Stress affects individuals of all ages. It can be related to work, family, financial or health issues. It can be due to any change, whether positive or negative, in one's life, such as starting a new job, losing a job, getting married, divorce, buying a house, becoming a parent, or retirement.

Stress can cause concentration problems, headaches, backaches, sleep disturbances, weight gain or weight loss, irritability, and many other symptoms.

A mild degree of stress can actually be beneficial and stimulate you to complete your tasks more quickly and efficiently. However, excess stress or poor ability to cope with stress can impair your functioning at work, school or home. It can cause you to be more prone to illnesses, while also negatively impact your ability to battle diseases.

With the proper resources and support, stress can be adequately managed for healthier functioning in all areas of your life.

               2) ON BEING A PARENT

                                                                                 THE PSYCHOLOGY OF STRESS

                                                                                         ON BEING A PARENT
Are you feeling challenged by the responsibilities of being a parent? If so, you are not alone. While many new parents look forward to the joys of parenting, the act of juggling the responsibilities of being a parent on top of duties to their job, other family members, friends, and themselves can be extremely draining.

Since children up until the age of 18 years generally cannot fully care for themselves yet, naturally parents are responsible for many of their children's needs. There is good news though. Parents do not need to have their entire lives revolve around their children. In fact, children are more likely to learn responsible behaviors and enjoy better mental health when parents balance their own needs with the needs of their children and others. In other words, parents can be responsible to their children and still enjoy their lives. Parents have the right to enjoy their lives too!

If you are a parent and wish to enjoy your life more, then here are some tips for you:

      -A few minutes a day to yourself may be all you need, but you are entitled to take more time out to relax. Feel free then to take time out on a regular basis to enjoy a good book, sip your coffee, inhale fresh air, or see a movie of your choice.

      -Allow others to share in the care of your children. Family, friends, neighbors, and day care/after school centers are some of the more common part-time caretakers usually available to parents.

      -Enjoy the time that you have with your children by allowing opportunities for them to participate in activities that you generally do alone, making time to join them in activities of interest to them, and creating activities of interest to both you and your children. For instance, ask them to join you when you are cooking or doing sit-ups on the exercise mat. It also does not hurt to take an hour from your house chores now and then to sit down with your children to watch their favorite cartoon or TV show. Making time at least once a week to play board games can be equally fun for all family members.
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