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Top 8 Ways to Reduce Stress for Parents and Students

Try These Strategies for Relaxation and Lower Stress Levels


Updated July 19, 2011

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 Stress

Many 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 Stress

Sometimes 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 Exercise

Speak 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 Stress

Hobbies 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.

If you or your child are reluctant readers, and do not want to read up on your new hobby, there may be other ways to enjoy it, such as through audiobooks and hands-on classes.

5. Increase Social Activities

Spending 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 Meditate

Meditation 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.

7. Reduce stress by Helping Others

Doing volunteer work is a great way to reduce stress, build self-esteem, and help others in the process. Look for opportunities at community organizations, schools, churches, or nationally known agencies and nonprofit organizations.

8. Share Your Stress Reduction, Depression, and Anxiety Strategies

Stress, depression, and anxiety often go hand in hand. If you have developed strategies to cope, we would like to hear about them. Have you tried a program that worked well? Have you tried a program that was not helpful? Share your tips and strategies with other readers here.

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