The numerous events affecting society today have caused many of us to navigate our way through a new normal. 

Through this journey, life has become a bit more hectic and stressful for many families.  Studies have shown that stress could have a negative impact on an individual’s overall wellbeing.   

In order to maintain normalcy and in keeping a healthy lifestyle, it is vital to have strategies for stress management. Since stress can have an effect on both adults and youth, it is significant to understand that even in a time of unprecedented uncertainty, the overall wellbeing of the family matters.  

The 4-H Healthy Living Guide outlines a number of tips that can assist with stress management for the entire family. Some of the tips include for teens and younger adults to create a “Don’t Worry Journal” where they can write out their feelings whenever they may feel anxious or stressed as a way to deal with day-to-day stressors.  

It also encourages families to try a family yoga session by gathering family members in a large room or open space with enough room to sit or lie down, give each person a yoga mat, towel, or blanket and practice poses like the downward facing dog, tree, and others. For additional reading on stress management, the article “10-Minute Stress Busters for When You Just Can’t” outlines several tools and foods that can assist with managing stress.  

Here are some additional tips outlined by4-H.org that can assist in day to day stress management: 

Tips for teens and young adults to manage stress

Listen to music. Classical is relaxing, but they can choose any genre that speaks to them.

Laugh! A good chuckle can increase blood flow and relax muscles.

Take a walk. It can help clear your head and boost endorphins.

Bad weather? Crank up your favorite song and dance!

Pet a dog. A four-legged friend can help lower your heart rate and take your mind off things.

Tips for the total family

Find a quiet place. Sit in a cross-legged position on the floor or in a chair with a tall spine and shoulders relaxed.

Inhale through your nose. As you exhale through your nose with your mouth closed, count “one” to yourself.

Inhale again and count “two” to yourself on your exhale. Continue to do this as you count up to “five.

Begin a new cycle, counting up to “five” with each out-breath.

Repeat three times, counting up to five and then beginning back at one again. Having your eyes closed may be helpful.

Reflect on this breathing session. Did you start back at one after counting to five or did you continue past the number five? Did you lose focus or stop counting? If so, were you able to draw your attention back to counting?

For more information, questions, or further assistance contact Tawanica Bullock, 4-H W.A.Y. (Warren Advocating for Youth) program assistant via email at tlbullo2@ncsu.edu or by phone at 252-213-3910.