dealing with stress

5 Ways of Dealing with Stress to Stay Cool

Are you dealing with stress? Stress strains relationships. It makes parenting significantly more difficult. It has serious health ramifications. And stress can kill. Do we have your attention? Some of the top causes of stress, according to the American Psychological Association American Institute of Stress (2013), are job pressure, money, health, relationships, poor nutrition, media overload, and sleep deprivation.

We’re cognizant of stress and the dangers it presents to our health, our psychological wellbeing, and our families, yet we persist in ways of life and parenting that play fast and loose with the top causes. We suggest using these 5 ways of dealing with stress to stay cool.

1. Reprioritize.

Extra money versus a family-friendly life is always a choice worth considering.  We like what our friend Bob did when he turned down a promotion that would have required his family to move. This let his kids stay in the neighborhood, schools, and faith community they enjoyed with a sense of mutual commitment. Extra money versus a family-friendly life is always a choice worth considering.

2. Take a step toward health.

As a family, make a commitment to nurturing a healthy lifestyle and a healthy budget. We can move toward both by taking small steps. The benefits, in terms of stress reduction, are not only cost-effective but future cost-saving.

3. Nurture primary relationships.

That feud you’re having with your co-worker may well be killing you. Putting off counseling with your wife is raising your blood pressure and costing you sleep. Being at odds with your kids is giving you an upset stomach—not to mention irritability.

4. Manage media consumption.

Too much media consumption not only causes stress but also disrupts sleep patterns, family relationships, and productivity—for both you and the kids. Make a plan for managing media use and stick with it.

5. Pray.

We can’t overstate the importance of applying the basic tenets of faith to our stress-filled lives as dads. Prayer changes things, starting with you. Here are 10 Things to Pray For and With Your Child.

Sound off: What ways do you relieve stress now? Are they working?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What’s something that made you upset today? How’d you handle it?”


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