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Is Your Family Going Through Changes?

We live in a society of change, and it is happening faster and faster. Families change too, sometimes at a pace faster than you like. Here are some tips to help you adapt to change.

Nashville, Ark. – We live in a society of change and it is happening faster and faster. Just think about technology. Buy the latest version of a cell phone and just as you have figured out all the bells and whistles, the next version is out on the market. Families change too, sometimes at a pace faster than you like. It could be you are sending your last child off to Kindergarten or your first child off to college. It may be that one of your children is getting married and moving away to another town or state miles away, or you may be adding to your family through the birth of a child. It could be the loss of a family member or family separation. Change may be a move to a new job, city and school. Whatever the change, you will have to adapt and sometimes that can be very difficult to do. Here are some tips to help you adapt to change.

            • Attitude. Look at change as an adventure, rather than as a victim. People who adapt the victim role lose energy, creativity, become negative, and lose stamina all of which are needed in order to deal with change. People who look at change with the adventure attitude usually have high energy, excitement and an opportunity to learn or try something new.

            • Rituals and Routines. When your family is going through change, try to keep as much the same as possible. Rituals and routines give a sense of continuity and security no matter what changes we are going through.

            • Communication. The more you can keep the lines of communication open between family members the better it will be for those involved to adapt to the change.

            • Self Care. Taking care of yourself through eating right and exercise is always important, but more so during times of change. Remember, with big changes in your life, sometimes people have to let go of what they are familiar with and embrace the future. Sometimes this involves the grieving process. You may go through denial, anger, depression, maybe guilt, trying to bargain to prevent the change, and finally acceptance. It is normal to go through this process, just remember the other tips mentioned. Pay attention to your physical health. Eating healthy and getting enough exercise will help you deal with stress and change.

            • Humor. Humor is always good, but more important when you are going through change. In fact, exposing yourself to laughter and humor causes some of the same chemical changes to take place in your body as does exercise. Keep in mind that laughter really does a body good.

            Remember, in order to change and accept it, you must keep a positive attitude, increase communication, maintain rituals, take care of yourself and maintain a sense of humor. If you have tried all these tips and find yourself still struggling, it may be time to seek professional help.

            For more information on family issues relating to stress management, contact the Howard County Cooperative Extension Service, which is a part of the University of Arkansas Research and Extension program. We have a couple of great booklets, “Managing Stress” and “Getting Your Heart Right” both which are free of charge.

            To contact the Howard County Cooperative Extension Service visit our offices located on the second floor of the courthouse or call our office at 870-845-7517. You may also visit our website at www.uaex.edu/Howard.

Recipe of the Week

            This quick and easy recipe was submitted by Tina Williams, 4-H Program Assistant. It’s delicious!

Ravioli Casserole

2 lb. ground beef, browned and seasoned with onion, garlic, salt and pepper

2 – 28 oz cans spaghetti sauce

1 package frozen cheese ravioli

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick spray. Layer ½ can spaghetti sauce, ½ of the ground beef, and ½ of the ravioli. Repeat. Pour remaining can of sauce over all. Top with cheese. Cover with foil and bake 40-45 minutes, until heated through. Let rest 15 minutes before serving. 

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N Main St Nashville AR 71854
(870) 845-7517
jince@uaex.edu

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