I know what you are thinking… another article that is going to stress me out even more.
Let’s face it, being a parent comes with it’s own unique stressors. Here is an example, last night when hubby and I came to bed we found our daughter’s hamster on her bedroom floor… hamster escaped from it’s closed cage. We put him back, but were too tired to figure out hamster Houdini’s trick and went to sleep. Only to wake up this morning to TWO missing hamsters.
Between missing hamsters, changing nappies, working out quotes, eating breakfast, breast feeding, arranging a memorial service, arranging product pick-ups and deliveries, scheduling design work, scheduling break down repairs, listening to Connel’s plans to save up for an electric guitar and Miachlan’s plans to rearrange all her furniture after her search for said missing hamsters finally made her realize that her room needed a good clean AND scouting for new clients, we were ready to head for the hills by 9:30…
What I am trying to say is that I get it – the last time I read an article about how to beat stress I felt even more stressed because it listed a whole bunch of really good things that I knew I should be doing but that I simply don’t have time for. It also listed an even longer list of bad things that I was doing, that I knew was bad… but they really were the floating devices that kept my head above water at that time.
So I am going to aim to do it better and hopefully by the time you are done with this article you will feel LESS stressed. Here are some tips that help me on a daily basis.
1. Work with what works for you.
So at the end of the day, when the house is quiet and you finally get to scroll through your social media feed in search of a little bit of strength for tomorrow… open your notepad on your phone instead and make a quick list of all the things that made that day a good day in YOUR opinion. All the things that made you feel like you are winning at this mom thing. All the things that made you and your husband and the kids smile. All the things that took some pressure off of you.
Then when the sun comes up and you need to juggle 50 thousand tasks again, focus on these ones that you wrote down, the ones that make you feel like you are winning. (Needless to say purchasing Hamsters will not make it onto this list ever again)
The other reason this works is because when you go to sleep your brain will not be filled with the problems, you will think on the victories and this will help you to sleep better.
2. Physical Activity
I did not write the word exercise in the heading for a reason… with a 4 kids, of which the youngest is a 12 week old baby who cluster feeds, I do not have the time to excercise… but I do need to move around. By viewing sweeping or mopping the floors as a stress relieving action rather than a stress causing chore, you will soon reprogram your brain and you will again feel like you are winning because you are multitasking… relieving your own stress while cleaning your home.
Your brain will also help you be releasing endorphins that will help you to feel good, further releasing stress. As long as you start moving around with purpose you will start feeling better about yourself. Find fun ways to get your body moving while taking care of your to-do list.
3. Healthy Eating
I know… when I see the words healthy eating all I can think of is the cost of the organic, GMO free food I want to give my family and all I can see are hours needed in front of the stove… both of which again stress me out.
But here is what I have learned… when you stress you jaw muscles tense up, so by rather keeping low calorie nutritious yet hard snacks around, you will be able to put those clenched jaw muscles to work without adding the calories that come from snacking on high calorie processed foods. In plain mommy language, don’t buy the crisps… go for the carrot sticks and cumber sticks. Or try some almond nuts or soy beans.
Some people again find that stress kills their appetite, but by not eating at all you are depriving your stressed body from the fuel it needs to deal with the stress. So by rather eating smaller meals more often, you will prevent your blood sugar from falling and and you will be less likely to become moody. The last thing you need when you are stressed is to add more stress because you are acting like a mad cow in a china shop.
Healthy meals need not be boring and it need not take hours to prepare. Overnight oats is just one of the easy ways to make sure breakfast is ready BEFORE you wake up. Be sure to check out the quick, healthy recipe’s that we will be posting over the next few weeks.
There are many other things that you can do and even more that you should not do, but then we will be defeating the purpose of this stress busting article. In the end it is about gathering the tools and then becoming a master at applying them to your life one at a time, without stressing yourself out.
Disclaimer: No hamsters were harmed in the making of this post. Mr and Mrs Houdini are safely back in their age and their current escape route has been blocked.