Students with learning disabilities often feel stress related to the difficulty they have in school. Parents may also feel this stress as they deal with difficult situations at school and at home. Both parents and students can benefit from learning healthy ways to deal iwth the problem. These ideas range from quick and easy strategies to long-term lifestyle changes. You can use them flexibly or include them as part of a stress management plan.
1. Conduct a Mental Inventory of Physical StressMany of us who have physical symptoms of stress often ignore early signs of a problem. Learn how to conduct a Mental Inventory of your physical sensations. Make this a regular part of your routine to improve your ability to spot a problem before it becomes severe.
2. Take Care of Your Physical Health to Reduce StressSometimes physical symptoms of stress can be avoided by taking care of your physical health. Get regular checkups, eat a healthy diet, avoid alcohol, reduce caffeine, and stop smoking.
3. Choose a Physical Activity for Regular ExerciseSpeak with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Walking, yoga, sports, and aerobics are popular choices. Adapt the activity to keep it interesting and motivating for you. For example, walking with a pet or listening to music or books on tape can increase your interest and motivation. Gardening, yard work, and other physical work are alternative options.
School and community sports can be great choices for children with learning disabilities because they offer a chance to shine in public that they may not have in academic activities.
4. Begin a Hobby to Shift Your Focus Away from StressHobbies can be a wonderful way to give your mind and body a reprieve from day-to-say stress. There are literally hundreds of hobbies to consider. Crafts, reading, creative writing, collecting, model building, community education classes, and woodworking are just a few.
5. Increase Social ActivitiesSpending time with friends, participating in church activities, clubs, or other social organizations are a great stress outlet and give parents and students a network of social support beyond school.
6. Learn to MeditateMeditation may not be for everyone, but it is probably the most portable stress reducing strategy we have. Simply removing yourself from a stressful situation, closing your eyes, and breathing deeply while thinking about something pleasant or counting to 10 can quickly reduce feelings of stress and allow you to refocus. Meditating regularly can help you bring this feeling of peace and relaxation back more quickly.
As an alternative to meditation, consider prayer or reading for entertainment.