National Stress Awareness Day {Tips to Cope}

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I’m not a psychological expert by any means, but after being in therapy for more than five years, I’ve come to realize that there are few traits I recognize within myself. One of them is, I’m stressed.

I work full-time, in fact over that because I have two other part-time jobs! I’m a wife, mother of three kids under the age of 10, and a taxi cab for them and their various activities. We have two older dogs (one who, for the joy of it, just picks on the other!) and house projects that could keep cleaning folks and house contractors busy for more than a year!

Stress feels like my middle name. I constantly live every day with some sort of stress.

stress

Nov. 3 is Stress Awareness Day. I remember one of my favorite Instagram pages posting a previous year about how they’re “very aware of their stress.”

That’s how I feel on a daily basis. Stress just seems like part of my routine. The stress of work obligations, the stress of not being the best parent possible, the stress of not being emotionally available for others.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. 

Here are a few tricks I’ve used to cope with stress:

  • Give yourself a time limit: Whether you work from home, are a stay-at-home-mom, or anything in-between, it’s critical to give yourself time limits. I personally am working from home currently. For me, that means even after “clocking out,” I still finish up tasks to feel accomplished for the day. At a certain point in the day, I make a point to “clock out” and focus on whatever is next at hand – whether that’s making dinner, going to a kid’s practice, or something else. Give yourself a “clock out” time to focus on the next activity and closer to getting the kiddos to bed.
  • Ask for help: This is one of my biggest struggles because I never want to be a burden on someone else. However, you’ll find that there are probably people in your circle (family, friends, or someone else!) who will jump at the chance to help you if you ask for it. I usually feel guilty when asking others for help, and it’s something I’m trying to be better about, because I know I would help someone in a heartbeat. It can be difficult to not feel like you’re Superwoman, but we all need to give ourselves a little more grace when it comes to trying to do it all.
  • Sleep: This is easier said than done, I know. With potential deadlines, last-minute homework assignments, and more, it can feel like sleep just isn’t in the cards. I’ve found it helpful, though, to get as much sleep as possible. I hated taking naps as a kid, but as an adult, naps are my friend. They don’t happen every day, but I feel after more sleep, I can be more proactive physically and mentally.
  • Therapy: I have a great counselor who has seen my every high and low. If you can find someone to connect with, it may make an invisible weight feel lighter.

This National Stress Awareness Day, don’t push your stress to the side. Stress can lead to both mental and physical side effects that no one wants to encounter. If one of the above coping mechanisms doesn’t seem the right fit for you, search out for one that does because no mom should feel the constant pain of stress when there is so much happiness to encounter with motherhood.

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