On Friday, Dec. 13, NGFS hosted an event, "Breath and Balance" that I had the privilege of presenting at. As a counselor, I am often helping children manage their stress and finding effective coping strategies. This time, however, I was able to share some of these tips with adults, and who doesn't need some stress relief during this busy time of year!?
We began with a meditation. Here is the link to the 10-minute video, which is great if you need to close your door and re-boot for a moment. If you don't have 10 minutes, here is another one I like that's only 5 minutes. Meditation is a great way calm down your mind and body and allows you to start fresh once it's done.
I then shared 25 strategies for adults to deal with stress. You can see them all here. Some of my favorites include,
Identify your stress triggers. First things first, what exactly stresses you out? Do you know exactly what triggers this reaction? How do you react to it,? When you have a few answers, look for possible solutions.While you’re not going to be able to eliminate every stress trigger in your life, you can at least remove the ones that you have influence over.
Hug someone. Led by Sheldon Cohen, researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that hugs can protect people from stress and infection. Cohen says that, “being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress."
Get out of town.Taking an annual vacation is good for you since it removes you from stressful situations. But, not everyone has the time or money to go overseas or disappear for a month. Even a weekend getaway like camping or visiting a friend or family member and a “staycation” can be effective when you need to unwind.
We then participated in some exercise, which is also a great way to relieve stress. NGFS parent Cyndy Wolfe led us in Nia. Nia is a practice combining dance, martial arts, and mindfulness.
Lastly, I wanted to provide some resources to help children work through their stress. Research shows that when parents are less stressed, so are their kids!