Stress is an unavoidable part of life that can take a huge toll on your overall well-being. But it doesn't have to be that way if you're able to learn some techniques to handle the day-to-day strains. Not to mention, if you're a parent, the way you handle stress can help your child down the road. There are probably a number of things you do every day to help your child handle stress later in life, but if you don't, they are easy enough to start incorporating into your day-to-day routine.
Children, particularly though at a young age, pick up many of their habits, ideas, and ways of life from the people they watch the most. This often means that parents have the ability to largely influence how their children begin to react and deal with tough situations or stress down the line. Although Berkeley News noted that some stress is good for you in small doses, chronic and heavy stress can create a major barrier and negative presence in people's lives. Living a lifestyle that helps reduce stress and focuses on healthy ways to deal with hardships can also help your children handle stress in the future. Check out some of the things you can do every day to instill healthy stress coping mechanisms.
1. Maintain A Healthy Diet
According to Everyday Health, having a nutrient-rich diet will help a person deal with stress, as the foods you eat can affect the levels of hormones in the body that naturally fight stress. Additionally, finding other outlets, besides food, to deal with stress is a positive way to show children how to handle stress in the future.
2. Create Time For Yourself
The idea of carving out "me time" each day is vital in decreasing stress levels and dealing with the chaos everyday life can create, according to Woman's Day. When children see their parents placing priority on their own lives, it allows them to understand that it's OK — and also, necessary — to value themselves. Time to yourself can be anything from meditation to a nightly bath to waking up before everyone else to enjoy a hot cup of coffee.
3. Be Prepared
Even with a plan in place, stress isn't always avoidable. It is, however, much more manageable when you try to stay organized and prepared, according to ABC News. For example, having your kids pack their bags the night before school or prepping meals for the week to come are just two ways you can offer your kids simple alternatives to avoiding unnecessary daily stressors. Being prepared can come in a multitude of forms, and simply practicing ways to make life more efficient can help your children use those tactics to handle stress as they grow up.
4. Open Up About Your Struggles
For a lot of people, things like anxiety, depression, or hardships within their family causes stress that can be difficult to cope with alone. Kids aren't immune to your feelings, and pretending everything is fine when it may not be could send the wrong message. Normalizing and explaining struggles along with seeking out professional help can show your children how to correctly — and without shame — deal with stress they can't control, according to Hey Sigmund.
5. Stay Active
I'm not saying you need to sign up for a marathon, but even little things like being outside or going for a walk around the block gets your endorphins pumping. According to WebMD, endorphins help create positive and energizing feelings that can combat stress. So whether big or small, finding ways to stay active every day sets the precedence for helping your children keep stress levels lower and using activity to enhance mood.
6. Give Positive Attention
Positive response from caretakers is linked with moral development, creates greater prosocial behavior, and helps children perform better in extremely stressful situations in the long run, according to TIME. In other words, giving affection to your children from a young age truly does have a positive developmental influence.