How good are you at stress reduction? If you’re a Mom, probably not that well. We all have stresses in our lives that come and go and some periods in your life are worse than others. I’m always dismayed when I realize how hard women are on themselves. Guys, not so much. They don’t seem to feel any guilt over spending 3 hours watching football. Or treating themselves to a beer and a nap after mowing the lawn.
I am not excluding myself from this group either. We don’t call it Adrian’s Crazy Life for nothing – I am probably the busiest person I know, but I understand the importance of managing my stress levels.
Even an average day of kids, work, and household chores can be stressful. If you are dealing with financial problems, a serious illness, or even just overwhelmed with life. Things like this can just amp up your stress levels to the nth power. Those days are going to happen no matter what. The key is to have a plan in place to deal with them.
When the outside world is crazy, that’s when you need a calm environment in your home. Think about your typical day spa. They are always pretty and uncluttered with soft music and quiet voices and lots of comfy places to relax. There’s a reason for that – these are things our bodies require to calm ourselves. When they are absent from your home, it can’t help but affect your mood and wellbeing.
Home should be a refuge for your family. A place to relax and recharge your batteries before everyone has to get out there and deal with everything the next day. But if your home is chaotic and disorganized; it deprives you and your family of that necessary tranquility. Over time excessive stress can cause things like heart attacks, divorce, and chronic depression. All bad things that no one ever wants, so take a little proactive action to protect yourself.
This doesn’t mean that your home needs to be absolutely perfect. Or that it needs to be fabulously decorated a’la Pinterest and be magazine perfect. If anything, homes like that make me a little bit edgy. I’m always worried that I’m going to mess something up, or leave something out of order.
But if your counters and floors are mostly clear of clutter and your living areas aren’t full of uncompleted projects grabbing at your attention, you will feel so much more calm. You’ve heard the saying “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY is going to be happy” It’s absolutely true. Kids pick up on our stress levels and so do husbands.
And if you can set up a little corner with some comfy pillows and soft music. Maybe a scented candle or two, why the heck not?
Be sure to schedule some time in every day to do something for yourself. Even if it’s just 10 minutes to take a quick shower, do a quick Yoga workout, or take a little cat nap. Little things like that do a lot to minimize your stress level and recharge your batteries. Even a few quiet minutes on the backyard patio or a walk around the block can lift your mood considerably.
Sometimes my friends always say they don’t have TIME to shower, sometimes for days at a time? Ewwww! That one baffles me. How do you not have time for a 10-minute shower? I worked full-time for years while raising kids and so did my Mom and sister. I don’t remember any of us feeling like we couldn’t shower or take time for clean clothes. You’d just plop baby in the crib or the playpen with their toys, turn on cartoons for the older ones and hop in the shower. Voila!
I think Moms especially feel guilty about taking these little moments – but really who is going to mind? If you went to your family and just asked them – do you think Mom has the right to a few minutes for herself everyday? They’d probably shrug their shoulders and say – yeah sure, why not?
So THEY aren’t the ones putting the pressure on us. WE are the ones doing it to ourselves. So make a different choice. Let the kids entertain themselves for a few minutes – it won’t hurt them a bit. My kids were allowed to be a little bored sometimes. They’re grown now and you know what? They’re fine – better than fine. They didn’t even notice.
Let a few tweets or Facebook posts go unanswered – let someone else bake the cookies for the PTA this time. The world is NOT going to go to pieces if you take a few minutes here and there to take care of yourself. Take a shower, enjoy a walk, take a nap even! It’s your life too – enjoy it. Shhhh, I won’t tell….