With challenging children...
Feel like you can’t cope with the kids? Reclaim your position as a parent. According to psychologist Professor Stephen Palmer, parents don’t help their stress levels by failing to remember that they are adults. ‘Try and set boundaries. This could be telling your toddler what to have for dinner or setting a curfew for your teenager.’ Also, be flexible. ‘It’s not the end of the world if your toddler spills something or your teenager comes home late,” says Professor Palmer. ‘If you can say, “I don’t like it, but I can cope with it,” it will reduce your stress.’
Easy tip! Everyone gets stressed from time to time. It’s a normal part of life. Learn a couple of coping techniques, such as going out for a bike ride or having a bath. This will relax you and keep you away from the cookie jar, stopping you feeling worse because you’ve overeaten.
With your partner...
Always bickering? ‘Talk to them. Work out if it is something about you, them or the relationship that is stressing you out,’ says Paula Hall, sexual psychotherapist. ‘If it’s something simple, such as needing more help around the house, ask your
partner to do their share.’ Perhaps hire a cleaner or a babysitter so you can spend more quality time together. ‘Plus, communicate your needs – otherwise, how are they supposed to know? They can’t help if you don’t tell them,’ says Sue.
Easy tip! Get active. Not only will exercise help you shift stubborn pounds, a study by the University of Missouri found that high-intensity exercise like aerobics can reduce stress and anxiety levels.
With draining friends...
Do you dread seeing someone or feel drained afterwards? ‘If your friend is stressing you out, it could be time to move on and _nd more positive ones,’ says Paula. To improve things between you, work out what you have in common and try doing some fun things together. “If you met when you had young children, your interests may change as they grow up,” says psychotherapist Phillip Hodson. If you don’t want to lose touch, help them make positive changes and you may find yourself looking forward to seeing them again.
Easy tip! ‘Try not to “awfulise” things,’ says Professor Palmer. ‘Is something really that awful or is it just a frustrating situation? Try to keep things in perspective.’