Ask Me: How Can We Practice Mental Health & Balance as a Family?

Q. We Are A Family Of Four Members, Each One Of Us Are In Very Stressful Jobs. How Can We Remain Mentally Sound And Healthy, As Arguments On Trivial Issues Are Frequent And Often Take An Ugly Turn. Usually One Member Goes To Bed Crying And Without Dinner. What Can Be Done?    

KU: A very apt question for the month of Mental Health May, your query depicts a common issue faced by most of the population, as everyone wants to work and earn. It is no doubt a wonderful thing that each member of the family is productive, responsible and self -sufficient. What is important is that at the end of the day everyone is tired and wants to relax at home and household chores usually becomes the task and responsibility of the female of the house, expectation from her is there but co-operation, team spirit is missing. 

Expectations usually do not match the service and here begins the problem. As a consequence, though families react differently but usually seen are arguments, fighting, lack of communication, irritating temperament, tiredness, health issues, exhaustion, burnout because of busy schedule.

“The most impacted are children of all ages, and their relationships with other family members.”

Long term effects of stress increase risk for heart attack, stroke, memory loss, weight gain, chronic fatigue, cancer, faster aging and personality changes. It may induce depression, anxiety related disorders, digestive and sleep problems.

In the situations where individuals have such stressful family environment where their emotional needs are not fulfilled, what is required is to understand the impact of such situation on each member.

The communication barrier between members needs to be erased, to restore the bond. For which an initiative by someone needs to be taken. Family counseling through an expert counsellor will help one and all. 

Each member needs to indulge in some of activities for self-care, such as:

  • Start some positive talks, even when the other shows irritable behavior.
  • Indulge in some regular exercise, it can help boost your mood and improve physical and mental health both.
  • Help the person taking care of cooking, set the table for the meal, serve the meal, manage the leftovers or convey some nutritional tips but with love and concern.
  • Give priority to proper sleep pattern. Make this a practice as a family.
  • Set some goals focusing on practice of gratitude, social outings together, staying connected with family members during the day from workplace
  • Practice self-awareness, it may help in recognizing the patterns of emotions, including situations that can trigger worsened symptoms.
  • Value yourself- avoid self-criticism
  • Make time for your hobbies, involve yourself and others in indoor and outdoor games, gardening, playing and listening to music, nature walk with partner, as all these are stress busters and will help build a stress-free environment at home.

Seek the help of specialists/psychologists if required, the earlier the better, don’t wait for the terminal stage of relationship.

Kavita Upadhyay

Student counsellor and has expertise in teaching psychology, career counselling, stress management and gender issues. Kavita is also an expert practitioner in marital counselling, life skills, interaction with community, research and tool construction.

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