Parenting is probably the hardest – and most satisfying – job that any of us will ever have. Like any job, it comes with its share of stress. During the school year the stress level may ramp up, considering that many parents work long hours or more than one job to make ends meet, while also needing to keep tabs on their children’s academic progress and activities outside of school hours. Sometimes, the stress can become overwhelming.
Experts say that the symptoms of stress include sleep problems, poor concentration, difficulty making decisions, increased use of alcohol, caffeine or drugs, and even physical illness. Both parents and children suffer when stress gets a foothold.
What can parents do to keep their cool? Here are some stress-relief tips to help weather the next several months of juggling schedules, responsibilities and personal time:
Mom always said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. As it turns out, Mom was right – and today’s research agrees.
Recent studies indicate that eating breakfast reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. Eating breakfast also helps lower LDL – or “bad” cholesterol – and triglyceride levels, and regulates blood sugar and insulin levels. Other studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to be leaner. In fact, skipping breakfast was associated with a 400% greater risk of obesity.
To reap the many benefits of a well-rounded breakfast, choose healthy meals based on whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fruit. For mornings when you don’t have a lot of time, try one of these breakfasts:
Schoolwork should be challenging. Staying healthy at school shouldn’t be.
The start of a new school year is a perfect time for parents to encourage kids to adopt habits that promote good health. Proper hygiene, good nutrition and regular exercise all play a role in keeping kids in prime shape to hit the books.
Classrooms can be a breeding ground for infectious diseases. Younger children are particularly vulnerable, since their immune systems are not fully developed. Colds spread easily. A child sneezes and others sitting nearby may get sick.
Teaching youngsters simple preventive measures can make all the difference for keeping illness at bay. Before the first school bell rings, tell your kids to:
Heading back to school at summer’s end can sometimes elicit a stress response, and not just for the kids. School schedules can upend a parent’s routine as well.
However, this seasonal transition can be smooth sailing with some planning, time management and a little mental preparation.
Here are some tips to avoid back-to-school stress and ease into the new school year:
With the arrival of warm summer weather, people are getting outdoors more often and – hopefully – also getting more exercise. Summer is also a great time to work on improving your daily diet. One of the best ways to do so is by upping your intake of fruits and vegetables – those powerhouses of vitamins, minerals and fiber. In summer, it’s easier than ever to make eating choices that are both healthy and delicious.