Dr. Cindy Taylor

Clinical Psychologist

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Home Parenting Articles Parenting Stress Relievers

Parenting Stres Relievers

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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. (“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t Nobody happy!”)

Ø Spend time developing your spiritual life.

Ø Get to know yourself better.

Ø Explore and develop your strengths.

Ø Find what gives you pleasure/is refreshing to do and give yourself permission to do it.

Ø Make time for yourself to just “be”.

Ø Establish personal goals.

Ø Choose a healthy eating and exercise regime.

Ø Look for the positives in your life.



Ø Find a local support group and start networking.

Ø Find support groups - others who might be willing to “co-op” regarding timeouts from unending responsibilities.

Ø Do not isolate yourself - find adult relationships where you can be the “you” inside that mom or dad role.

Ø Avoid the comparison trap. Your family is unique; nobody else is having to cope with the issues you are.

Ø If you’re in emotional distress, allow yourself to get help in getting back on your feet and coming up with a plan for the various issues with which you are having to deal.



Ø Find a way to have meaningful adult friendships.

Ø Again, make use of support systems. Don’t hold everything inside alone.

Ø Be a good friend to someone else.



Ø Renew valuing your spouse.

Ø Have a date at least once a week (and don’t talk about the kids or their problems!).

Ø Make and honor an agreement that you will not argue when you’re taking time for each other.

Ø Learn how to communicate and work through problems with each other.

Ø Work out your differences in parenting issues.

Ø The stronger your relationship, the safer your children will feel.

Ø Find ways to give each other time-outs from stressful situations.

Ø Be proactive and supportive in helping to keep the other person healthy.



Ø What you say has so much impact on those around you as well as on yourself.

Ø Develop skill in speaking positive affirmations to those around you.

Ø Learn to phrase your comments in ways that encourage and build up.

Ø Find things that you can value in those around you, and be generous...let them know!



Ø Learn about developmental stages your child is going through.

Ø Your child has a unique set of abilities and characteristics that are valuable, so help your child develop his or her areas of strength.

Ø Re-evaluate your expectations of your child and of yourself - comparing your child’s behavior/performance with other people’s children can be damaging.

Ø Remember that your child's behavior is related to a disorder and is not generally intentional.

Ø Remember that your child has the ability to learn and succeed, so believe in and support your child by being their advocate.



Ø Rudolph Dreikurs brought the “Golden Rule” into relationships with our children. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Ø Treat your children the way you would treat a valued and respected peer in tone of voice and attitude.

Ø Encourage every family member to express himself freely (with respect for self and others) in all matters that pertain to family functioning.

Ø Encourage each family member to participate in responsibilities that are for the welfare of the family.

Ø Give your children opportunities to take on responsibilties and build a sense of competency.

Ø Enjoy your child’s unique attributes.

Ø Find ways to laugh with your child.

Ø Appreciate his/her humor and uniqueness and let your appreciative reaction show. Generous, open responses will mean more than you can imagine to your child (and others!).



Ø If finances are out of control, contact an agency that can help or find some means of consolidating and dealing with your debts.

Ø Knowing you have a plan can relieve stress and reinstate hope.



Ø Be honest with yourself if addictions are harming you and/or your family.

Ø Take action to take care of yourself (e.g. therapy, Alcoholics Anonymous, other support groups).

Ø This can then benefit your children as you role-model responsible behavior and problem-solving.



Ø Let yourself enjoy life and special moments in life with open arms and hearts.

Ø Learn how to fully experience the moments of genuine exhilaration, wonderment and joy without expecting or voicing negative outcomes.

Ø Learn how to protect and safeguard these special moments in your children’s lives as well.



Ø Concentrate on your breathing. Inhale for 5 seconds and then slowly exhale for 5 seconds. Concentrate on breathing in this manner for 2 minutes. Once you get used to breathing in this way, use this method along with the others below.

Ø Roll your head slowly around. Shrug your shoulders as high up toward your ears as you can and then slowly relax your shoulders. Repeat 5 times.

Ø Use aromatherapy on the go. Dab a handkerchief with calming scents, such as lavender or chamomile, and keep it with you. Take it out while completing the breathing exercise in #1 for an even more relaxing exercise.

Ø Look around and choose one item to concentrate on. It could be a flower or a painting or something you keep with you, such as a seashell. Take a few minutes to concentrate on it and the calming feelings it brings. For example, a seashell could remind you of sitting on a beach with a cool breeze and the sound of the ocean.

Ø If you do not have anything to concentrate on, close your eyes and visualize yourself in peaceful surroundings, such as the beach or on a picnic in the woods.

Ø Keep a journal of funny stories with you, ones that will make you laugh out loud. These can be stories that have happened to you, funny things your children have said, or a joke book you find funny. Read it over when you are feeling stressed. Laughter can release a great deal of tension.

Ø Starting with your feet, tense and relax your muscles. Work your way up to your legs, abdomen, arms, etc. Work on one part of your body at a time and notice how you feel tensed and then relaxed. Concentrate on keeping your body in a relaxed state for a few minutes. If you have some room to move around, do some stretching exercises, making sure you stretch all parts of your body.

Ø Find a few songs you like and that help you unwind. Get the CDs if you need to; otherwise, sing the songs (even singing in your head can help). Use different songs for different types of stress, or make up silly words to songs to fit your circumstances.

Ø Find a "venting" partner. Call them when you find yourself in a terribly stressful situation and let them know you are venting - that you don't need someone to solve your problem or criticize but just need to vent about your current situation. Once you are done venting, thank them for listening.

Ø Take a walk outside. Fresh air is a wonderful de-stresser. Take a few minutes to breathe in the fresh air. (Use breathing method from #1).

Ø Give your brain a break. Try knitting, needlepoint, or something that doesn't require thinking too hard. Taking a few minutes to concentrate on something else will allow your mind to stop thinking about the problem at hand. Even a few minutes of doing something else might help you view a problem in a new light.

Ø   Meditate. Using the breathing technique from #1, concentrate on one thing or repeat a phrase over and over. This is difficult to accomplish at first, but with practice you will be able to empty your mind for a couple minutes and feel refreshed and be ready to start again.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:07  

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