All families experiences transitions and changes. Some are planned and some are not. Transitions and changes may present stress to a family. Tips for handling stress include:
- Recognize the stress – what are your body & feelings telling you?
- Be willing to talk about your stress
- Ask for help from those you trust
- Take a time-out when things seem to be too much
- Develop a plan to identify stressful situations and think about how to manage them, i.e. what to say, limit the time exposed to the stress, figure out how to lessen your anxiety, fears, etc.
Family Risks to Stress Overload
- Harm to children—you may not have the time/energy/resources to provide immediate response to their needs. The potential for child abuse or neglect increases when families experience unmanageable stress.
- Alcohol and Drug usage increases when families are under stress as it is an attempt to cope/avoid the situation. These substances are proven to exaggerate the stress and provide temporary relief from it.
- Domestic Violence risks increase when there is unmanageable stress. Relationships suffer as more time/energy is spent on thinking/worrying about the stressful situation.
The following are numbers to call if you, or someone you know, are experiencing any of the above family risks:
Child Abuse or Neglect: Department of Social Services, 864-596-3001 (press 1) or after hours: 864-585-1445
Alcohol or Drug Abuse: The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health, 864-582-7588
Domestic Violence: Safe Homes/Rape Crisis Coalition, 864-583-9803 or 1-800-273-5066