16 Ways Experts Cope with Stress

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By: , – Erica Lumiere, Family Circle
5/15/2012 6:00 AM   :  2 comments   :  11,192 Views

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Even the professionals who dole out advice on how to handle anxiety and worry aren't immune to daily pressures. The difference is, when these "stress-perts" encounter bumps in the road (piles of dirty clothes or an irate boss or kids repeatedly asking what's for dinner) they know how to tackle the problem while staying calm. Try their tricks and you too can keep your cool.

Expert Stressor: Morning Madness
 
"Getting myself, and my two kids, dressed and out of the house in the morning can get very chaotic!"

—Patricia Martin Arcari, Ph.D., R.N., director of the Calm Mother, Happy Child Program at Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and the mother of two girls, ages 10 and 12.

Patricia's Stress-Solving Action Plan:

Get organized at night. My daughters and I set aside a half hour before bed to make sure that homework is done, lunches are packed and schoolbags are by the door. The girls also pick their outfits, which gives us a heads-up if, say, a matching shoe or sock is missing.

Try not to yell. There's no need to further increase your blood pressure and stress cortisol levels in the morning. When I'm about to lose it, I take four slow, deep breaths and concentrate on keeping the volume of my voice in check. 

Don't sound like a broken record. I've learned not to say, "It's time to eat breakfast," only to check up on the girls a few minutes later and plead, "I really mean it. Please eat your breakfast." If they don't eat when asked, then I take the food away. This technique works with my kids. They certainly pay more attention to what I ask of them the next time.

Set consequences—and stick to your guns. Don't make empty threats like "If you're not ready to leave the house by such and such time, then I'm going without you." Instead say, "We're leaving the house at 8 o'clock, whether you're ready or not." One day of being teased at school about her uncombed hair was all it took to get my daughter Caroline moving a little faster in the morning.

Expert Stressor: Family Nutrition

"I may be a nutritionist but, like all moms, I still worry that my finicky teenager might not be eating right."

—Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., a spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), author of Read It Before You Eat It (Plume) and the mother of a 15-year-old (and two other sons now in college).

Bonnie's Stress-Solving Action Plan:

Don't be a personal chef! It's crazy to make more than one meal at a time when cooking for a family. But I will try to be accommodating if all I have to do is change an ingredient or two. For instance, one of my kids doesn't like his soup too thick or spicy, but the rest of my family does. I find it easier to set aside a portion before I add any spices and thin it out with broth, rather than make him a completely different dish.

Take shortcuts. It's okay to use prepared foods sometimes. My favorite quickies: a cut-up rotisserie chicken tossed with sauteed vegetables, or a dish of whole-wheat pasta, canned black beans and frozen veggies topped with cheese. When I'm very pressed for time: pancakes, a cheese omelet, a vegetable frittata or a salmon salad sandwich on whole-grain bread.

Serve finger foods no matter how old your kids are.When healthy food is sitting out, even teenagers will eat it. After school I leave a tray of chopped vegetables and sliced fruit on the kitchen counter, along with a dip of hummus or yogurt. Sometimes my 15-year-old even chills out with me for a few minutes as he snacks before rushing off to his room or out with his friends.

Speak their language. Talk to your children about nutrition in a way they can understand. For instance, tell them that the protein in chicken and fish will help build muscle, the iron in spinach will boost energy and the calcium in milk will strengthen bones and make them grow taller. In addition, let them know that omega-3 fatty acids in foods like salmon can help give them clear skin, shiny hair and strong nails.

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Comments

  • TIMMYCARL143
    2
    Well, we cannot omit stress specially to mothers. Our family is included in their daily circulations. Then this blog really targets those stress mothers out there. Why they don't try this, this is very helpful as well. They are the main beneficiary right, nothing will lost if they try to follow this very easy steps and tips that a 5 year old child can do.

    Anyways, I want to help also, you can visit our blog @ www.performwell.co.uk for more details and further instructions on how to overcome this thing as well. - 8/30/2012   9:27:48 PM
  • 1
    Great tips! - 5/16/2012   8:01:05 AM

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