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Stress Relief Activities

QUESTION: Stress relief activities - What actions are necessary?


One of the easiest stress relief activities is not to get involved in an over abundance of activities. I used to have trouble with this. I was a working mother and a "people-pleaser," which means I did everything I could to help other people and make life easier for them. I didn't consider what impact it would have on me. On top of that, I had children and wanted their life to be filled with a variety of interesting activities. I spent years driving my children from one activity to another. I remember how stressed I was. I always had one eye on the road and the other on my watch, trying to juggle several schedules at the same time.

I see other parents today get hung up in this same dilemma. Children today are dragged to football practice, baseball practice, Boy Scouts, karate lessons, and piano lessons. Additionally, they are expected to get straight A's, clean their room, and work on their homework. The parent's job is to oversee all that. Have we stopped to consider what impact this has on our children and on ourselves? It has been proven that stress can cause an increase in health problems such as hypertension, stroke, cancer, and heart problems. For these reasons and more, it makes sense to do something to reduce the stress in our lives.

Perhaps the number of activities your child becomes involved in makes your and their life stressful. Teaching your child to focus their skill and attention toward one or two enjoyable activities might prove more fruitful than stringing them along to everything their school or community offers. Otherwise you are defeating the purpose altogether. You want to teach your child to do a good job with what they are involved in. If you are rushing around to and from their myriad activities, you can't do that. You and your child also need a few nights at home. It isn't good for anyone if you are always gone.

Another stress relief activity is making time to sit and relax. "Easy does it" should be our motto. Children need quiet time with their families. When was the last time all of your family sat around a big meal at night, discussing the days events? What happened to the whole family gathering in the back yard for a game of cricket or volleyball? We all need to slow down and remember to relax and do more family activities together.

A great stress relief activity is simply finding the time to sit quietly by ourselves and enjoy the solitude. Meditation is a wonderful way to de-stress. Meditation can be different things to different people, but to me it means quiet time with God. I take a few minutes out of each morning to sit and force all thoughts out of my mind. I focus on thinking of nothing. I don't worry about what I have to do that day; I don't think about the kids, my job or anything. I just enjoy the quiet. I like to do this while sitting in the garden or my favorite room in the house. It helps me relax and get my mind off busy activities. After I have my mind quiet, I slowly start to pray or talk to God. I may ask Him for help on a particular problem or I may just turn my whole day over to Him. This takes the stress off me and I can get my problems off my mind. Next, I thank God for the blessings He has given me. This puts my mind in a positive mood. I think of the good things in my life. Some people like to do this at night, or during their lunch hour; whatever works for you. This relaxation technique may be a great way to help you physically, mentally, and spiritually.

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