Tips for Managing Mom Stress

stressed-womanIt’s classic “Mom Stress” time for me. I don’t know about you, but the combination of getting the kids back to school and having the holidays on the horizon has me stressed for sure. I call it “Mom Stress,” because it seems inherent to our roles as mothers and household managers to become extra stressed during this time of year. The first key to managing stress is to recognize that it’s there and figure out how to deal with it. I typically recognize extra stress when I have trouble sleeping and hold a lot of tension in my neck and upper back. I constantly feel like I need a massage. What does stress feel like for you?

Often, the signs of stress are pretty classic. You may get a headache, stiff neck, nagging backache, or upset stomach. You may become extra irritable as well. Any of this sound familiar moms? When these symptoms appear, we need to recognize them as signs of stress and find a way to deal with them. Just knowing that you are crabby may be the first step in coping with the problem.

There are many ways to deal with stress. I choose exercise. Exercise actually helps the body imitate the normal fight-or-flight reaction to a stressful situation. Exercise helps to take advantage of your elevated heart-rate and tensed muscles caused by stress to release your pent-up energy.

Relaxation is another great way to deal with stress. Taking even 10 minutes to sit quietly and breath can do wonders for a stressful day. While you are sitting, try progressive muscle relaxation. Basically, you work through tensing and releasing each part of the body from your head to your toes during your 10-20 minute relaxation period. I found a nice audio to take you through this type of relaxation from the William Smith College web site. Listen here and relax!

I think I will go try my 20 minute relaxation session right now. Between grocery shopping, writing this article, and library duty, I can certainly use it. Let us know what you do to relieve stress.

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