Ways to Reduce Stress – Step 4

Set priorities first, and schedule your time second

Sometimes it is tempting to just react all day long, responding to emails and doing the things that seem most urgent at the expense of sacrificing some priorities in our lives.  We don’t accomplish much when we do that.  Setting what is important to you comes before determining your schedule.  This time of the year is a good time to set new goals and priorities.   Some of these may be your priorities:

  • Maintaining our own health and happiness.  I discovered that the most well adjusted friends of my son had mothers who loved their life, whether it was being a stay-at-home mom or working.  They did not play the victim role.
  • Raising amazing children who are healthy and happy.  It’s important to set a good example.
  • Contributing and spreading happiness—in themselves, their families, and their communities.

One thing that has helped my stress level more than anything is trying not to set unnecessary deadlines.  A dentist appointment is a deadline.  Cleaning my floor on Saturday is not.  I recall a situation when my son was 2.  I was taking a stained glass class and that day was trying to get a project done to bring to class.  My son had other plans.  He wanted to play. By the end of the day I was totally stressed.  When I thought about which was more important – my son or the stained glass project – of course it was my son.  I didn’t have to finish the stained glass project that day.  It was an unnecessary deadline.  By the time I had my manufacturing company, I had learned not to set unnecessary deadlines.  If I wanted to get a brochure done in a week, I assumed it would take a month.  If it got done in a week, great, but if it didn’t I didn’t get stressed.

The powerful predictor of our kid’s wellbeing is our ability as parents to manage our own stress. By following the suggestions discussed in the previous blogs, you can reduce your stress and enjoy being a parent more.  Maybe you can have stress-free parenting in spite of the defiant behavior of many teenagers. Let communication bridge the gap between parents and teens.  When you are not stressed, it is easier to listen and understand each other’s viewpoints making life easier, harmonious and more joyful.  Good luck!

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