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Give stress the slip with these tips from Donald E. Williams, Ph.D., ABPP, associate professor of psychology, and Sheila Jowsey, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Medical School, in Rochester, MN:Eat and sleep well
Because hunger contributes to stress, healthy snacking during the day may help ease tension. To sleep more soundly, Jowsey recommends forgoing caffeine at least six hours before bedtime and nixing the urge to take work or chores(such as mending) to bed with you.Act silly
When your son spills his milk for the third time and you're about to freak out, crack a joke or sing a funny cleanup song. "Engaging your child with humor will help you realize that this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things," says Williams.Recognize stress signs
Your husband may respond to stress with headaches, you may get irritable and your child may whine or cry. Learn to spot stress symptoms and take steps to ease tension.Turn down lights and noise
"Some babies and young kids get fussy when exposed to loud sounds and harsh lights," says Jowsey. Soft lighting and soothing music played at an almost inaudible volume will help everyone feel less stressed.Have fun
Think about when your family feels most relaxed and make those good times happen more often. Don't worry about planning big outings. Sometimes it's the spontaneous moments -- the kids jumping into bed with you on Saturday morning or strolling with your husband at dusk -- that mean the most.