From working moms to stay at home moms (and every mom in between), stress can definitely play a factor in the day to day workings of our lifestyles. Helping kids with homework, making meals, balancing work duties, laundry, running kids to practice, getting in some exercise, and keeping up with relationships can all start to take a toll on the most practiced of mothers. Granted, how each woman processes stress will be different, and these daily demands will seem higher some days and lower on others…. but that still doesn’t remove the stress that can be felt each day.
Before we delve into some ways to manage stress while on the ever-constant move, let’s take a look and see what exactly stress is and how it affects the body– that way, you can plan to manage it appropriately when and if the time arises!
What is Stress?
Stress is unfortunately not one of those things that we can avoid – at some point, we will all be stressed over something! Stress is essentially your body’s way of reacting to a situation or scenario, either mentally, emotionally, or physically. These reactions can be due to something like work issues, family matters, or even something like a change in a job or a baby being born. That being said, not all stress is bad for you…. however, periods of stress that are chronic can have negative impacts on your body.
What Effect Does Stress Have on The Body?
Negative impacts from stress can (and will) vary from person to person, but typically include symptoms such as:
- increased blood pressure
- gastrointestinal issues
- chest pains
- jaw pain
Excess stress can even go so far as to further complicate diseases or conditions that are pre-existing and is linked to certain cancers, obesity, and heart disease. This is even more of a reason for us to find ways to manage stress appropriately!
Ways to Manage Stress
Let’s look at some ways that you can manage stress in your day to day life, especially as an on the go mom!
Take some time for yourself:
You can’t fill from an empty cup – and this not only applies to your kids but also your husband/partner, job, volunteer duties, friendships, etc. Setting aside some time for your own self-care on your calendar is key to helping manage stressors; this can be anything from taking time to meal prep, to getting in a workout, to staying in the bathtub for a few more relaxing minutes each night – whatever works best for you. Even though your schedule can be hectic, block out, or plan some time for just you.
As difficult as it might be, setting some time aside to organize your schedule and day to day routine can be super helpful in the long run. Knowing which child has practice on which days, when concerts and soccer games are scheduled, and knowing your own work schedule and what is expected can keep you from getting overwhelmed during the week.
Organization doesn’t always have to be in the form of a calendar or list though (although if those work for you, certainly utilize them!) …you can also get organized by just planning a bit to save yourself some stress. Going to be out late this week, and dinnertime could be a crunch? Pull a frozen homemade meal out of the freezer to thaw in the morning, and you’ve got instant dinner on those late nights! Know that you’ve got a long car ride coming up with the kiddos? Pack yourself some extra snacks, wipes, changes of clothes, etc. just in case the need arises.
Learn to say “no”:
This could be one of the hardest things that moms can do – after all, you want to be the best for yourself and your family, right? However, saying yes to everything that comes along can not only weigh down your daily load, but you might not even enjoy the thing that you’re saying “yes” to…maybe it won’t point you in the right direction of positive mental and/or physical health or improve any circumstances around you. If that’s the case, it’s perfectly fine to say no!
Learn to have boundaries with yourself and what you want to incorporate into your life so that you can manage stress appropriately and not be tied down to things that don’t bring you joy or success.
Take some time to figure out what is best for you when it comes to stress management techniques – and maybe it’s something not even on this list.
Maybe a walk through your neighborhood after work, spending some quiet time alone in the mornings with a cup of coffee, or even going out for a date with your husband/partner is enough to reset you back to where you need to be….and that is a positive, successful, hardworking mom who knows how to take care of herself!
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