5 Tips on How to Lower Stress for You and the Kids
As we approach the busiest time of the year, with back to school routines, fall sports, work, and the holidays, we must remember to take time for ourselves and our children. Here are 5 quick tips on how to lower your daily stress!
1. Get Outside
Recent research shows that taking a stroll through a natural setting can boost performance on “tasks calling for sustained focus.” “Taking in the sights and sounds of nature appears to be especially beneficial for our minds.”
So the next time you’re feeling stressed or the kids are a little cranky, take a walk to the park, or go play in the yard. Build a fort, play hide and go seek, or just kick the soccer ball around. Enjoying the outdoors and breathing in the fresh air will do wonders for your stress.
Meditation, also known as mindfulness is a powerful way to relieve stress levels. Even on a hectic schedule, meditation done for as little as 15-20 minutes a day can help achieve this.
For children as well as adults, meditation can be a little challenging. Start with short intervals of one to two minutes, perhaps using a lite candle as a focus point. Don’t stress if you or your child isn’t able to last more than a few minutes, meditation is a process that takes years to master. Once you feel or notice that you are starting to lose focus, bring your attention back to your breath or your focus point.
“Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.”
Before homework time, have a short dance party in the kitchen. Turn up their favorite tunes and have a freeze dance competition! This is sure to get out the restlessness of sitting down all day and reenergize them for the evening chores that lay ahead.
People who described their homes as “cluttered” or full of “unfinished projects” were more depressed, fatigued, and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who felt their homes were “restful” and “restorative,” according to a study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Get the kids involved by helping them sort through their piles of Legos into sizes and colors. Sorting crayons, markers, and color pencils into separate containers can help relive a bit of stress and help focus the mind on a specific task.
Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. And who loves to laugh more than children.
Children naturally love to laugh and do it all the time. So take a moment to make funny faces and see how many times you can make them laugh. I’m sure you will get caught up the silliness too!