Eight Simple Stress-Busters for Moms
by Susie Michelle Cortright,
Among our most critical
responsibilities as mothers is the responsibility to the self -- the
responsibility to recharge
our resources so that we feel
balanced, energized and able to thrive under life's demands (and to
model this healthy
approach to stress for our children).
Choose a life of less stress by
identifying your stress points. You can start by answering the
following eight questions in your personal journal:
1. Whether you're a WAHM, a SAHM, or
a mom who works outside the home, why did you make that lifestyle
choice? Write down all the reasons, both personal and professional.
Such a list is an excellent tool for positive affirmation, particularly
on those days when the sacrifices you've made stare you squarely in the
face. If you discover that the choice you've made isn't the right one,
outline the changes you need to make.
2. What are your priorities? How
important is your spirituality, your family, your professional identity?
Consider this ranking when you're called to make choices and
compromises. When have you put your identity, your plans, and your
self-nurturing on hold while you took
care of someone else?
3. If you had 15 to 30 minutes each
day for yourself, how would you spend it? Schedule time for yourself.
Mark it in your day planner or on the family calendar.
4. How much of your stress level is
the effect of over-dramatization? Remind yourself that the level of
stress you experience is directly related to the way you internalize it
and the importance you place on your own dramatization.
5. Do nutrition and exercise
contribute to your stress or help you manage it? If you aren't sure,
keep an energy diary to
help you determine the hidden factors
in your lifestyle that may be robbing you of energy. Make a plan to
change or eliminate those influences.
Log the times each day when you feel
beat or burned out. For me, it's 3 pm -- about the time I want to hit
jar. Try to schedule your workout
(not a great big snack) for the time of day when you need an energy
6. How easy is it for you to say
"no"? Respect yourself and your time enough to delegate tasks and refuse
to take on
more than you can handle.
7. Are you multi-tasking yourself
into more stress? When we try to do too much at once, we are raising,
our stress level. Multi-task only
when you can realistically fulfill all tasks adequately. It's hard to
tune into your kids while you catch up on your own reading, for example,
and you can't take time out for yourself while simultaneously devoting
the time to anyone else. Decide which tasks deserve your full attention.
Then give it.
8. Do you have the support network you need?
Conduct a search at
for an online group that shares your
hobbies, interests, or lifestyle.
Copyright 2005 by Susie Cortright
About the Author:
Cortright is the founder of momscape.com -
http://www.momscape.com and Momscape's
Scrapbooking Playground -
devoted to helping
visitors record and preserve their cherished memories. Subscribe to her