Remember the days before you were a mom? When you thought a long day at work was stressful, or having three parties to go to in a week was “a lot?” Those days probably seem like a cakewalk now – being stressed seems like the most natural thing in the world when you’re taking care of kids. Learning how to reduce your stress and how to cope with it can make you healthier – and a better mom.
Personal Time Out
You’ve put your kids in time out. Sometimes you need to do the same for yourself. A grown-up time out doesn’t need to be as rigid or structured, though, it’s really about stepping away from stressors for long enough to face them with a fresh set of eyes.
You can do a crossword or number puzzle, play tetris or jewel quest games, check email or any other short task or activity that will divert your attention long enough to cleanse your palate.
Serenity Now! (Insanity Later)
On a famed episode of Seinfeld the mantra Serenity Now! Insanity Later ended in disaster characters buried stress until they eventually broke down. You don’t want that, but it’s a catchy phrase, so make it work for you. Sometimes finding serenity is a solution in and of itself. Clearing your mind and freeing yourself from stress can help you release needless stressors and better deal with actual problems. Try finding some yoga poses that help you center yourself and clear your mind. Practice oms as a means of meditation. Plenty of people are intimidated by them at first, but oms are a wonderful tool in your stress fighting arsenal.
Ever sarcastically remark that you could use a Valium right about now? What if you could get the calming effect as a 10mg dose of Valium without taking any drugs? Just turn on a 30 minute set list of classical music. According to Doctor Oz, it will do the trick. And besides, anything has to be better than listening to volume 827 of Kidz Rock. If you’re feeling skeptical, try using a free streaming service or just stop by your local library and check out a few classical albums to see if it works for you.
Exercise Your Demons
Presumably, you’re not actually possessed by a supernatural demonic force, though sometimes it can feel that way. Venting your fears, feelings and frustrations can help you release negative thoughts to make room for more productive feelings and behaviors. Try journaling, it doesnt have to be pretty and you never have to go back and read it or show it to anyone else. Heck, you can even shred, burn or otherwise destroy it as soon as you finish scrawling it. Don’t go online to vent unless you’ve already thought through what you need to say and are sure you won’t embarrass or otherwise endanger you or your family by putting content on the Internet.
Get Some Outside Help
If your stress is really severe and simple tricks aren’t helping you cope, it’s okay to get some outside help. A support group whether an informal group of moms or an official support group can provide a safe place for you to discuss your challenges and find solutions. A visit to mental health professional or therapist is nothing to be ashamed of and could help you better identify why you’re experiencing a high level of stress and modify your coping mechanisms.