Sometimes the people you love the most can be a source of great stress in your life. The common piece of advice given when a person asks how they can deal with people who bring stress into their lives is to just cut them out. This advice can work if the person is a random friend. If they are a family member, however, cutting them out can cause even more drama.
If you want to cope with and manage family stress, the best course of action is to do things that benefit you just as much as they benefit everyone in the family. You can also be selfish at times. Sometimes looking out only for oneself can be the best thing for everyone involved. (See also: 7 Effective Tips For Making Stress Disappear)
Here are some tips to help you manage family stress:
Communication as the First Step
You can’t heal what you don’t reveal. When there is a problem in the household, ignoring it completely won’t make it go away. Open communication is a very powerful tool in building any kind of relationship.
Since the family unit is one of the closest relationships you will have with any other humans, you should try to be as open as you comfortably can with your family members and let them know how you feel about certain things. Often, people are afraid of sharing what they think or feel because they fear that there will be a negative reaction. When they finally do share how they feel and see how other people react, they realize that things aren’t so bad after all and they wonder why they hadn’t done it sooner.
Open communication will allow your family members to clearly define the issues that may be causing tension in the household. When problems are clearly defined, it becomes easy to find solutions that can actually make a difference.
Take Some Time off Alone
Every adult is responsible for their own wellbeing. You should take some time off to recharge and get your emotions balanced and restore your energy. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one will.
You should also not make the mistake of caring too much about another adult that you forget to spare some time to treat yourself. Your family will enjoy your company more when you are upbeat, joyful, energetic, and emotionally stable.
Take a Family Vacation
When you take a family vacation, all family members unplug from their normal routine and go to a neutral ground that can spur new ideas, ways of thinking, and new ways of relating with people. Getting away from your usual environment breaks all homeostasis and allows everyone a chance to rethink how they relate to other people.
A relaxed family vacation at a beach resort is a great way to relax and rejuvenate. Most beach vacation destinations now boast of several luxurious and affordable resorts that cater exclusively to families. (See also: Health Tips to Recover From a Stress Fracture)
The Obvious Cure: Humor
A sense of humor is by far one of the most valuable faculties one can develop. The ability to find humor in small things can make you easy to get along with and fun to be around. Being able to laugh at your troubles and at yourself is a great asset. It will help you find joy in daily living and fend off negative emotions that only serve to weigh you down.
Laughter is therapeutic. Even a smile can go a long way in changing how you feel. If you are the head of your household, lead by example. Develop the frame of mind that encourages laughter and joy. You should be open to being flexible, unconventional, humble, spontaneous, and playful.
What is the easiest way to quell an argument? Whenever someone starts an argument, the easiest way to calm everything down is to make them laugh.
Besides laughter, one other thing that is wonderfully therapeutic is exercise. Science shows that exercising helps pump your feel-good neurotransmitters, also called endorphins, thus improving your mood.
You can exercise alone or have another family member join you. Any kind of exercise will do. If you feel that you are too tired to exercise, it is because you don’t exercise that you don’t have any energy to exercise. Getting your body to a productive and energetic state where you are motivated to exercise every day will take a little effort. Once you build some momentum, it will be far easier to exercise than not to.
Get Adequate Sleep
Being sleep deprived when you are also going through a stressful stretch of time in your life can be detrimental to both your mental and physical health. Not only can sleep help you feel calm and well rested, it is actually an effective way to deal with stress in general.
Stress is generally characterized by an increase in hormones such as cortisol. These hormones can be suppressed and significantly reduced during REM sleep.
No family is perfect–so don’t strive to be. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, look into these tips. One thing may work best for you but not your kids, and that’s OK. If you combine these tips, you’re likely to reduce the stress in your life and your family’s.
About The Author:
Richie started Hurricane Fitness in 2011. Starting out as a Boxer at the age of 11 and winning County, Provincial, National and International medals in Boxing, he began running fitness classes and personal training. Since then he has gone on to work alongside Olympic, World and European Champions and has trained many clients, both at home and abroad, with a wide range of goals and needs. You can find him on his website; hurricanefitnessireland.com, or on his Facebook or Instagram page.