Take Ten

All parents feel stress in a variety of ways: exhaustion, fussy children, job pressures and family problems. Recognizing that you are under stress is the first step in learning how to take control. Here is a process you can use to turn your stress into positive action.

  1. Take 10 deep breaths. Try to loosen up each muscle in your body.
  2. Count to 10. Give yourself some time to calm down.
  3. Remember the 10 Foot Rule: make sure that your child is in a safe place and then keep 10 feet away from him/her until you’ve had time to cool down.
  4. Take ten minutes to cool down and think about your options.
  5. Take a walk or do something active to unwind.
  6. Get support from friends or family. Call a friend and tell her how you are feeling.
  7. Eat healthy meals. Be careful not to eat too much sugar, caffeine and chocolate. Those foods can make you jittery.
  8. Get enough sleep. You can’t take care of others if you are exhausted.
  9. Be sure to get your daily dose of hugs and kisses. Hugs and kisses can change your mood and remind you what your family means to you.
  10. Remember, it’s hard to nurture others if no one is nurturing you.

© Parent Trust for Washington Children