How to Reduce Stress and Live a Better Life

Summer fun for kids

We live in a world that is overly glorified by busy schedules and chaos. Even our children’s days are packed with scheduled activities and we need a daily planner just to know which child needs to be where and when. This leaves very little time for rest and pure relaxation, let alone creativity. 

In my humble opinion, and please feel free to share yours (this is an open conversation), WE are out of control as a society. It seems people schedule themselves months out for meetings and social events almost as if it's a status indicator.  What happened to the laid back dog days of summer? The sipping of tea or lemonade on the porch and watching the kids play in the yard? Yes, now we are spending more time on our phones while driving carpools here and there.  Very little time is spent spontaneously enjoying the little things. 

Stress is killing us. It is literally a contributing factor in so many diseases, including obesity and lupus, which costs our society billions of dollars in medical bills and countless hours of non productivity, which in turn feeds back into our never ending cycle of stress. So the lesson is that we need to S-L-O-W down as parents and allow our children to do the same. We are in control of a lot of the stress and we need to take responsibility. 

You will not find my kids in more than one sport per season. You will not find me scheduling social events months in advance. I am simple. I like it best that way. I have learned that I LOVE a social life, but to take things as they come and not to take on more than I can handle. I have learned that it is OK to say no occasionally and that people will still accept me and invite me another time. I have learned that my children LOVE time outdoors that is unstructured and that these are years to be treasured. I have also learned that meditation and yoga help ease stress when schedules cannot be modified.  Just a few minutes a day dedicated to yourself will help tremendously whether in a group class or on your own at home. 

So, give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy each day.  It is a journey, not a race! Ask yourself what is really important in order to find "the balance" that works for you and for your kids. Stay true to who you are. Wishing you all a stress free day!

Peace, Peace, Peace,

Libby McAvoy