Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Decreasing Stress

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Decreasing Stress

Article excerpt

Between work commitments and home life, we are bound to find ourselves stretched thinly from time to time. During especially busy or stressful times, like deployments, moves, back to school or financial strain, we can easily become overwhelmed and lose sight of the bigger picture, since even the smallest tasks can weigh heavily on your shoulders.

While there is no way to completely eliminate stress from our lives your life, we can control how we prepare for and react to stressful situations or events.

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PREPARING FOR STRESS

It may seem strange to talk about preparing for stress, but you can reduce the effects of stressful situations by simply being organized and understanding how you and members of your family respond to difficult situations.

Organization can do more than help you prepare for stress; it may help you avoid some sources of stress completely. For example, by creating a monthly budget, you may be able to eliminate some level of financial stress because you will know exactly how much of your income is going toward bills, debt and what you have left to spend. Understanding your budget can help you avoid overspending and help you pay down any debt you may have quickly and responsibly You can organize other areas of your life to reduce or avoid stress:

* Create a family chore chart to delegate responsibilities.

* Plan ahead-as much as possible-for upcoming moves; find helpful tips on PlanMyMove.

* Speak to your family about any upcoming deployments and ensure that you make all preparations prior to the deployment date. PlanMyDeployment can help you get organized.

* Separate your work and home life as much as possible so that you can fully focus on either one at the proper time.

* Create a meal plan to avoid the dinnertime scramble each night.

* Use a schedule to keep track of your commitments. Note work deadlines, appointments and other commitments in one location to avoid overlapping activities and overextending yourself.

RESPONDING TO STRESS

Everyone copes with stress in their own unique way. Some people thrive under stress. Others may become overwhelmed, irritable or look for a distraction. No matter how you react to stress that arises in your life - whether large or small - it's important that you recognize the difference between a healthy amount of motivating stress and stress that is so intense that it can alter your mood, habits and even your overall health. …

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