How does one not only survive, but thrive during stressful times?
We each will face stressful times in our lives.
Life is filled with stress due to relationships, health, finances, world events, and natural disasters.
Fortunately, we can take steps to reduce the chaos around us and make the choice to thrive during stressful times.
The key to thriving during stressful times is to meet the individual needs of your unique, one-of-a-kind family.
HOW TO THRIVE DURING STRESSFUL TIMES
Listed below are a few ideas to get you started.
These twelve ideas have helped our family thrive during stressful times over the years.
Adjust the ideas, as needed, to fit the needs of your family.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Doing what you love is incredibly healing.
Have each family member select something they enjoy doing and experience doing it together as a family.
Play a game, work on a project, create something new.
Working on individual projects is great too, just don’t miss out on the connection that comes from doing meaningful activities together as a family.
Each person will beam with pride as they see other family members show interest in something that means so much to them.
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ASK, “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO?”
If a person has something for which to look forward, sadness and despair are less likely to kick in.
Talk together about what it is that you are looking forward to in the future.
It could be a holiday, activity, or event.
If you have teens like I do, it might be food or friend-related.
It really doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something they are looking forward to.
The anticipation of these events may be enough to lighten the emotional toll of the current stressful situation.
READ ALOUD TOGETHER
Few things beat getting lost in the world of your imagination, especially when faced with a challenging situation.
Take time each day to enter the world of make-believe with your children and watch their spirits soar.
Read to your children from children’s books, novels, historical fiction, family history stories
–the options are endless!
My teens still enjoy having me read to them, so don’t think there is an age limit to this activity.
EAT MEALS TOGETHER
There is no better way to provide a feeling of love and security in a home than by sitting around a table together to enjoy a freshly prepared meal.
Parents, value this time you have with your children near.
Talk with them.
Ask them questions.
Listen to them.
Use meal-time as an opportunity to slow down and reconnect.
When possible, work together to prepare the meal and, afterwards, clean the kitchen.
God, the source of all peace, will calm your fears and the fears of your children.
You need only ask Him.
Pray together as a family.
Pray on your own.
God will hear you.
TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
Children need to talk about the feelings they experience during challenging times.
The more quality time
you spend with your child, the more apt they will be to open up to you and share what’s on their mind.
If a child is acting out during a stressful time, you can safely assume that they are feeling underlying stress, anxiety, and worry about the current situation.
Be gentle with them.
Help them to understand that sharing their feelings with others will help them to feel better.
Do what you can to help them feel safe physically and emotionally.
When hard times hit, make time to play and have fun.
Build a fort.
Campout in the living room.
Laugh and sing.
Create positive memories that will outlast the negative ones.
Just yesterday, my son was reflecting on a stressful event that took place in our family some time ago.
I was surprised when, instead of focusing on the negative side of the situation, he spoke only of the positive—the fun times we had, and the many generous individuals who stepped up to lend us a hand.
We can help set the stage so our children will have positive memories of stressful situations.
Read more about the magical memories our family has created over the years:
When life hands me chaos, I take control by cleaning my house.
Having an organized and clutter-free environment helps me to stay calm and to process the current situation with a clear mind and positive attitude.
Working together as a family, tackle one room or task each day and your house will be a house of order in no time!
Watch a documentary.
Read a book.
Listen to a podcast.
Anything that will leave you more knowledgable than you were when you got out of bed this morning.
Learning is life-giving!
Recently, my daughter pulled a desk from the den out into the living room where there is more light and studied her scriptures.
Later, she pulled out her painting supplies, and painted a picture.
She created a new environment for learning and had so much fun in the process!
Some of our favorite educational sources:
Find a way to move together.
Go for a walk.
Weed the yard.
Plant a garden.
Bike to the park.
Anything that will get your heart pumping and increase the oxygen to your brain.
Physical movement decreases mental stress.
Work on your education and spiritual goals.
Share with each other what goal you are currently working on, then go your own ways for an hour to work on your respective goals.
Have each person report on their progress for the day.
Check this out!
Pray for someone in need.
Write an encouraging note and send it in the mail.
Text someone to see how they are doing.
that takes your mind off yourself and focuses it on another.
It will make you feel like a million bucks.
Try it and see.
Years ago, when I was living on my own, I would call my mom anytime my world seemed to turn upside down.
Each time, she would listen to my sob story and then calmly respond with the same question, “Have you served someone lately?”
Initially, I was annoyed by her response.
I could have used a little sympathy after all!
But when I put her advice into action, I learned for myself that the weight of my personal problems seemed to melt away when I put forth the effort to serve others.
Together time is important, but quiet time is essential too.
Schedule quiet time once or twice a day so each person in the family can have time alone to think, relax, and do something they enjoy.
Even the smallest of children can spend time alone in a corner of a room looking at a book or playing with a toy.
Avoid using screen time for quiet time, as it doesn’t allow for the mental stillness we each need on a daily basis.
DISCUSSION: How does your family best thrive during stressful times?
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