Facing stress is part and parcel of life as a modern parent, no matter what your family situation and no matter how old your children are. Although ordinary, stress is very much something we need to be aware of and we need to make sure we have adequate coping mechanisms to avoid more longer term emotional problems or mental health conditions such as Anxiety or Depression.
I’m really pleased to be collaborating with six fellow bloggers this week to pick their brains on how they cope with day to day worry and stress.
I find I get the most stressed out when I feel overwhelmed by my to do list so I make myself do one thing. It might not be the most important thing on my list but it is something which is better than nothing and often gives me momentum to do other things. If I feel all of us are getting stressed out then I try and inject some humour into the situation – there’s nothing like a good laugh to diffuse stress! If all else fails I find a friend to have a bit of a whinge at – I call it my therapy! Emma Morrell at Wanderlust and Wet Wipes
When it comes to stress I find prevention is better than a cure. Preventing stress is all about knowing yourself and what’s important to you. I like to map out my weeks to make sure I have time for the things that are important to me and that replenish me – exercise, writing and time with my husband. When life gets a bit crazy and I don’t have time for these things I feel off balance and easily stressed. I have started cancelling plans to make space for what’s important to me. Katie Shozi from Coffee With Katie.
I can be quite a worrier – whether it’s related to work, my family or just something I have said! But it’s always my dad’s advice I come back to when I can’t shake the stress or worry off. He says ‘these things are here to challenge us’! And he’s right – quite often they are. Now this doesn’t ever solve my issue and quite often I find that incredibly frustrating! I want the problem or worry to disappear – but of course, it never vanishes just like that. However, hearing this mantra does always put things in a completely different light and I find I can tackle whatever is bothering me a little bit more. Carrie Wootten from My Circle UK
I am a huge worrier, due to personal circumstances, it can be hard to find a way to work through it. Relieving stress I find walking it out can really help. Be in the fresh air, even in the rain. We were thrust into a lifetime of living with grief, it has been a lonely time; in the beginning rather than being met with people obviously avoiding us (crossing the street), we’d get up early in the morning and walk.
We would walk miles and miles, I felt it helped to ground us. By the time the walk was finished we’d be a lot more relaxed, we’d be ready to face whatever was giving us stress.
Over these last few years we have followed the mantra of ‘picking your battles’; stepping back to see whether the situation really is as stressful as I think it is, and attempt to deal with it in a gentler way. Julz Scott from The Red Head Diaries
Unfortunately stress and worry are very much a part of life for most of us. Becoming parents can bring added worry too, particularly with the sudden influx of responsibility.
If you find yourself feeling worried or stressed, the first focus is to always surround yourself by people that have a positive impact on your life. This can be huge, knowing you have a ‘real’ support network instantly lessens life’s stresses.
Secondly, don’t worry about things you can’t control or change. This is so important. Things don’t always go as we’d like them to and if we can’t change it then that worry is purely wasted energy that we could put to far better use elsewhere.
Finally, always look for the positives. No matter how dire a situation may seem, there’s always a silver lining, a happy moment, a kind person, something pretty to look at. It’s so easy to focus on the bad things, but we need to stop and think of at least one positive, to blow those woes right out of the water. Laura Wilson from Wafflemama
Many people comfort eat when they are stressed though I have found through my weight loss journey (I lost 10 stone) that this is something I needed to approach as if you have a lot of stresses the weight can easily pile on. Therefore my biggest tip is to find something you enjoy doing to relax but not to comfort eat as if you put weight on through lots of comfort eating it just adds to your stresses. Jen from Just Average Jen
Such amazing advice. And what’s my own top tip? The thing that helps me the most when it comes to managing stress & worry is trying to live in the present as much as possible. Worry exists when our thoughts are focused on the future and if we can take a few seconds to centre ourselves and pay attention only to the sounds, sights and smells of the present moment it is almost impossible to feel worried anymore.
You can find out more about being present and practicing mindfulness during this week’s Facebook Live Anxiety Toolkit – follow my Facebook page to be alerted or click here for more details on the series & to catch up on previous episodes.