Take Care of Yourself: Reduce Your Stress
High levels of parental stress can cause health problems, make parenting more difficult, and contribute to stress and challenging behaviors in children.
Take Care of Yourself: Reduce Your Stress is a four-page brochure that you can provide to parents to help them keep their stress levels under control. Written in an easy-to-read, straightforward style, this resource addresses the many causes of stress, symptoms of being over-stressed, and seven easy steps individuals can take to reduce stress. The brochure is also available in Spanish.
Take Care of Yourself: Reduce Your Stress notes that although some stress in life is inevitable, excessive stress can interfere with functioning. Stressors may be external, such as challenges at work or school or limited finances, or internal, such as fear of failure. Among the possible symptoms of stress that the brochure lists are memory problems; frequent headaches, chest or stomach pains; difficulty sleeping; and excessive use of medications, alcohol, or cigarettes.
The brochure conveys the positive message that reducing stress can help parents enjoy time with their children and even help their children learn to cope with stress. Simple stress reduction strategies include “talking back” to unhelpful thoughts, eating a healthy diet, and spending time doing things you enjoy.
Although the primary audience for Take Care of Yourself: Reduce Your Stress is parents, the brochure can also be shared with program staff or volunteers.