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Connection Corner

3 Ideas to help reduce stress for busy families

man, child, and woman sitting on couch holding head in their hands looking stressed

I know as I enjoy the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground, I am also reminded of the busyness of this time of year. As with any busy time, it is common for people of all ages to experience stress. With all the factors that can lead to stress, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the stressor in our life or the lives of our family members. However, one thing is clear, it is important for all family members to have strategies to help cope with these stressors. Fortunately, a lot has been researched and written about positive ways to deal with stress. Here are a few that I think will be helpful for family members of all ages:

Make a Worry Box

Decorate a small box and keep it in a convenient place. As you find yourself worrying about something, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the box. This symbolized letting go of our worry, so once you put it in box, try to turn your attention to other things. After some time passes, either throw them worry or you can look through them to see if they have been resolved. This and other strategies can be found in a great article, Stress Coping Methods by OSU Extension

Mindful Movement

Practice yoga or other breathing exercises that help you be mindful about how your body is moving and how you are feeling during the exercise.

Create a Gratitude Journal

The University of Minnesota shares about gratitude journaling and ten ways to incorporate gratitude into your life.

As you think about which strategy to use, think about which ones you could incorporate in your regular routine. This is one of the tips shared by our family life colleagues about the importance of self-care in stress management. So as the days get shorter and your to-do lists get longer, be sure to try one of these strategies to help reduce the stress you feel each day.


Judy Schmidt provides leadership to 4-H metro programming in Peoria County. Schmidt joined Extension in 2001, working as a Youth Development Educator at the East Peoria Center and joined the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell unit in 2011. Her work focuses on 4-H youth development programming in the local metropolitan area, specifically leading positive youth development initiatives for after-school programs, community groups, 4-H clubs and other youth-serving organizations. Her areas of expertise include positive youth development principles, youth leadership, and work with teens as teachers.

Schmidt attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for her bachelor's degree in psychology and also for her master's degrees in Social Work and Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a certified facilitator of the Matrixx System/Real Colors program by the National Curriculum and Training Institute.



Connection Corner:  is a blog that provides timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.