Coping with Stress

Final preparations

Final preparations (Photo credit: ckhamken)

It is that time of year- as school winds down,  the kids have final exams and the level of stress goes up. The rattled nerves and short tempers, the more frequent headaches or stomach aches, the tossing and turning late into the night all take their toll on the mental and physical well-being of the whole family. No one escapes unscathed. The frustrations of the kids cling to the parents- who do their best to assist the kids but for the most part feel helpless.

My son does have some mental strategies to use. My husband had worked with him as a way to keep him focused on his tennis game. There are definitely parallels between sports psychology and final exams:  prepare ahead of time, take it point by point, don’t worry about the outcome, just do your best.  Even though my daughter does not play a sport, maybe she can implement parts of this stress management plan.

The best thing I think I can do at this time is to keep my own stress levels under control. I try to do my soothing yoga routine every morning, but maybe I need to do it more often. Getting out for some fresh air in the garden or on a walk with the dogs helps me relax, too. Unfortunately, when I suggest these options to my kids, they say they are too busy studying. When they do decide to take a break, they prefer to chill out with a tv show. No matter how clearly they understand that exercise would do more to relieve stress, they roll their eyes at me and try to zone out to the tube.

Rather than shutting off the cable and dragging them out the door, creating even more tension between us, I take a deep breath and walk away. Even though I don’t remember how stressful my exams were (a blessing of time passed), I apparently managed to get through them; so I’m sure my kids will too.

In the meantime, I am going to go smell the lilacs..

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    May 03, 2012 @ 10:32:18

    Walking with dogs and smelling lilacs – priceless. I know we did not have the stress level at exam time that kids have now. I wonder if too much emphasis is placed on testing. . . .

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  2. Trackback: Today´s theme, stress | Holistic me
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    Jun 14, 2014 @ 17:48:27

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    • themiddlegeneration
      Jun 15, 2014 @ 17:36:45

      Thanks for your compliment. I agree completely with your rationale that pets can ease stress too. Walking my dogs or getting an unconditional snuggle makes me look at life from a different perspective.

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