OK…so that sounds much easier than it actually is BUT lowering your own stress level can have amazing benefits for both you and the children you care for each day. Wouldn’t it be great to start each day feeling relaxed and ready instead of uptight and anxious? Well, you can!
First, let’s take a look at what stresses many family child care providers. Read through this list and see how many apply to you.
- Lack of social support
- Too much to do and not enough time
- Too much responsibility
- Long hours
- High insurance costs
- Parental conflicts
- Discipline challenges
- Lack of structure/program planning
- Mixed age groups (needs on many levels)
Any of those sound familiar? Chances are…at least a few! Stress about these types of issues can build up over time causing a very negative effect on both your physical and emotional well-being. Not only that, when you are stressed, the children sense this and become stressed as well. So…what is a busy family child care professional like you supposed to do? Here are a few ideas on how you can reduce your level of stress.
- Eat healthy! – Make sure plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains are part of your diet AND be sure to drink enough water.
- Exercise – Yoga is wonderful for reducing stress. So is taking a short walk.
- Get enough sleep – Turn off the computer and all other electronic devices 1 hour before bedtime.
- Take care of YOU! Every so often, do something special for yourself. Even if it is just sitting and reading a book for 20 minutes, do something for you.
Reducing stress is extremely important to you, your own family and the children you serve. Just remember that your behaviors, thoughts and mood can all either increase stress or decrease it…the choice is truly in your hands!
Now…go take a long, hot bath and read a good book. Dr.’s orders!