I don’t know about you, but I’m usually wound as tight as can be. With 5 kids, work and a demanding church calling, I feel like all I do all day is GO, GO, GO. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my life. I love my kids, I love my religion and I love my work. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get stressed out about them. The older I’ve gotten, the smarter I’ve become about what I can and can’t handle and when I need to take a break. I’m sharing some of those tips with you today.
Before we get to my tips, lets figure out why you’re stressed. I need you to ask yourself, “What is stressing me out?”. On those days when your voice is louder than normal, your blood pressure is spiking and everyone and everything is annoying you, that’s when you need to stop and figure out what is making you stressed out. Then make changes. By change I don’t mean give a kid up for adoption. I mean lets prioritize. Ask yourself “What is really important in my life and what is not? What changes can I make to lower the amount of stress I’m feeling each day?”
Now, how can we deal with and lessen the normal stresses that mothers face?
1. Get enough sleep. I know how it is. You think that bed time is finally alone time for you and your husband to sit on the couch and watch shows and unwind. Or get the house cleaning done. Right? Well sure, that’s amazing. The whole freakin’ house is quiet! Now you need to veg out or get work done that you can’t when the kids are awake. And that’s OK. But just don’t stay up too late. If you are not getting enough sleep, you are adding to your stress levels. You can not function during the day on 4 hours of sleep. I have a hard time falling asleep because there are so many things floating around in my head nagging at me. I’ve learned that if I keep my phone charging beside my bed and add these things to a “to do” app, then I can fall asleep more quickly because I won’t be afraid that I won’t remember everything I need to do the next day. So, when a thought pops into your head about tomorrow, jot it down in your note app or on a to-do list. I’ve also found natural RESCUE Sleep Aid to help me fall asleep and stay asleep.
RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts are all natural and homeopathic. They are developed by a doctor and they are gentle and safe. They are also non-habit forming and have no side effects. They have been around for generations and used by millions worldwide. RESCUE comes in a variety of forms too! RESCUE Pastilles, RESCUE Pearls are both natural stress relievers. I also love the RESCUE Stress Relief Gum. It’s keeps me calm throughout the day.
2. Learn that it’s OK to “just say NO”. Go ahead, say it out loud with me, NO! See, it’s easy isn’t it? People should never expect you to say yes to everything they ask of you. Most people are expecting a no anyway. So don’t feel bad about saying NO. I had the hardest time with this concept. I’m a people pleaser. I don’t like it when I feel like I’ve let someone down. But then I realized, I’m letting down the most important people in my life when I take on extra responsibilities. My family. My family doesn’t deserve a stressed out mom who “can do everything all by herself”. They deserve a mom who is present, not just there. A mom who doesn’t snap at the smallest things because she can’t handle one extra sound. Practice saying NO when something little comes up and try it out for size. I know you can do it.
3. Take a “mommy time out”. Even after learning what stresses me out, making changes and saying no, I can still get stressed out. I mean, let’s be real people, I have 5 kids and 3 of them are teenagers. My kids know when I’m about to pop. I’ve warned my kids that sometimes I can get stressed out and I’ve asked them to tell me when I’m getting mean. Sometimes I don’t realize I’m even doing it. That’s when I know I need a break. A break means different things to different people. On my “time out” I love to close myself in my room and watch a show on Hulu. I also love to pile the kids in the car and take them for ice cream. Another really effective thing that helps me is exercise. I head to the gym and work off my stress. Find what works for you and take time for yourself. It’s OK to take time for yourself. There is no reason at all to feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You’re family will be better off when you are rejuvenated.
4. Have “family quiet time” every day. This goes along with a mommy time out, but EVERYONE takes a break. When my kids were younger, the older kids would have quiet time on their beds reading books or doing puzzles while the baby slept. When none of my kids napped anymore, we still had quiet time every day. I needed the break and they needed the break. Doing this has taught my kids to love to read and love time by themselves. I think this is a really important thing to teach our kids. Being alone sometimes is a good thing. We can think when the world is quiet. We can meditate and relax.
5. Don’t forget to eat. You know how it is. You make breakfast and lunch for your kids and you don’t really want to eat the same thing, so you just don’t eat. Most days I go until about 1 or 2 PM before I realize I haven’t eaten. That’s when I realize that I have a headache and I feel weak and dizzy. Now I can’t complete the tasks I need to because I don’t feel well. I have to make myself eat, and eat healthy. Otherwise I’m useless when my kids get home from school.
6. Take a laughing break. Turn on a silly song and dance around the kitchen with your kids. Play a silly game like hide and seek. Have a tickle war. Turn on Americas Funniest Home Videos. Just get happy and silly. Your mood will improve dramatically.
7. Learn to adapt. Who cares if your dinner is on the table right at 6 PM every night? Trust me, those who care about things like that are not worth your time. It’s OK if things don’t work out exactly how you planned them. Are you all still alive at the end of the day? Well, then you’ve done your job. Order a pizza and have a movie night while snuggling on Mom and Dad’s bed. Just “LET IT GO, LET IT GO!” He he. I love getting songs stuck in your head. Talk it out and remember what is really important. Making your home a hallowed place.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
What are your secrets for de-stressing as a busy mom?