By Melanie Lewis

“I’m so stressed out!”, is comment that I hear a lot. I confess, I am plagued by it as well.  I am triggered by the weekly progress reports from the online school agency. It’s usually reporting that my kids are at 15% completion and should be at 40%.  We have a procrastinator, folks. He’s in no mood to change that. He says he works better under a deadline.  I can’t stand it. I think it’s a poor work ethic and habit to get into.  It looks as though this falls into the category of “ Something I can’t change”,  so I must adapt and try to control my own reaction to it.

I am a fan of routines.  Daily routines reduce stress. But, plans unravel. I have adopted a few recommendations for stress relief from KATHY PEEL’s book, The Family Managers Guide for Working Moms.


* Exercise even if it’s only 20 minutes of brisk walking

*The 5 basic food groups. You want enduring energy. Sugar highs and alcohol lows are not what you need now.

*Washing your hair. Looking bad will make you feel worse.

*Bedtime stories or breakfast chats with your kids.

*A good night’s sleep. Going without sleep will mess up your schedule for the next day.

*Your sense of humor. Everything is temporary.”

I absolutely agree with every item on her list.  I would add a few refinements. Exercise outdoors is better than indoors. Regular bedtime makes the next day functioning possible.  I gave up caffeine and it makes a difference to have steady energy level. Have a good protein breakfast and lunch.

My grandmother used to say, “This too shall pass.” I think that was her way of letting go of undue stress. She was right about many things that used to bother me about the kids. Picky eaters do eventually eat and climbers climb trees now.

It has been proven that these ideas that reduce stress also help support a healthy weight.  I came across this piece on the UnderArmor site…

21 Quick and Easy Hacks That Support Weight Loss


 “Stress-management is important for weight loss,” says Hunt. Easing stress can help you cut down on emotional eating and get the restorative sleep your body needs to keep your hormones in balance and your appetite and fullness signals under control. While what works for everyone is different, doing breathing exercises, a brief meditation or a short stretching routine each day can help dial down your stress response and reduce muscle tension and pain.”

Total time: 30–60 seconds

The bottom line is if you can’t control the stress, don’t “suck it up,” reduce it.