Tackle a job on the weekend which you can finish to your satisfaction.
44. "Worry about the pennies and the dollars will take of themselves." That’s another way of saying: take care of the todays as best you can and the yesterdays and the tomorrows will take care of themselves.
45. Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone, be with that person and with no one or anything else. When you are busy with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about everything else you have to do.
46. Allow yourself time-everyday-for privacy, quiet, and introspection.
47. If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with. Then, the rest of your day will be free of anxiety.
48. Learn to delegate responsibility to capable others.
49. Don’t forget to take a lunch break. Try to get away from your desk or work area in body and mind, even if its just for 15 or 20 minutes.
50. Forget about counting to 10. Count to 1,000 before doing something or saying anything that could make matters worse.
51. Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.
52. Have an optimistic view of the world. Believe that most people are doing the best they can.
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