The modern mom, whether working as a mom at home, or in the workforce, juggles many things. As a mother of three and a business owner, I feel as though I constantly have several tabs open in my brain and managing these tabs is essential to avoid the freezing or crashing of the ‘Robinson Home Management System’ or my company.
Stress, whether positive or negative, is inevitable. No matter how organized we are, or how much we try and mitigate situations prior to them occurring, stress will always be a part of life. We cannot control this. What we do have control over is the way that we approach and deal with stress. We have many tools that we can have ready for use, as well as a few lifestyle choices that put us in a better position to deal with daily stresses.
The foundation of a low-stress lifestyle involves 3 essential building blocks: diet, sleep and exercise. Take some time to evaluate your diet. Is it balanced? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you ensuring that you are getting exercise daily? No stress reduction program will be successful in the long term unless you have this solid foundation.
Mindfulness is a topic that has been a growing trend in research and in popular media. What we know about mindfulness is that it is a big part of the happiness equation. Individuals that are intentional about being mindful, tend to be less consumed by daily stresses. Meditating daily or adding an active practice of gratitude to your morning routine can do wonders in guiding you to be present in each moment and helping you to see the ordinary magic that is occurring around you daily.
The key to stress management is being able to identify your stressors and choose an approach to help you manage these stressors. Since stress is different for everyone, your approach must be personalized.
Ask yourself what your stress indicators are. Some people begin to feel anxious, some get neck pain, headaches or backaches. Your symptoms will help you identify exactly what it is that is stressing you out. Once you identify your stressors, you can start to look at how to manage them.
Identifying the cause of stress can help you reduce the number and impact of stressors in your life, and it can help you manage the stress that does occur. If you are having difficulty identifying your stressors, you can always create a stress log. Not only can a stress log help you identify your major stressors, but it can also help you identify trends in those stressors and give you clues as to the best way to manage your stress.
Once you have identified your stressors, you must remind yourself that you have a choice in how you will approach it. You can choose from the three A’s
Once you have chosen the A that is appropriate for the situation, having a plan can make a world of difference in your levels of stress. Additional tools that can help you manage during stressful times include: listening to music, having a sense of humor, soothing stretches, deep breathing, meditation and prayer.
Remember, stress is inevitable. We have both positive and negative stressors that come into our lives daily and that need to be managed. Be intentional about your lifestyle choices and how you approach stress when it arises.
Shifting Perspectives is a weekly conversation with Yolande. Yolande, a Canadian of Caribbean descent, now calls the Turks and Caicos Islands home and in this podcast challenges Caribbean woman worldwide to fuel themselves with diversity in the way they think, the way they work, the way they parent and the way they live.