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.
- Take 10 deep breaths. Try to loosen up each muscle in your body.
- Count to 10. Give yourself some time to calm down.
- 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.
- Take ten minutes to cool down and think about your options.
- Take a walk or do something active to unwind.
- Get support from friends or family. Call a friend and tell her how you are feeling.
- Eat healthy meals. Be careful not to eat too much sugar, caffeine and chocolate. Those foods can make you jittery.
- Get enough sleep. You can’t take care of others if you are exhausted.
- 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.
- Remember, it’s hard to nurture others if no one is nurturing you.
© Parent Trust for Washington Children