DR. CELESTE CATANIA-OPRIS, PH.D., LMFT
Stress is something we all experience. For some, stress appears intermittently and for others it is a daily occurrence. Stress affects us mentally and physically. Some people describe symptoms related to stress as an increase in headaches, weight gain/weight loss, and higher levels of anxiety. Ironically, most of us can attribute stress to several key factors.
Managing your finances can be an extremely stressful process. Money has the ability to create a strain within a marriage, especially when money is tight. Each month a mortgage/rent payment is due, groceries must be bought, and bills need to be paid. If you are struggling financially, then these monthly requirements can be beyond your capabilities. Consider creating a monthly budget by examining how much money comes in each month and how much money must go out. Establishing realistic goals and expectations will help alleviate your stress levels and lead to a more manageable lifestyle.
How many times have you asked yourself, “Will this day ever end?” Each day is filled with countless responsibilities, such as taking your child to school and making it to work on time, while somehow trying to stay sane. These tasks can be rather exhausting and stressful to handle, especially when they are required of you every single day. You may feel uncomfortable or even guilty at times, but remember that you matter as well. Make sure to take time for your needs. Take a bath, spend an extra few minutes in the car, or read a book before bed, because we all deserve some me time.
As much as we may love our family members, there are times even they can cause us stress. Simply trying to be available to our family and our spouses can be rather challenging. It’s not as if they are not a major priority; sometimes it is just about finding the time. How can one do it all? Perhaps letting others know what it going on can help. Whether you have to work extra hours because you are trying to make ends meet, your son/daughter is struggling with an addiction, or you are helping to take care of a sick relative, these stressors can negatively impact any relationship. It may be difficult to let others in at times, but communicating your struggles can further mend any misconceptions, offer needed support, and in turn reduce stressors.
In addition to these recommendations, some have found that creating a schedule may also alleviate certain stressors. For instance, by using a planner you can organize when bills are due or know when to go pick up your child from sports practice. It is nearly impossible to remember every task on your own so utilizing your resources may prove to be beneficial. Furthermore, exercise has been known to alleviate stress as well, especially when outdoors. Ask a friend to go hiking with you, take in a breath of fresh air, and enjoy the warm sun on your face. Lastly, having a date night with your partner or even a friend can also lessen stress by creating a change within your daily routine. On occasion, it can be fun to change things up, so why not try?
Celeste Catania-Opris, Ph.D., LMFT, offers therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families in Coral Springs, Parkland, and Boca Raton. Contact her at 954-655-0718; Info@TherapyForModernHousewives.com.