1. Make sure you get some time to yourself occasionally.
If possible, take a long bath with bubbles and candles – and even a bar of chocolate!
2. Try to take regular exercise.
E.g. walk when you can – it’s stress-relieving and fat-busting! (WARNING: Jogging may be bad for your health: some women joggers have found that their thighs rubbing together at speed have caused their tights to catch fire!)
3. Tackle your big challenges in chunks.
Some things are simply going to be difficult and there’s little we can do to change that. However, when we look back on the things that worried us most, we can often laugh about them now – so try to chill out when you can.
4. Work to deepen your friendships and family relationships.
Do things you believe in; play to your strengths; and, if possible, follow your dreams.
5. Watch out for early signs of stress.
Headaches, itching, exhaustion, stomach problems, shouting at the children, etc. If there are signs that you are stressed, try to find somebody you can talk with.
6. Stay in touch with friends.
Send a card or ring someone you haven’t spoken to for a long time.
7. Don’t say ‘yes’ to everything
You don’t have to prove yourself. Learn to say ‘no’ occasionally – practise in front of a mirror if necessary!
8. Take up a hobby as a family.
This will enable you to have times together that are fun and memorable.
9. Decide what level of mess you can cope with.
Don’t feel obliged to be 100% tidy all the time. (Why not teach your children to spell in the dust on the coffee table occasionally!)
10. Keep laughing!
Borrow some DVDs of favourite comedies that you haven’t seen for years; have a coffee with friends and see who has the funniest story about their week.