Parenting is stressful. Period.
And, our children have their own stressors too! The trouble is, youngsters have less developed coping skills and often less resources. In fact, some Ontario universities added a fall reading week, on-top of the usual winter break, to help students decompress and reduce stress. I am thrilled my daughter who is in her last year at Western University will be home for a week after Thanksgiving. I’ve also heard that, at the University of Guelph, dogs are brought to campus for students to pet and play with in order to help relieve student stress during exams!
Stress in our kids is not limited to university. At the elementary level, more and more schools are incorporating evidence-based stress reducers such as yoga, mindfulness mediation, tapping and more.
So, how do you keep the stress levels down at home for your family and yourself? Is your family room an oasis of calm like the hygge style of the Danes? Does it feel like entering the treatment room of a spa or is it more like the trading floor on wall street?
Dr. Dan Seigel’s interpersonal biology shows us how our ways of dealing with stress affects how our children manage their own emotions. Yup, your stress can be contagious. But so is your calm. When you can calm yourself, you help calm your child. What methods do you use to get calm and centred in the face of the craziness that is parenthood?
Yoga? Meditation? Running? Music? Art? Breathing?
It took me years to develop my own approach to stress-management. And even though my kids are 22 & 23 and don’t stress me anymore, I do still follow my stress reduction rituals for my personal mental health and wellbeing.
Have your started to address yours? Let’s use October to embrace the reality of life stressors and to make a pact to chisel away at it through some stress reducing practice. Let me know what your favourite method is.