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Family Stress Resource Center

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Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Family Stress Resource Center. This program is designed for kids, teens, and families who are experiencing changes, loss, or other sources of stress. Change is often hard, and people can feel upset when their normal routines and expectations are disrupted. In this program, you will find many strategies for working together as a family to care for yourselves as you handle stressful situations. Pick and choose the strategies that seem best for your family.

There are three main groups of strategies included here:

  • One group involves steps to build resilience through relaxation strategies, engaging in activities that make us feel better, and focusing on the important parts of life.
  • A second group of strategies focuses on helping families get along, handle disagreements, and work together to address problems.
  • A third group of strategies focuses on making and maintaining change over time though goal-setting, creating routines to provide structure, and reviewing progress.

A few themes run through all of the strategies here:

First, be patient with yourselves. Stress and change are difficult and take time and energy to manage. Allow yourself to adjust your priorities and let some things go undone. When planning to make changes, set small goals and don’t expect big changes all at once. Second, be patient with your family. Tempers may flare more than usual and small things that didn’t seem that important before may now be very upsetting. People often need a little more time, space, and reassurance than usual. Third, be flexible to change. The plans you make are a first draft. They may not work, or if they do work at first, they will need adjustment over time. Be prepared to try again!

One last important point. Don’t be afraid to reach out for additional help. Some crises affect a family’s immediate safety or basic needs. If that is the case, this program can help direct you to additional resources. Also, if you are not finding the help you need as you work through this program, contact your doctor, therapist, or other healthcare provider.

We hope you find these strategies helpful. Remember, be kind and patient with each another in this difficult time.

Click through the options below for help with the any of the following categories that apply to you and your family. You can always return to this page or use the menu above to seek additional help in other areas.