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April is National Stress Awareness Month, and that means learning more about how stress affects the whole family. Its uncomfortable to admit, but children experience stress more often than parents realize. Thankfully Lori Lite, founder of Stress Free Kids, says that reducing stress can be as easy as ABC for you and your family. This ABC list makes it fun for children to pick a letter, read, and implement a tip that will reduce stress for the day. When children step through the academic door to learning they also open Pandora’s Box of stressors. Preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college. It is never too early or late to fill your child’s backpack with the ABCs of decreasing stress. Parenting expert Michele Borba suggests: Print this out and place on your refrigerator. Have the kids choose a letter each day and focus on the tip!

A- Affirmations = Positive Statements= Less Stress

B- Be aware of over-scheduling

C- Counteract stress with relaxation and stress management techniques

D- Deep breathing will decrease anger and anxiety

E- Exhale and say ahhhh….

F- Focus on relaxation and sleep will follow

G- Go for a slow family walk

H- Hope will decrease anxiety and fear

I- Imagine a positive outcome

J- Juggle less

K- Keep it simple, keep it fun

L- Laughter is a stress reducer

M- Music calms, soothes, and uplifts

N- Negative thoughts can be replaced with positive

O- Organizing eliminates chaos and frustration

P- Playing is essential

Q- Quiet time is part of life

R- Relaxation can be incorporated into each day

S- Stop the chatter in your head

T- Teens or toddler. We all need downtime and coping skills

U- Understand that a stressed life means something is out of balance

V- Visualizing increases creativity

W- Waste time and be happy about it

X- XOXO kids, teens, we all relax with a hug or a kiss

Y- Young or old can learn stress management

Z- Zap stress, anxiety, fear…Live in joy, hope, balance

One sure way to decrease stress is to introduce your family to relaxation music. Homework, bedtime, carpool… anytime you want to de-stress. Try Stress Free Kids’ line of Relaxation Music CDs or their stories for children that incorporate stress management techniques and get ready to feel good!

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