When Does the Worry End?
By Donna Kostiew
Why didn’t someone tell me, before I had children, that I’d never sleep through the night again?! My daughters robbed me of sleep during late-night feedings and diaper changes when they were infants. They intruded on my beauty rest during sickness and sleepovers when they were young children, and then even more so through their teens. And now that they are in college? Well, let’s just say that I haven’t caught up on all of my Zzzz’s yet and I rarely go to sleep at night without thinking of them first. I have been told over and over again, usually by my own mother, that a parent’s worry never ends. And although my children are only at the higher education stage right now, I know that at some point in the future, I will be telling my mother, “You were right”.
I also know that I will not be alone.
According to results in a recent study, many parents with grown children still lose sleep and feel the same stress in their older age as they did when their children were young. Does this sound like your parents? Does this sound like you? There will come a time when you may want to stay involved and continue the support that you have always shown your child throughout the years, but be warned. This level of involvement doesn’t come without some risk to your health.
Who Wants Worry?
This isn’t new. We’ve been counseled by our doctors, we’ve read the health magazines, and we’ve watched the TV shows address this issue. Worry and stress negatively impact our lives in so many ways. For instance, they can cause:
- Loss of sleep
- Immune suppression
- Poor eating habits
- Lack of exercise
Ugh! Nobody wants that, but what can be done if it’s true that your worry will never end? Well, you can deal with your future worry and stress by developing healthy coping strategies now.
Parents … Bring on the Calm
Sometimes, a gentle reminder to bring focus and clarity back into a situation is needed. Here are some tips on how you can reduce the level of stress and worry in your life:
- Reflect on your intentions and the level of involvement you have in your child’s life
- Put things in perspective, as worry is always rooted in fear
- Determine an appropriate strategy with your child for addressing the problems causing you stress
- Give up control and let your child’s journey be their own
- Breathe, meditate, or relax
- Get support through friends or become socially active
Having stress in our lives is not the problem. It only becomes a problem when we can’t manage it in healthy ways. There is nothing wrong and no reason to find fault with parental worrying as long as it’s manageable. So instead of stressing about the small, individual events in your grown child’s life that you see on Facebook every week, realize that many of the things you are worrying about are temporary. Offer encouragement, let them know you are there, but don’t forget about yourself and your own health in the process.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Phoenix, Ariz.