*I received these products for the purpose of a review. All opinions given are 100% my own.
Stress. Such a powerful, common word. Even writing it out makes me feel stressed…and what’s worse is that it is everywhere. Stress is involved in so many of our lives that it is often called things such as an epidemic, or our number one health problem. Are we trapped by stress?
How many of you consider stress to be a daily and acceptable part of your family life? You are not alone! According to the American Psychological Association (APA) about 73% of American families report their families to be a source of their stress. However, another two-thirds reported that they do believe that their stress isn’t affecting their children.
The thing is, your stress does affect your children. As much as I would like to tell you that it doesn’t, that your kids are blissfully unaware of the way that you are feeling, it simply isn’t true.
When my daughter was first diagnosed with Autism, my stress was probably at the highest point it has ever been. I was in college, I was a single mom, I worked nights, and I had a child who I was struggling to connect with. I couldn’t understand her no matter what I tried and her behaviors were extremely destructive to herself, others, and objects around her. Then one day her therapist gave me the key to unlocking her behaviors and connecting with her. The key to understanding your child’s behaviors is:
It seems like such a simple concept, but it honestly took me forever not only to fully grasp, but to fully put it into practice. Even today I quite often find myself stopping to remind myself that my actions, my emotions, and my thoughts contribute to my children’s actions, emotions, and thoughts.
Your influence on your children can be a wonderful tool if you manage and use it correctly. According to Stress Free Kids by. Lori Lite, “If you demonstrate healthy ways to manage and reduce your anxiety your children will follow”.
The following tips for managing your stress and leading by example come from Stress Free Kids: A Parents Guide to Helping Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children by. Lori Lite. I have recently begun reading this book and it is filled with all sorts of amazing advice that is easily broken into daily reading segments. When first approached about reading Stress Free Kids my reaction was that there was no way I was going to have time to sit down and read an entire book with little kids bouncing around me. Because of this, the format has beyond surprised me. If you have fifteen minutes a day, you have the time you need to read this book. I have been trying to read it in the mornings with my coffee so that I can use the day to try out the Mindful Mantra provided with each little challenge.
This quick quiz from Stress Free Kids is bound to help you take a good look at your stress:
- Are you cramming more activities into your day than you are comfortable with?
- Are you saying “yes” to requests you wish you hadn’t?
- Are you sleeping less?
- Do you find yourself yelling at your kids?
- Are you forgetting things and misplacing your keys?
- Are you spending more money than you want to?
- Is there a change in your routine?
- Do you feel like you are living mostly out of your car?
- Are fast food restaurants the primary source of meals?
- Are you getting sick more often?
I don’t know about you, but as I read this I found myself nodding and visualizing all those many things that cause me stress. In Lite’s book she repeatedly mentions that the past is the past, you cannot change what has already happened. I challenge you to read again through all the yes’ you have given and instead of visualizing why you said yes, visualize how you can bring peace to that area of your life.
Do you currently have 20-30 minutes a day devoted to you? Not for you to catch up on laundry, the dishes, or time spent in quiet while driving from one activity to another. 20-30 minutes a day spent on you. This is an effective way to diffuse stress and calm that overwhelmed feeling. If you are not already doing this for yourself and your children here are some ideas from Stress Free Kids to get you started.
- Go to the library
- Shut off your cell phone – This is a HUGE one for me.
- Take yourself out to lunch.
- Go see a movie at the movie theater.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Sign up for an art class or pursue a hobby of your dreams.
- Take a nap.
- Spend time outside.
- Take a long hot bath.
- Blast the music and dance around like a fool.
*If you liked these ideas you can find more helpful advice in Stress Free Kids which is available on Amazon for purchase.
When it comes to ‘me time’ my favorite way to unwind is a blistering hot bath with Pandora blasting my Sia channel. Most of the time I also have my cell in hand, but right now I am working my hardest to turn it off and relax. The items below are ones that I have found that leave feeling refreshed, pampered, and energized.
1. SPARITUAL Body Oil: While this product is new to me it has easily landed as my favorite spa product. I have always been a big user of body oils after a bath to moisturize skin while locking in that moisture. However, most leave my skin oily for up to 30 minutes after application. With SPARITUAL Body Oil the scent was absolutely amazing and there was no oily residue feeling left on my skin. Since using it my skin has felt amazingly soft. I am seriously in love with this stuff.
2. Zum Bar: Frankincense and Myrrh is probably one of my favorite scents right now. There is just something refreshing about it. Made with goat milk, my skin is having a love affair with this all natural soap.
3. SPARITUAL Nail Lacquer: When it comes to my hands well…I don’t much like them. More often than not they are covered in some sort of art supply stain and if I use a nail polish it chips very easily as I go through my day. Quite honestly I don’t have the time to take precautionary steps to not chip my nails. What I have loved about SPARITUAL Nail Lacquer is that it holds. There is only one other polish out there that I have tried that comes close.
4. SPARITUAL Bath Salts: Another one of their products I have beyond fallen in love with. Even the hubs is in love with this one and will use it for his baths. It has a fabulously energetic smell and doesn’t leave a film. It makes sliding into a steaming hot bath that much more relaxing.
5. School of Wash: This hair and body spray is one of my favorite ways to de-frizz my hair. I personally use the Chocolate and Amber after getting out of the tub and the very light scent stays in my hair all day long. Every time a slight breeze blows through my hair I am surrounded with a refreshing, calming scent. I love it!
What is your favorite way to unwind and relax? Do you have any tricks for sharing this peace with your family? I look forward to hearing your guy’s thoughts and experiences! And as always if you enjoyed this article please share!