Weekly family rail, with tips for parents to reduce stress, a look at the new "Captain Underpants" book, and more.
Tip of the Week
Few Americans are more time-strapped than parents. From the moment the alarm chimes, it can feel like a race to get through the day. From prepping for school or day care, to finalizing school projects and running to after-school activities, there's hardly a moment to spare! And with career demands, the stress of being a busy parent can really set in and negatively affect the body in many ways.
Luckily, some simple tips can help you reduce stress and feel your very best while being a good mom or dad to your family. Dr. Keri Marshall, a licensed naturopathic doctor who specializes in pediatrics, women's medicine and chronic disease management, understands the high demands of modern parenting. She offers some important tips that all parents should consider to help reduce stress and improve overall health and well-being.
1. Time management. "Time management is key for reducing stress and helping busy parents keep their sanity. The problem is that time management is a skill that must be learned, not something we're born with," says Marshall. "Staying organized can help you achieve all your goals."
Whether it's a traditional calendar on the wall, making lists, or a new smartphone app, organize your week and share your schedule with all family members. Remember to manage priorities - you may have to push grocery shopping a day or two in order to make a child's band concert or big game. "Also, be sure to schedule breaks throughout the day," reminds Marshall. "Just five or 10 minutes here and there can give you the pause you need to stay calm and collected."
2. Nourish your body. What you put into your body makes a huge difference in how you feel. Some foods can even help reduce stress and boost your immunity so you don't wind up sick, something busy parents simply don't have time for.
"Being stressed causes the body's cortisol levels to rise," explains Marshall. "This stress hormone can cause you to crave unhealthy foods, so resist temptation and eat foods that help calm the body and balance hormones and blood sugar. Foods high in vitamin C, like berries and other bright-colored fruit, are great for boosting the immune system and balancing cortisol levels."
3. Prioritize sleep. "Physical stress can make it difficult to sleep. People stay up later trying to get things done, and then when they do go to bed, they have trouble turning their brain off at the end of the day," says Marshall.
Keep in mind, quality sleep each night can help keep your body healthy and increase your productivity levels at work and at home. By making sleep a priority, you'll help ensure that you make the most of every hour in every day. While the National Sleep Foundation notes that the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, generally seven to nine hours is considered optimal to maintain health.
4. Share the workload. You know the adage: It takes a village to raise a child? Well, today's parents are busier than ever, and often they think they need to do it all themselves. Leaning on friends and relatives to help out when needed can dramatically reduce your stress. Plus, it can be a fun change of pace for kids.
"Don't be afraid to ask for help," says Marshall. "Raising children is one of life's greatest adventures, but no one can do it all. There's no shame in asking Grandma to run the kids to soccer or having a friend watch the kids for a few hours because you have a work deadline. Plus, it is great bonding time for your children and the loved ones in their life.
Family Movie Night
Length: 113 minutes
Synopsis: A secret crew of police officers led by two determined sergeants work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen, who runs the city.
Violence/scary rating: 5
Sexual-content rating: 4
Profanity rating: 5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 4
Family Time rating: Definitely an R movie, mostly because of the violence. Older teens may be able to watch, but you make the call.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers,” by Dav Pilkey
Synopsis: When we last saw our heroes, George and Harold, they had been turned into evil zombie nerds doomed to roam a devastated, post-apocalyptic planet for all eternity. But why, you might ask, didn't the amazing Captain Underpants save the boys from this frightening fate? Because Tippy Tinkletrousers and his time-traveling hijinks prevented George and Harold from creating Captain Underpants in the first place! Now, having changed the course of human history forever, they'll have to figure out a way to CHANGE IT BACK. Could this be the end for Captain Underpants?! – Scholastic Inc.
Did You Know
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that college students who watch realty TV beauty shows are twice as likely to get tans – indoors or outdoors – than those who don’t watch such shows.
GateHouse News Service