This is an exhausting, tiring season for so many young families. The air is thick with anxiety!
A health crisis. A financial crisis. A social crisis.
You may be married with kids. You may be a single mom or dad. The truth is that no one is doing a work that is any more important than what YOU are doing at home.
Most mothers and dads, who I know, love and adore their children. They give their children most everything they know to give.
At this point, many families have been through months of trying to work from home, caring for very small children, and on top of this, trying to get their children through school – online.
Now, parents are wondering about school this fall. Many are delighted that kids are going back to the classroom. However, there may be some hesitation in even saying this. At this point, this is the plan. That is about what we know.
No wonder so many young families are feeling tremendous stress and anxiety right now.
1. Monitor the anxiety within you. How does stress/anxiety show up in your body? My shoulders become tight and my head begins to hurt. How does stress show up in you? If you are feeling stressed, think about what you tend to do when you are this stressed. Choose to respond to others in a manner that may be in spite of the way you feel. In other words, choose to be kind and gracious toward that family member instead of letting raw emotion drive the conversation. This often ends up badly.
2. Take care of yourself. I find it very helpful to take a few deep breathes when I am feeling very stressed. Exercise can also be very, very helpful. Think small! Don’t underestimate the power of small actions. You may not have time with small children to read long chapters in your Bible or to read several chapters of a book. However, you could begin the day printing a verse or paragraph and looking at it during the day, even for a few seconds.
3. Look in the mirror and smile, even when you don’t feel like it. When I am stressed, I often frown and look very somber. Of course this may be understandable at times. However, I want to be cautious about accepting this as my demeanor each day. Choosing to smile at your spouse, your children, and your grand-children, can be a significant moment for them (and you) and may even change the atmosphere of your home.
More to come.