DR. TONI GALARDI
MASTERING CHANGE…ITALIAN STYLE

HOW TO: Deal with Family Stress

There is no doubt that we are in challenging times.

Being a good parent requires so much more of the typical American mom and dad than in any other previous generation. With both parents working at some point in a child’s life in most households, there is a lot to juggle. Women have a fraction of the testosterone that men have and yet are expected to perform at both work and home at very high levels. When we empty out of testosterone, we start using adrenal fluid and this is what causes adrenal exhaustion, immune deficiency and life burnout.

So here are some tips for the whole family in coping with daily stress and hopefully preventing catastrophic illness.

  1. This is the building block tip so really take this one in: get at least 7 hours sleep a night. sleep is what rebuilds the cells of the body and allows you to cope with sudden changes and daily responsibilities.
  2. Eat breakfast and include some kind of protein, vegetable or animal based. if your body does not have fuel to burn, it burns away at muscle mass. Your blood sugar being stable allows you to handle whatever comes your way more efficiently.
  3. Stay hydrated. Our bodies are evolving and the human species are needing more water than they once did. The more coffee, tea, or carbonated drinks you have, your body becomes dehydrated and you require even more water.
  4. Making sure you balance everyone’s time on the computer with cardio-vascular exercise. Studies have shown that the whole world is becoming more obese because we are using machines that once required manual labor and even rural farm areas around the world are getting fatter. Exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress by increasing endorphins and reducing global warming. According to the New York Times, May 2008, obese people consume 18% more food than normal weight people and use transportation that requires gas more often than those who ride their bikes or walk to get around.
  5. It is important to pay attention to signs of stress in your family. Do you notice a family member becoming more impatient, flying off the handle at the least little thing. Are your children eating more than usual and gaining weight? Is your husband or wife drinking having an extra glass or two of wine every night? Are your children’s grades dropping suddenly? are you or your spouse working longer hours? If you see these signs, it is important to address it lovingly before it becomes a crisis.
  6. There is an old adage, the family that prays together, stays together. I think there is an extrapolation of truth here. Setting aside time every night, even if it is only fifteen minutes, to connect with each other is important to the strength and cohesiveness of a family. Children who know their parents are taking the time to just sit with them and go over the day, feel more secure in meeting the challenges of school and peer pressure.
  7. Evaluating how many activities everyone is involved in. Children whose lives are over committed can get stressed out from not having enough down time and that goes for parents too.

In summary, the simpler your lifestyle, the better it is for everyone in the family’s mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well being.

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