If you have been following my blog for any length of time you are probably aware that our family of six sold 90% of our belongings and moved to another state to enroll in a training school. Although the school has ended, we are still living out of a suitcase until the end of this week. I have to say that I have a new appreciation for the stability of having a home.
In thinking about the last few months I have determined some actions that helped our family cope with stressful circumstances.
Maintaining Schedules and Routines- While we had no control over our schedule during the training period, we did have a predictable routine each week which helped our children acclimate. We kept our usual chore assignments (dishes, laundry, floors) and tried to maintain a consistent weekend schedule. I personally continued my habit of reading before bedtime. Keeping the basic structure of our day as predictable as possible helped everyone feel more peaceful.
Using Comfort Items- Children especially need the familiar items of home when exposed to a new situation. Although we had limited space, we allowed the children to bring favorite blankets and pillows, small stuffed animals, photos of friends, etc. We also kept familiar food items stocked in the pantry.
Staying in Contact with Friends– Being able to talk to friends helped all of us by reminding us that we are loved and by giving us a different perspective on all that was going on during this time.
Making Health a Priority– Taking walks, drinking lots of water, getting as much sleep as possible and taking vitamin C enabled us to release the pressure of our situation and helped our immune systems to deal with all of the new germs we encountered.
Having Fun– Finding fun family activities is essential during times of stress. We enjoyed trips to local attractions, dollar movies, picnics in the park and short drives to explore our new area. Having some down time really bonded us as a family and made the hard days a little easier.
Prayer– Last, but most importantly, we prayed a lot. Asking God for help is the best stress reliever available!
While you probably won’t encounter the same circumstances that we did, you can apply these principles to a job transfer, an addition to your family through pregnancy or adoption or other stressful life events. Some conditions are out of our control, but we can develop coping skills that enable us to thrive, not simply survive.
©2011 The Peaceful Mom-Please feel free to share this information as long as you give credit and a link back to ThePeacefulMom.com. Please note that this post is not intended as professional advice but simply the author’s personal opinion. You should seek professional advice if your circumstances require it.
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Alyson Jefferson says
Love the advice. Being a mom of two busy boys and having depression it is good to keep priorities in focus. Thanks
Great advice. We recently moved our family of four (soon to be five) 4 hours from friends and family for my new job. It’s been a very tough road for my wife and children. It was tough on all of us, especially our 3-year-old, to adapt to the idea of having a new ‘home’.
We finally found a new church-home and things are starting to fall into place. And while it’s still hard living in an apartment (as opposed to a large house with acreage to run) we try to make the best of it by going to local parks more often, visiting museums, and other things our more rural home didn’t have.
Keeping our routines was/is key- especially with younger kids. We keep a fairly regimented existence, and I think our children have done so well because we made consistency a priority. The kids know what to expect during a time with many unknowns and new things.
Anyway, there’s my two-cents on the matter 😉 Thank you and keep up the good work!
Thanks for taking the time to comment Eric. I am so glad that things are working out for you and your family. Blessings!