Wife, Mom, Friend, Housekeeper, Business Woman – women constantly juggle all these and many more responsibilities. At any given time, you may have a sick child to nurse, drive about town to run errands, meet a deadline at your job, have a mound of dirty laundry building up and possibly even some extended family that all need your attention. One person that does not feature on this huge list is YOU. While this may seem all right for the first few years after you start keeping your own house or after you have children, eventually it causes stress and burn-out.
We are not talking about Positive Stress here. That is the stress which keeps us on our toes. What we are talking about is the stress which diminishes your performance ability, your energy levels and even poses a health risk.
Continuous stressfull situations in your life can cause loss of sleep, heart problems, anxiety and depression if you do not take steps to reduce stress. The feeling of being ‘weighed down’ will eventually catch up and cause irreparable damage and you will find yourself aging ahead of time. Now is the time to do something about it and enjoy life from this day onwards. The key is to ‘Let Go’ and ‘Make Time for Yourself’. These are some ways that can help reduce your stress without compromising on any of your responsibilities.
1. Aspire to eat a proper, balanced meal at all times. Junk food, binge eating and the supposedly ‘feel good’ guilty desserts as you will notice for yourself, seem to satisfy only temporarily. Before long, you are craving for them again. A good, full meal, on the other hand, will make you feel active and energetic.
2. Drink as much Water as possible. As it flushes out toxins from your body and helps you with a good constipation, your mind will feel cleansed and relaxed too.
3. Implement a good sleep pattern that lets you get enough sleep. Establish fixed times for going to bed and waking up.
4. Add Exercise to your daily routine. It can be a morning walk or jog as you wake. Or you could take up any activity that you enjoy doing – swimming, sports, dancing etc. If heading outdoors is not possible, get yourself a Yoga mat and start with easy yoga poses for at least 30 minutes a day.
5. Read at leisure. Although reading magazines and tabloids is included in leisure reading, you would manage your stress better if you take up a light novel and get lost in it.
6. Start a new hobby or take up a long-lost hobby again. We all have something that we have always wanted to learn to do. Dance – Play Tennis – Make a Tie & Dye dress for a young relative – play the violin? No age is too old to learn something. Just give it a go. Or maybe you gave up on something that you enjoyed doing long ago. Think about how much pleasure it gave you and bring it back into your life.
7. Take a long, warm bath. Immerse yourself in a relaxing bath with a book or some music for company. Or just relax or turn it into a self-satisfying beauty treatment day. If you choose to do it later in the evening, you can just go to bed and have a really good night’s sleep.
8. Plan a Vacation with your family or girlfriends. You can even plan one for yourself alone and meet other similar-minded people on a themed tour like a Crafts or Historic themed tour. This will give you a much needed break and you will come back refreshed.
9. Avoid things like smoking or alcohol which only appear to calm you down, but actually decrease your immunity to stress from the inside. Replace them with a new and healthy substitute that you like – a particular flavor or blend of juice, perhaps?
10. Limit your responsibilities. Take a hard look at your daily chores and see where you can make the cut. Are you driving around too much? Could you skip a couple of your children’s activities and replace them with something they can do at home? Or maybe you need to delegate some work instead of doing everything yourself.
11. Perfection is for the ‘Perfect World’ and unfortunately, we do not live in one. Try to let go of the perfectionist within you and set a more achievable standard for yourself. Your house does not have to perfect all the time. Clean, germ-free and pleasing to the eye is good enough. Likewise, you don’t have to feel guilty about not making every meal from scratch. As long as you are giving your family a balanced and healthy meal, you are taking care of your responsibilities well enough.
12. Stay close to people who are supportive of you and stay clear of those who are negative. Do not try to develop relationships for wrong reasons like, money, status, connections etc. You will be putting yourself into one of the worst traps for Stress. Competing and dragging each other down constantly is a sureshot recipe for chronic stress. Instead, develop a friend circle where you feel comfortable enough to be yourself and whose company you enjoy.
Try some of these ideas and you see that each one of them is a stress-buster and works nothing less of a miracle in killing stress. You will soon find a balance and purpose in your life and the change in your attitude towards like and towards others will be the greatest favor you could ever do for them.