To say stress has been a huge part of our lives over the past year would be an understatement. The Covid pandemic has challenged our limits, pushing us to the brink (and, in many cases, over the edge). Therefore, it must be fate that April is Stress Awareness Month (thank goodness)! We can certainly use a whole month (minimum) to help us deal with the anxiousness and stress that’s been piling up on top of us. Use this month to start practicing these three tips to help you recenter and salvage a few pieces of your inner calm.
Let’s face it, as moms, we already try to do it all, and when life got turned upside down in 2020, we kicked it into overdrive. We started homeschooling, many of us were also having to work from home at the same time, and we were still trying to keep up with housework (in a house full of people)! Not to mention we went above-and-beyond to try and somehow make up for all of the things our kids were suddenly missing out on, like playdates, group sports, or just a simple family dinner at a restaurant.
The result was that we’re completely tapped out, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Many of us are wound so tight; the slightest nudge will make us bust our springs. Well, moms, it’s time to breathe and try to let it go...at least some of it. Let go of the expectation that everything will be normal. Let go of the never-ending (and fruitless) pursuit of perfection. Finally, let go of any guilt or uncertainty you feel because you decided to let go.
While moms had it rough the last year, we weren’t the only ones. This means that at some point, we probably got mad at somebody (or they got mad at us), which means many likely spoke words out of anger. Plus, people probably did some things they regret. Hey, we were all spinning in a million different directions (and still are), trying to figure things out on the fly. Stress creates unbelievable amounts of tension, anger, and so many more negative emotions. The thing is, if you hold a grudge, all it really does is weigh you down.
Therefore, recognize that some people might have hurt you and decide to forgive them. Then, and this is the really important part, once you forgive, it’s time to forget and put it in the past. It doesn’t count as forgiveness if you always bring it up and throw it back into someone’s face. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter you feel when you drop that burden of anger and resentment. Likewise, if there are those that you may have hurt, give them a heartfelt apology.
Yes, we’ve already gone through a lot of changes, and most of them not so pleasant, but now it’s time to make some positive adjustments. If you’re like me, you spent a good chunk of the pandemic loosening your rules a bit on things like eating healthy, working out, and getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, that meant you also probably had to loosen the button on your mom jeans. When we don’t take care of ourselves physically, it affects us completely, adding to our stress.
So, as cliché as it might sound, mommas, start making some healthy eating swaps, find a physical activity you enjoy that you can do a few days a week, and try to go to bed a little earlier when you can. Just making these small steps, one at a time can help you form new habits that will subsequently reduce your stress.
If you need some extra encouragement, check out some of the Mindpower Sessions that MamaZen has to offer regarding topics like, ‘Feel Better Physically’, ‘Improve My Diet’, and ‘Get Better Sleep’. You’ll find the support you need to get started and stick with it so that you can deal with stress in a more positive and healthier way.
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