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Wednesday Wellness with Leslie– Tips on stressing less and feeling more joy

Everyone has very full plates and activities have a way of just piling on. The effects of stress are harmful to your emotional and physical health (high blood pressure, digestive issues, heart disease), and it is your response to stress that makes all the difference. Some people are better equipped to deal with stress, while others simply give in to it. Which category do you feel like you are in?

I have definitely gotten better over the years, due to a lot of personal growth and development, but there is always room for improvement. I know when I am feeling maxed out I need to make some changes quickly. Everyone is going to encounter stress and stressful situations, it is how you react and respond that will differentiate the outcome. Do you have friends that seem to never stress out? They always keep it together and often seem to be calm and collected? They have probably fine-tuned techniques over the years that support them in handling stress more effectively.

Here are some tips to support you in dealing with stress in your life and avoiding emotional or physical ailment.

A school year’s worth of time- and money-saving ideas

Grown-ups never forget the annual bummer that is the end of summer vacation.

Getting back into the morning waking and dressing routine may be tough on kids. But the expenses associated with back-to-school time translate into a special brand of stress reserved just for parents.

The average person with schoolchildren this year will spend more than $680 on back-to-school needs, according to the National Retail Federation. Those costs include about $246 on clothes, $217 on electronics, $129 on shoes, and $95 on school supplies.

Mama Drama: Morning Routines and Evening Hysteria

Dear Mama Drama:
Every morning we struggle with my five-year-old son to get him ready for school and out of the house on time. He needs lots of one on one support to complete even the most basic tasks such as getting dressed. He can’t remember what to do next and often stops to play with toys or sing the song on the radio.
~Tired of running late

Dear Tired:
Many children need extra support getting through their morning routine. When we stop to think about all the small steps involved, it can be quite daunting. As adults we have practiced these routines thousands of times throughout our lives. Our children are often still figuring out what each step is and how to keep track of it all.

Creating a visual schedule for your child is a great place to start. You can use pictures of your son doing each activity, clip art, pictures from the web or cut out of magazines. Add captions or directions with the picture even if your child does not read well yet. Start with the basics such as getting dressed, bathroom routine, and heading out the door. Then break these down into the steps they require. Having separate charts for each of these tasks helps to keep it simple.

An example is