Friday, October 24, 2008

How do you deal with Mommy-Stress?

I know I just explained all this in my last post, but it is worth repeating:

As Moms we have all at one time or another had one of those days. Part of what makes those days so hard is feeling alone in the barrage of mommy-stressors. Everyone else has it all together, right? Of course not.

As we plug along day after day we have all found different things that help us maintain or restore some semblance of peace and joy in our daily home-making and motherhood. Our own personal stress-busters! Wouldn't it be helpful to find out what those things are for other moms? Please, do tell how you prevent 'those days' and get through them when they hit in spite for your best (or not-so-best) efforts!

Here are a few of my favorite stress-busters:

- One of my first responses when I can feel stress mounting is to eliminate excess noise. Hopefully I can catch this stressor early and calmly instead of letting it get to me too long and snapping at someone! Anyway, it always helps to take note of all the noise input - how many things can you hear in that moment? How loud are they? Turn off the tv. Confiscate (or turn off) noise-making toys. Send noisy kids to play outside if possible, or to do something quietly, or at least go to another part of the house!

- On the flip side of the coin, sometimes I find playing music can help me de-stress. This is usually NOT in the noisy times (although I guess you could play music loud enough to drown everything else out, lol) - but mostly in the quieter times when my hands are busy, but my mind is going over and over a certain worry or a seemingly never-ending to-do list. I then turn on some upbeat worship music or classical (Mozart is my favorite for cleaning). The upbeat music tends to lighten my steps (and my workload) while distracting my over-thinking mind. As a bonus, one or both of the boys will often pass through and dance for a while - AND they are learning worship songs or getting exposure to classical music!

- Another stress preventer for me is meal planning. My days ALWAYS seem to end better when I have known all day what is coming up for supper (and prepared accordingly). For me, meal planning starts before a grocery-run. I plan the next week or so of meals (usually just supper, but I'm trying to add on lunches lately), and then make my grocery list from that. This also makes grocery shopping less stressful and more productive.
Here is a link to my 3-week rotation system that is currently working pretty good for me, and Menu Plan Monday is a good place to visit for inspiration.

- Finally, I have found that I am in much better shape for each day if I set an alarm and get up before my kids. Ideally an hour or more, but even 15 minutes helps. Even though I am slow to wake up, I love mornings and I CHERISH early morning time alone. In the past I have used mornings alone for Bible and prayer time, shower time, blogging, breakfast alone, being outside as the sun comes up.... Unfortunately Alan has been waking up between 6:15 and 6:30 a lot lately, so I haven't even bothered with an alarm. Maybe the time change coming up will help with that!

And I had one more thing I wanted to share, but sometime yesterday that thought escaped and hasn't returned. Probably a sign of being stressed, lol! Or maybe just a sign I should be more diligent about writing things down? Anyone have any helpful hints there? :)

So! What are your tips for handling stress? Write a blog post telling everyone your best Stress-Busters and leave a link to it in the comments of this post. Be sure and link to this post somewhere in your own stress-buster post, and feel free to use the graphic above! Thanks in advance for sharing!


Kara said...

I love your stress tips and forgot to write about this today...I did a frugal post. But I will post about this next Friday if you do it again:)

Michelle said...

Here's my post! I loved it...let's play again soon! :-)

Mommy said...

I SO need to get up before the kids do. You're right it does help! I did it yesterday, and my whole day went alot better!

Here is my link! :)

Jennifer said...

I found your blog through "mommy" and have so enjoyed reading today's post (some great ideas for stopping stress before it even begins) and looking through previous ones. I will return again. Also, wanted to say I appreciate your taking a position, unapologetically, on Halloween. Have a great weekend.