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Dear HCCUA Members:

Life is all about balance. Creating the proper balance in your in life is vital to maintaining low to average stress levels and just as important for your children to learn to balance stress as well. As an adult with stress on a daily basis, it can be hard to imagine a child suffering from stress however it is known to be the front-runner to serious illnesses down the road. Unfortunately, studies show that 10 – 20 % of school aged children experience anxiety which could potentially lead to chronic stress.

In today’s fast paced world, the standards set for some children can be overwhelming. Many students feel overwhelmed with homework loads, exams, after school activities, pleasing their parents, and getting into college. Some parents consider this “good stress” that creates healthy competition in the classroom and during extracurricular activities. Ideally, you should encourage your child to do try hard but also learn to support and embrace your child’s mistakes and limitations.

At the end of the day, stress is inevitable. The key is to find a balance - whether you are a young child or a grown adult. Young children simply need guidance from their parents. Parents should listen to their children’s needs and make sure they don’t sign them up for more responsibility than they can handle.

Most importantly, lead by example. As adults we must learn to take charge of our lives, thoughts, and emotions. Remember, children are always watching their parents and other adults around them. By demonstrating how you deal with stress in a positive manner, you set a healthy example as to how your children should deal with their own issues. For instance, purposely slowing down your own speech, taking deep breaths to relax, and making sure that your facial expressions suggest that you are calm are exercises you can implement.

Anxiety and stress can be a constant battle and often the source of a child or person’s anxiety will change over time. With repetition of stress management methods, you and your children can work together to lower anxiety levels and handle anxiety provoking situations. Regular physical activity has been proven to improve both stress resistance and stress resilience. Make sure you and your children are getting plenty of exercise each day!

Having your children assist you in the kitchen for any meal throughout the day can help with stress relief. You can try this Baked Orange Chicken and Brown Rice recipe found on FoodNetwork.com which is healthy and tasty. Enjoy and keep calm!

If you ever feel any situation or emotion is getting out of control and want to seek professional guidance, you and your family members are provided with access to behavioral health experts as a HCCUA member. Included in your e-Newsletter we’ve encompassed an explanation of the Licensed Clinical Counseling benefit and the steps to take in order to seek advice.

Sincerely,
Kristine Eckardt, Director of Member Communications,
HCCUA

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