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Family Stress

Are you struggling with family stress? Increasing financial and career pressures are putting strain on many families. When you understand what the common causes of stress and learn how to manage stress effectively, it’s easier for you to help your family to re-establish a sense of well-being.

Big Causes of Family Stress

Raising a family comes with challengers even without economic and circumstantial pressures. Stress is a part of our daily lives, however, when we’re facing excessive  pressure, life can seem overwhelming.     

   Finances

In difficult economic times, financial pressures put strain on your family. While you may think that you’re able to hide your worries about money from your kids, it’s likely that they have picked up on your anxiety. If you’ve had to make adjustments to your family lifestyle, give children an opportunity to have ask you any questions that they have about the changes. If you just leave them to wonder what’s going on, they’re likely to draw their own conclusions which could leave them feeling anxious about the future. While it may not be appropriate to go into the nitty gritty of the troubles that you’re facing, try to reply to their questions as truthfully as possible.  Most importantly, reassure your children that they are safe and loved.

    Work

Work is a common cause of stress for many people. From tight deadlines to difficult bosses, there are plenty of factors in a work environment that put you under pressure. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, the pressures of your professional life can also have a negative impact on your home environment. It can help to take a few moments after work to relax before you give your family your full attention. Make an effort to leave your work worries in the office before you head home at the end of the day.

    Moving

Moving to a new home is sure to result in family stress. Not only does the stress of packing and the disruption of routine put pressure on your family, you’ll also be dealing with the uncertainty of living in a new environment. From making new friends to your children attending a new school, there are plenty of challenges that accompany a move.

    Kids

A new addition to your family, can result in your older kids feeling displaced. The needs of a new baby are demanding, which can leave your children feeling like they’re not getting enough attention. Not only will you be tired from taking care of the baby, you’ll also need to take time to address the feelings of your older children. Involving older children in caring for the baby and setting aside time to do one-on-one activities with your older children can help to relieve this pressure.

    Holidays

Holidays are often accompanied by family gatherings where you’ll need to spend time with your extended family. While you may approach the holidays enthusiastically, the pressures of family reunions leave many people feeling stressed. Family members who make insensitive or judgmental comments can also have a negative impact on your sense of well-being.

What to Do

While many parents believe that their stress levels have a minimal impact on the extent of their children’s anxiety, research shows that this is not the case. The majority of children report that their parent’s stress levels have an impact on how they are feeling. Stress has a negative effect on the emotional and physical wellbeing of your family so it’s important to learn strategies to address the causes of stress.Not only will you be helping to reduce your family stress levels, you’ll also be teaching your children effective coping strategies that they can use in their own lives.

    Deal With Situations in the Moment

Facing difficult situations as they arise is easier than trying to deal with them later. Taking a rational approach to these challenging situations can also reduce family stress. Take a few deep breaths and acknowledge the emotions that you are experiencing in the moment. Responding rationally with the facts can help to diffuse difficult family situations.

    Build a Strong Sense of Self

When it comes to managing family stress, taking time for self care is crucial. During difficult times, you may feel like you don’t have a moment to spare. However, eating healthy meals and exercising can support you when you need the strength to deal with challenges. Getting a good night’s sleep is also important. You may be tempted to disconnect by watching television or playing games on your phone but you’ll get more benefit on using this time to do activities that help you to feel supported and re-energized. Paying attention to your own needs can help you to develop a strong sense of self. Rather than focusing on what your family expects of you and their reactions to your behavior, concentrate on your own well-being. 

    Seek Outside Support If You Need it

If family stress has reached a level where you’re finding it difficult to cope, it’s time to start looking for outside support. Taking the time to talk to friends and family that you trust, can help you to feel like you’re not alone in these difficult times. From taking care of the kids on the weekend to preparing a few meals for your family, the special people in your life may be in a position to offer you more than just emotional support. You can also seek support from a therapist. Talking to a therapist is an opportunity to address the causes of your family stress and to develop healthy coping strategies. These professionals are trained to assist you with processing your emotions so that you can make the changes that you need to achieve emotional well being.

Understanding how to cope with family stress is essential for the well-being of your family. There’s no need to struggle on your own, if you’re feeling overwhelmed reach out to a therapist to get the support that you need.

Resources

  1. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/managing-stress.aspx 
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/201801/how-deal-family-members-who-stress-you-out 

3. https://psychcentral.com/lib/5-high-stress-family-situations-how-to-deal-with-them/ 

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