“Having a place to go – is a home. Having someone to love – is a family. Having both – is a blessing.” ~Donna Hedges
Everyone deals with family stress. Home is a place where you dream of having peace and rest. The biggest problem with this type of stress is that it stays in your home, where you want to spend your time relaxing. However, stressful schedules, activities and illness can cause undue stress. The effects of high stress can result in sleeping problems, feelings of exhaustion, arguments and other negative effects for everyone in your family.
Even though you may be experiencing a lot of family stress right now, there are things you can do to bring about peace and harmony in your home.
Here are some tips to help you reduce your family’s stress:
1. Look at unrealistic expectations. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your home will always be stress-free. We all know this never occurs. Even though you really love everyone in your family, sometimes life at home can be stressful. It's also important for you to avoid the expectation that your family is perfect or that your children will always behave. Everyone is human; everyone makes mistakes. Be prepared for this, and you'll get rid of much of the stress in your home.
2. Admit when you are wrong. When you don't admit your mistakes, you cause resentment among your family members and more stress. Do the right thing; admit and apologize for your mistakes. This reduces stress and teaches your children a valuable life lesson. As Maxwell Maltz said,” You make mistakes. Mistakes don't make you.”
3. Spend more time with the family. Spending more time with the family is a great way to alleviate family stress. Eat dinner together as regularly as possible. Taking the time to eat together and share the meal can be a great way to talk, laugh, and get rid of some of the stress in your home. Many families eat dinner separately, or in shifts between activities. If you eat dinner this way too many times in a week, you can be easily disconnected from what’s happening in your family’s lives.
4. Check your expectations. Remember, you're not a super hero. Even though you may want to get everything done, it's not always going to work out. Making the effort to be there for everyone all the time is important. Be easy on yourself when the to-do list doesn’t get done. Putting huge expectations on yourself is likely to cause you to live a stressful life full of disappointment. Allow yourself to be a person rather than a super hero, and you'll find the time to relax and take pressure off of you.
5. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Treat your family with respect, serve your family, and shower them with kindness. This will start a trend in the family of treating others in the way you want to be treated. Say “thank you” and “please” as an example to all. When you start incorporating kindness into your family life, your family’s moods will lift, you’ll enjoy your time together, and the stress within your home will melt away.
The actions you take to overcome your family stress may take a little practice to become second nature, but soon you and your family will enjoy being around each other more.
For over 25 years in the health care profession, Lisa Birnesser has studied stress relief techniques and have helped hundreds of people reduce stress in their lives. Lisa specializes in stress management coaching by helping people do what matters most every day.