The Effects of Family Stress

Families face unique stressors such as financial challenges, children’s academic struggles and difficulty maintaining a healthy work-life balance. The emotional overload associated with family stress can lead to frequent arguments, chronic fatigue related to busy schedules and increased dependence on alcohol and drugs, among other problems. Family stress can be especially hard on young children, who may not understand what is going on but still pick up on the tension resulting from a dysfunctional dynamic.

Family Stress Examples

Parenting has always been the most demanding job, but it’s become more stressful than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent survey from the American Psychological Association found that 75% of parents said they lacked the emotional support to deal with the increased anxiety they’ve experienced due to the pandemic.

Other examples of situations that can put undue stress on families include:

  • Trying to balance work and parenting
  • Caring for a new baby while trying to maintain previous responsibilities
  • Juggling kids’ school and social activities on top of your work schedule
  • Worrying about your child’s safety
  • Social isolation
  • Addiction
  • Illness or death of a loved one
  • Debt

Not All Stress Is Bad

A short-term form of stress called eustress can be motivational and memorable. Depending on how well you handle it, you might manage to find the positive side of the situation. For example, a child who excels in sports or academics might make it into a high-level competition, which can be an excellent learning experience for them.

However, if you are living with a mental health condition like anxiety or depression, it may be hard for you to muster the energy and enthusiasm necessary to support your child’s participation in these activities. In working with a therapist, you can learn techniques to improve your coping skills and reduce the amount of stress you experience in situations that take you out of your comfort zone.

If too many commitments start to feel like a burden, you can also combat family stress by learning how to politely say no. If your children are old enough to understand, sit down with them and decide which activities are most meaningful to all of you. You might be surprised to hear that your child is more interested in spending a quiet weekend at home with you than playing in a soccer tournament. You and your child will be much happier when you are more connected and less busy.

Saving Lives and Connecting With Communities

Though alcohol and drugs might be a temporary source of stress relief, they will cause mounting physical and mental health problems in the long run. Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit that offers accredited treatment at 15 outpatient recovery centers throughout Tennessee. Our state-of-the-art facilities and decades of experience provide lasting healing to those struggling with the chronic disease of addiction.

We know that choosing to get help for a substance use disorder takes enormous courage. We support your decision to regain control of your life, and we encourage you to reach out to our team today.