Is motherhood stressing you out? Stress, by definition, is “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” That sounds familiar! Motherhood is a privilege and a blessing, yet it is okay to admit that it can also be a stressful juggling act. If you sometimes feel burnt out, on the verge of exhaustion, and feel like you’re about to lose your head, you are not alone.
There’s literally no need to talk about why motherhood can, at times, feel overwhelming, so I want to dive right into the simple, doable, practical strategies to ease the stress of motherhood so you can take what resonates with you and start putting it into action.
The 5 A’s of Stress Relief ~ Sanity Saving Strategies For Moms
There are five ways you can ease the stresses of each day. They are simple yet not effortless. And, they won’t make the stress go away forever, banished into thin are never to come back again. These five practices are powerful and have changed my life for the best, as well as impacted the way I parent my daughters in a positive, powerful, transformational way.
Much of the stress we go through is self-imposed. I’m not saying we invite drama and chaos into our lives, just that we let the door open and it sneaks in uninvited.
- Plan ahead ~ Avoid situations, people, and places that trigger you, drain you, or tend to get the best of you, and when strictly necessary to face them (i.e. driving in rush hour), prepare yourself before it happens.
- Say NO often ~ decline invitations, requests, and “opportunities” that don’t serve you. Saying NO gives you the freedom to say yes to what truly matters.
- Prioritize ~ Get clear on your top 5 passions and your To Be list, and make sure they come first on your calendar. Use time management tools to focus on what matters most: important vs. urgent.
ALTER What Stresses YOU
Personal responsibility has proven to be a sanity saver in my life. You can too take charge and be proactive in changing some of the tension builders in your life.
- Detox ~ Cut out any toxic relationships to create space in your life for purpose, positivity, and peace.
- Boundaries ~ Let those you want to keep around know EXACTLY how you wish to be treated and ask them to communicate their boundaries, as well. Check out my series on how to set clear firm healthy boundaries without feeling guilty.
- Share ~ Honor your feelings, be vulnerable, and willing to ask for help.
ACCEPT and Move On
Acceptance is not settling, but simply loving what is and learning to embrace it because it will remain unchanged.
- Find the positive ~ It may take deep digging, however, there is opposition in all things so there is for sure something you can be glad about in every situation. Finding that perspective allows you to regain your inner power; remember: be positive and you will be powerful!
- Find the lesson ~ I know I’ve fallen flat on my face so many times and it has NOT been pretty. I’ve thought there’s no good, just plain bad and ugly. Thankfully, I’ve been proven wrong each time,in hindsight, because we can learn and when we learn, we succeed.
- Find peace ~ I’d love to know whether you crave peace as much as I do. I believe we were created to experience JOY, BALANCE, and SUCCESS in our lives, and guess what? The product of all these is peace. Some of the so very hard ways to find peace are: forgiveness, humility, love… pretty much all the fruits of the Spirit.
ADAPT To What Is
With the years, I’ve seen a clear pattern in myself and those around me: the more inflexible we are and the higher our expectations, the more unfulfilled and chaotic our existence.
- Redefine Success ~ What if you started celebrating ALL achievements as mundane as they may seem? What if you decided that every day you are given free air to breathe, you are a success? I assure you life will be more rewarding as you forsake unrealistic expectations, shoulds / should have’s, and supposed to’s that only bring you guilt, overwhelm, and defeat.
- Redefine Enough ~ Sometimes the issue is not succeeding or being perfect, but feeling like a failure, like you are not enough, like you don’t measure up. The good news is that you can choose what enough means and match it to what you have. Adapt your mindset to what will give you confidence and that
confidence will drive you forward and higher.
- Reframe The Situation ~ Of course, I already recommended to find the positive side of the issue AND the lesson you can learn. You can also view the issue from a long term [even eternal] perspective. I know it’s silly to admit, but many of the things that stress me, annoy me, or irritate me are often so
minuscule and of no relevance in the big scheme of things. Usually a deep breath and a one-second-prayer can get me out of a cranky mood because I remind myself that “this, too, shall pass” and it won’t matter a year from now, let alone five or ten years. This works really well because once i’m able
to get past the frustration, I can think clearly and, at times, even put the puzzle pieces together to make sense of what is happening.
AFFIRM and Kick The Stress Out With Words
Sometimes all you can do is speak light into darkness. Affirming is one of my favorite steps because it’s a great way to stop the inner bully and get through obstacles, challenges, or fearsome situations.
- Practice Thought-Stopping ~ Stop the inner bully in her tracks. It may sound crazy, but I often confront her and put my foot down: “I refuse to believe you!”
- Self-Motivate ~ I’ve used this technique a lot in my life because I’ve often felt alone and didn’t have anyone to cheer for me or to infuse faith in me. Tell yourself “Yes, I can!,” “Keep going!,” “Don’t give up!,” and whatever language in whatever person (first or second) that works to keep you pushing through.
- Start Each Day With Intention ~ Whenever I consciously start my day with Scripture study, prayer, and affirmations of faith, gratitude, and positivity, I can see such a difference in my day and I don’t have to use thought-stopping and self-motivation as much, because the day flows better.
And…we’re done. Consider this your go-to blueprint for sanity. It’s not going to be easy, and self-doubt may sink in, especially if you’re a Type A or recovering perfectionist such as moi…but if I can do it, YOU can do it.
Which of these techniques do you already practice to take the stress out of your motherhood demands? Are you willing to try anything new that stuck out when you read it? Share it all with me in the comments below… and make it a point to have a sane, peaceful, stress-free day!