How can I help my spouse handle her stress?
Don’t let stress make her sick. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women often tend to carry a higher burden of stress than they should. Often they aren’t even aware of their stress levels.
Encourage your spouse to listen to her body, so that she knows when stress is affecting her health.
Here are some ways to help her handle her stress:
- Teach her to Relax. It’s important for your spouse to unwind. Each person has her own way to relax. Some ways include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. If she can’t do these things, tell her to take a few minutes to sit, make her listen to soothing music, or read a book.
- Make sure she makes time for herself. Your spouse needs to know that it’s important to care for herself. Tell her to think of it as an order from the doctor, so she doesn’t feel guilty! No matter how busy she is, get her to try to set aside at least 15 minutes each day in her schedule to do something for herself, like taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, or calling a friend.
- Ger her to eat right. Try to fuel her up with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Good sources of protein can be peanut butter, chicken, or tuna salad. Make sure she eats whole-grains, such as wheat breads and wheat crackers. Remind her not to be fooled by the jolt she gets from caffeine or sugar. Her energy will wear off
- Sleep. Sleeping is a great way to help both her body and mind. Her stress could get worse if she doesn’t get enough sleep. She also can’t fight off sickness as well when she sleeps poorly. With enough sleep, she can tackle her problems better and lower the risk for illness. Try to get her seven to nine hours of sleep every night
- Encourage her to talk to friends. Advise her to talk to her friends to help her work through her stress. Friends are good listeners. Finding someone who will let her talk freely about her problems and feelings without judging her does a world of good. It also helps to hear a different point of view. Friends will remind her that she is not alone
- Get her moving. Remind her that getting physical activity will not only help relieve her tense muscles, but help her mood too! Her body makes certain chemicals, called endorphins, before and after she work out. They relieve stress and improve her mood
- Get her help from a professional if she needs it. Talk to a therapist. A therapist can help her work through stress and find better ways to deal with problems. For more serious stress related disorders, like PTSD, therapy can be helpful. There also are medications that can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and help promote sleep
- Compromise. Sometimes, it’s not always worth the stress you cause her when you argue. Give in once in awhile
- Spur her on to get a hobby. Find something she enjoys and make sure she gives herself time to explore her interests
- Inspire her to write down her thoughts. Ask her to grab a pen and paper and write down what’s going on in her life! Keeping a journal can be a great way to get things off her chest and work through issues. Later, she can go back and read through her journal and see how she has made progress!
- Helping others. Remind her that helping someone else can help her. Encourage her to help the neighbors, or volunteer in your community
- Induce her to plan her own time. Your partner must already be thinking ahead about how she is going to spend your time. Get her to write a to-do list. Let her figure out what’s most important to do
- Advise her to set her own limits. When it comes to things like work and family, your spouse needs to figure out what she can really do. There are only so many hours in the day. She has to set limits with herself and others. Tell her not be afraid to say NO to requests for her time and energy
- Make sure she doesn’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways. This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating.