Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – 6 Relief Strategies For Stress | By Kay Fontana
Are you a grandparent raising grandchildren? If you are, or know someone who fits this description, then you are aware of the stress associated with change and being a second-time-around parent. It is not the grandchildren who are causing the stress, because you know what a blessing it is to have them around.
Stress comes from changes in your financial status, changes in the family structure and schedules, and the reason you needed to take in your grandchildren. Any time you experience sudden or drastic change in your life, you experience stress.
Stress can cause some very common health-related problems including fatigue, insomnia, high blood pressure, cancer, stroke, heart attacks and other illnesses. Unless you take control and learn how to manage the stress, it may lead to chronic illness and sudden death if not managed properly. Your grandchildren need you, so it is important to take care of yourself.
The 6 Steps of Stress RELIEF can help you gain control of what is causing you stress and help you lead a more peaceful life.
Yes, I know. It is easier said than done. With a few quick strategies to do during the day, you will start feeling more relaxed.
Start by writing down what is causing you stress; then, write down possible solutions. Sometimes writing it down can help inspire solutions.
Keep a gratitude journal. Daily gratitude helps keep you focused on what is good: raising your grandchildren and having them close to you. When you focus on the positive things, more come your way.
EAT RIGHT and EXERCISE
The food that we eat has a profound affect on our attitude and well-being. Eating natural, whole foods will help you feel better, have more energy and reduce the stress that accompanies poor eating habits.
Of course it is a well known fact that exercise is good for you. It helps reduce the stress hormones in your body that create health problems. Enjoy a nature walk with your grandchildren. Whether you go out in the back yard or go to the park, this will keep you all healthy and happy.
Exercising your mind can also reduce stress. Books, puzzles, brain teasers and games are tools to keep your brain active, and can also be incorporated into activities with your grandchildren.
LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH
Enjoy the special moments with your grandchildren. Playing games, baking cookies, having a tea party or watch funny movies together will help build that special bond between you and your grandchildren while helping you relieve your stress.
Inner peace can be found through meditation, faith and spirituality. This is a more personal area of which you need to determine how to address this. It may involve prayer, going to church or having a few moments alone to meditate.
Additional family members living in your home can lead to clutter and limited space. Making room for your grandchildren so that they have a place to store their toys, clothes and personal possessions, can help you all feel more relaxed. If space is an issue, consider getting rid of thing in your home that you do not need any longer.
FAMILY and FRIENDS, or Other Support Systems
Your grandchildren are true blessings. Building communications with them, involving them in conversations and sharing experiences, are excellent ways of building that bond between you and reducing stress. Other family members, whether inside or outside the home, or close friends, can be a source of comfort during stressful times.
If stress becomes too overwhelming, or you do not have people close for a source of support, you may want to consider hiring a coach or seeking counseling before the stress becomes too great.
To begin your stress relief journey, make a list of those strategies you are going to implement and put them into action. By doing so, you are inviting gratitude, balance and tranquility into your life.
Kay Fontana, “The Grandcoach,” helps baby boomers overcome the challenges of raising grandchildren. A grandmother for 12 years, Kay and her husband have been sharing responsibilities of raising their 6-year-old grandson. She is a certified coach with a bachelor’s and a master’s in education, and has dedicated over 20 years to teaching, training, mentoring and coaching.
Kay’s passion and purpose is helping others overcome challenges and reach their goals. Her coaching and training programs focus on helping grandparents who are raising grandchildren, by facilitating breakthroughs to life’s obstacles. She specializes in the areas of managing change and transition, reducing stress and conflict, understanding personality types and achieving goals.