>> Dec 30, 2012
Motherhood is a stressful, full-time job. You never really leave work and you rarely, if ever, have a day off from it. If you're not careful, you can get so busy taking care of everyone else that you forget to take care of yourself. Be sure to manage your stress so you can be at your best, which will make you a better mom in the long run. How can you work on managing your stress? Everyone is different, but try some of these techniques to see what works for you.
Let Go of Perfection
Lots of stress in your day is probably self inflicted. You want the towels folded a certain way, sandwiches put together in a certain order, beds made crisply. Some of these things are nice, but they just aren't important enough to fret over on a daily basis. If you can let go of your need for absolute perfection for everything, you can focus your energy where it's most needed and reduce stress overall.
If beds don't need to be made perfectly, then who says you have to make them? Make simple tasks a chore that can be done by your kids or shared in other ways. You'll teach responsibility and take some stress off of your plate.
Take Some Time Out for You
You spend your life taking care of people in your own family. You need downtime too, so don't forget to schedule it in. Take a few minutes everyday to yourself. You can do anything with it — write, download games from iWin.com, visit Pinterest, make a cup of tea. Just make sure it's something that you enjoy and relaxes you.
Also, make sure you're getting out of the house from time to time. Go visit with friends, take a yoga class once a week, join a knitting or sewing circle, go for a run. It could be anything. You might have to schedule it and plan for it and work a little harder to prepare for it, but do it anyway.
There's actually a movement called Laughter Yoga based on the idea that "behaving or acting happy will bring the mind to a state of happiness."
You don't have to join a club or laugh spontaneously if you're uncomfortable with that, but do feel free to laugh when something funny happens. Find the joy and humor in life and react appropriately.
Sometimes, when stress has you in its ugly claws, all you can do is breathe. Remember when you were in labor? What did everyone tell you to do? Just breathe. Take a deep breath (or a few, depending on the severity of the situation) and you'll have time to process the situation and get some oxygen flowing through your body.
Focus of the Positive
While you're breathing, try to shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones. If you have trouble latching onto positive thoughts organically, look for some quotes or mantras that inspire you. Pinterest is a great source for this. You can save the quote on your phone, post it on a mirror, stick in on your fridge or, if you're into that kind of thing, just have it tattooed right on you. Well, maybe don't tattoo it, but keep it present to help you shrug off the negative and focus on the good.
Willa Reese A teacher, vocal coach and mom, Willa loves teaching kids the joys of being on stage and putting on holiday pageants.