Monday, 6 February 2017

Snuggling Up With The Children To Get Away From Stress


* Contributed Post

Family life can be really, really hard sometimes, no matter the size of your group of loved ones. Trying to manage a household and manage the kids, all after a long and stressful day at work can eventually take its toll. We all need to find time to relax and that goes for everyone living under your roof. Everyone needs to find the time to settle down and enjoy life and we are all guilty of taking the joy that life grants us, well, for granted.


A really important aspect of parenting is actually letting yourself and the family in your change to live and enjoy their lives to the full. Time is never going to stop ticking along, and the world is going to pass us by at a tremendously fast pace and we could all do well by trying to find the time to enjoy a small portion of that day.


Stress is an awful thing to combat, and although we may not be able to change our situation to reduce it, we can certainly find ways to cope and adapt which can help reduce what we are feeling. Stress doesn't discriminate and can be felt by everyone, from babies in the womb through to the elderly.


Today's Parent took a look at stay-at-home parents and the stress they endure, it's a bit of a read, but very important:


"There was a time, not too long ago, when my house was tidy, I took vacations, exercised daily and read novels. I wore pants that zipped up comfortably and fashionable shoes that were uncomfortable. I never yelled at my kids, checked my shirts for unidentifiable stains or checked my purse for weird smells. There was a time when my biggest stresses involved deciding where to go for lunch or whether I had lipstick on my teeth. That was four-and-a-half years ago, when I still worked full-time—before I gave it all up to become a stay-at-home mum. A study conducted in 2012 by University of Akron researchers Adrianne Frech and Sarah Damaske discovered that full-time working mothers reported better physical and mental health than part-time working mothers, confirming that my lower stress levels while in the workforce weren’t imaginary. To reach this conclusion, Damaske measured the levels of the stress hormone in study participants, taking saliva samples throughout the day from 122 employed men and women. When participants were at home, their cortisol levels spiked, biologically proving that being at home with children was more stressful than working in an office environment."


Yikes. So even when a situation is changed, stress can still catch up. That's why it is so very important to chill out as a family. Cuddle up, because we've still got a few more weeks of the freezing cold left and destress as a family!


First off, get the tools of the trade sorted out. You're going to need blankets across the board whether they are throws for the sofa or the childrens duvet covers stolen from their little beds upstairs. Of course, you're going to need some decent sitting arrangements for the snuggle session that will chill you all out, so make sure you've got a nice comfy sofa you can all snuggle around.


Now, you're all tucked up together - what can you do?


The best option - and possibly the easiest - is a move night. You can pick, or allow your kids to pick, a few films to watch when you're having your movie night. If they haven't picked the film, why not give them the responsibility of choosing the yummy snacks? There are so many films to choose from that are suitable for all ages, you've got an enormous back catalogue of amazing films and of course, you can enjoy the latest Hollywood blockbuster releases all from the comfort of your own home.


If your kids are into gaming, there are some fun party games everyone can play. The Minecraft story game is an interactive game that the family can play that is suitable for the kids. Gaming is expensive, but if it's something your kids really want to do, it's worth saving for a gaming console to enjoy.

It's not just about letting other people's imaginations entertain us on those cold nights either, why don't you see what you and the kids can dream up? Writing is a classic pastime, so give everyone an hour and a pen and see what stories you can come up and spend the night reading to each other. You could theme it and do scary stories on one day and then tales about the princess the next! Writing has an amazing hobby on the flipside as well - reading. Reading stories to each other is a great way to switch off from the world and the telly. There are no end to the stories you can read to one another and there are some amazing books out there for the whole family to enjoy - from JK Rowling's Harry Potter to Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Getting your kids into reading doesn't have to be the job of their teacher and it can be fun too.


No wonder the Danes love their Hygge - the atmosphere of being with the people you love and the feel of home. That safe and warm feeling that shields us from the world outside. It's about creating an atmosphere of care and love in the home by finding the time to get together and enjoy the downtime at the end of the day by cuddling up and getting warm.


* Contributed Post
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1 comment

  1. Hi Kate, family life can be stressful and it wasn't until I did some part time work a few years ago that I realized that working was actually less stressful than being at home all the time. When the children were young my favourite time of the day was the end of the day, not just because it was the end of the day, but because we had a lovely wind down routine of cuddling up and reading together. It was a part of the day that we all looked forward to and meant everyone was nice and chilled out before bed.

    xx

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