It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it. – Lou Holtz
We all have stress in our lives; some more than others. But what’s stressing you out isn’t nearly as important as how you handle it. Dishes piling up? Laundry never ending? Kids driving you insane? Pressure at work? Struggling financially? Health issues bogging your mind? Never enough cheesecake in the fridge? (That gets me every time, man. Sucks.)
But it doesn’t matter. These things will most likely always be there, haunting you. So, it’s up to YOU to find healthy positive ways to deal with stress.
These are the top eight things I have found that can totally cause my frantic mind to do a one-eighty…or at the very least grant me a moment of peace.
- Get More/Better Sleep
Think about it. When you don’t get enough sleep or you spend the night waking often or tossing and turning, do you get up and have a good day? If you’re a human, the answer is a resounding “NO.” (If you’re not human, email me. We could make this into an interesting post.)
Back to the point. Getting a good night’s sleep sets the tone for your entire day. It makes or breaks your mood and your tolerance for stressful situations. One way you can improve your sleep pattern is to have a routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. You’d be amazed how positively our bodies respond to regularity.
Other ways to help you get some rest are to try relaxing in a warm bubble bath. Light some candles. Play some John Mayer. Add a glass of wine. Let your tension just melt away into the abyss.
Or if you’re a busy mom like me and the previous option sounded like something awesome to add to your “Dream Board for Post-Children,” try an all-natural supplement like this one. It’s perfect, because it’s non-habit-forming. So, your body won’t become dependent. It also contains a combination of melatonin and botanicals such as hops, chamomile and passion flower to relax your mind, while magnesium promotes muscle relaxation. Sweet dreams!
2. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
If you’re not getting proper sleep, it may feel like you need that soda or coffee like Bonnie Tyler needed a hero. But too much caffeine, especially after 2pm, can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. It can also make you feel antsy and cause you to have trouble relaxing. Which, duh, does NOT help with stress.
For a healthy start to your day, try revving up all them organs by starting your morning with an 8oz glass of ice water. You can even opt for something like green tea instead of coffee, or try adding this yummy drink mix to your bottle of water! It’s packed with electrolytes to keep you hydrated and B vitamins for natural, lasting energy. Perfect to stick in the diaper bag or your purse!
3. Get Organized – No, I mean it.
Having too many things on your To-Do list is stressful enough, but keeping this list in your head? Just. Plain. Madness. Make a To-Do list and look at your calendar. Figure out which days get which tasks. Don’t be a martyr and try to do 2476356 things in one day. Seriously, hun, don’t.
Here’s how I sort my To-Dos: Ask yourself, “Is this urgent?” If so, get it done. If it’s not, save it for another time. Ask yourself, “Can someone else do this?” If not – if you’re the ONLY one who is able to perform this task – then decide when it needs done. (Refer to the first question.) If someone else can do this task, delegate it. One of my life mottos: When possible, delegate.
Don’t try to do everything. And definitely don’t try to do everything on your own. You’re probably a super wife, a super mother, and even a super woman, but girl you ain’t Superwoman.
Get you a good quality daily planner or a pretty wall calendar, whatever suits your style (Pinterest for ideas,) and make your To-Do list your bizotch.
4. Go For A Walk – OUTSIDE!
This one is simple. It’s common knowledge that exercise is a natural stress-reliever due to the blah blah blah about different endorphins being released, right? But if you’re like me, exercise is a curse word that gives you a headache just thinking about it. (I even had to use Spellcheck, because apparently I can’t spell “exercise.” Oh my.)
So, an easy solution is to just go for a walk. Feeling overwhelmed and need a minute to yourself to just breathe and reboot? Go. For. A. Walk.
Now, why did I say “outside?” Because sunlight is bae. Seriously though. Exposure to sunlight helps our body naturally produce a sufficient amount of Vitamin D, which is essential for boosting immunity, building strong bones, and even combating depression. It’s amazing for improving brain function and your mental health and can really lift your mood.
Plus, it’s totally free. So…
5. Do Less!
Make less commitments. Don’t “over-volunteer” for projects. If you’re feeling burned-out, take a break. Delegate more. Worry less about a clean house and more about happy kids and making memories. Don’t strive so much for perfection; focus on progress.
This one sounds easier said than done. Trust me, I know. My word for 2019 is “Progress,” because I drive myself insane striving for perfection in everything that I take on. When I fall short, (which obviously I will because nobody is perfect) I welcome stress, anxiety, disappointment, and just pure negativity into my life.
So, focus on progress. If you only got three loads of laundry done today, good for you! If you spent an hour a day every day this week working on your blog but didn’t publish, oh well! Good for you! If you did SOMETHING small, taking baby steps in the right direction, cele-frickin-brate!
6. Do Something for YOU.
This one is pretty simple too…but easier said than done, especially for us moms. We as moms are programmed to put ourselves last on the priority check-list, but we actually need to be at the top. Girl, if you don’t take care of YOU, those kids won’t get you at your best. So, schedule a few minutes every morning or evening to do something for you.
- Read a chapter of that good book after the kiddos pass out.
- Have a glass of wine. (There’s never a bad time for wine.)
- Run yourself a bubble bath with candles and the whole shebang.
- Go get your nails done.
- Do a hair mask or face mask (fancy gold peel-off or calming clay).
- Write in your journal or blog.
- Knit, crochet, or do some sort of craft.
- Listen to some music that’s not on a Disney Junior show.
Whatever it is that you love, that makes you feel good, do it. Do something daily. Make sure you’re at your best – do it for the children!
7. Ask for Help
Whatever you’re struggling with, there’s always someone who can help. If household stuff is overwhelming you, tell hubby you could use some extra help before you go crazy. Then give him an evil glare when he says you’re already crazy.
If you need someone to vent to, ask a friend or write in a journal or even blog. If you’re overwhelmed at work, tell someone. Don’t be a martyr.
If you’re concerned that you struggle with depression, anxiety, manic depression, or that you are just TOO stressed, talk to your doctor. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but it will absolutely benefit you. I waited way too long before I admitted my suffering and asked for professional help, and I always wish I would’ve done it sooner because the freedom has been exhilarating.
Asking for help does not make you weak or a quitter; it makes you courageous and strong. Self-awareness is empowering! Know your limits, and know when it’s time to let someone else in to lighten the load.
Wanna talk to someone who knows you – every aspect of you? Your strengths, your weaknesses, your successes, and your struggles?
Pray. Pray when you wake up. Pray when you go to bed. Pray in the shower. Pray in the car. Pray when you have to just walk away from a situation before it becomes a crime scene investigation.
He’s always available 24/7, unlike your friend, Karen, who hardly ever texts you back. He will always greet your worries with perfect love. His arms are always open, and there’s peace waiting for you.
At the very least, taking a few minutes to pray allows you to stop, think, vent, and breathe. It’s the easiest way to just let go of your existing worries and become more self-aware of your state of mind.
I hope these tips help you, even a little. If you enjoyed these, give it a like and share. I would love to know, what are some other ways y’all reduce stress?
Comment something that helps you!