From Our Team
Parents need to pay attention to their own well-being for a healthy summertime
Posted on June 16, 2017 by Guest Author
The end of the school year is such a happy time with graduations, field trips, kid performances and summertime fun. Wait…Summertime? Kids out of school? This is a time that can quickly lead to high stress for many families, moms in particular. When kids are off from school with little to do, very tense situations can develop for parents.
To keep a happy and healthy home environment, parents should not ignore their own well-being. Signs that you may not be coping well with stress can manifest in the form of regular headaches, feeling angry, irritable, anxious or moody. The National Institute of Mental Health has some recommendations for managing stress:
Getting Regular Exercise. Just 30 minutes per day of walking can help boost your mood and reduce stress.
- Trying Relaxing Activities. Explore stress coping programs like meditation, yoga, tai chi, or other gentle exercises.
- Setting Goals and Priorities. Decide what must get done and what can wait. Learn to say no to new tasks if they are putting you into overload. Note what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
- Staying connected. Find people who can provide emotional and other support. To reduce stress, ask for help from friends, family and community or religious organizations.
It is important to know that stress – whether chronic, such as keeping children entertained on a tight budget over several chaotic weeks; or acute, such as with the loss of a job or death of a loved one – can lead to major depression in susceptible people. According to Dr. Ma. Asuncion Lara, lead author of “Is It Difficult being A Woman? A guide on Depression,” the nine most common symptoms to look out for are:
- loss of energy or feeling empty inside;
- loss of interest in your favorite activities (playing with your children for example);
- over eating or eating too little for the body to function well;
- problems sleeping or over sleeping;
- body feeling heavy and lethargic or feeling very restless and anxious;
- loss of excitement or feeling tired all the time;
- feeling guilty, powerless and useless;
- loss of concentration, having difficulty remembering, thinking clearly or making decisions;
- thoughts about death or suicide.
When five of these nine symptoms are present it is necessary to seek professional help from your doctor or a mental health professional. Moms who want to learn more about self-care may consider participating in a class such as the De Mujer A Mujer (DMAM) project offered free for women ages 18-55. Participants work together to better understand, address and reduce the symptoms of depression through self-help techniques. The class teaches about triggers, self-care and positive messaging to avoid the pitfalls of harmful stress and depressive symptoms. Keep summertime happy and healthy for the whole family. Seek out plenty of fun activities for kids and remember to pay attention to your own health.
For more information about the DMAM project or to find a class near you call 860-9528 or email questions to: email@example.com.
To learn more about local mental health support for families:
- Emergence Health Network: (915) 779-1800 http://emergencehealthnetwork.org
- El Paso Child Guidance Center (915) 562-1999 http://epcgc.org
- Family Service of El Paso (915) 781-9900 https://www.familyserviceofelpaso.org/
- NAMI El Paso at: 915-534-5476 http://namiep.org/
Submitted by Pema B. Garcia, Regional Director of the Texas A&M University Colonias Program and the De Mujer A Mujer Project, (915)860-9528.
The DMAM project is provided free of cost to the community through funding from the Think.Change Initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.
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