Stress is inevitable. It can slow your decision making, lead you to be overwhelmed, or even burnout. As working mothers, juggling the responsibilities of our homes, careers, children, and relationships, stress can easily creep into our lives and steal our joy. While the pressure will come, it doesn’t have to stop us from living a life we love. Here is a guide to letting go of stress.
Check-In With Your Body
When you feel stressed, check-in with yourself and see how you feel. Are your shoulders tight? Do you feel something in your gut? Does your right thigh get really tight? We all have different ways stress presents in our bodies – how does stress manifest in your body? For me, it’s my left shoulder. Sometimes stress hits me physically before it hits me mentally. I feel my shoulder tighten up before the mental stress sets in. Either way, ultimately, stress hits us all physically. It is not just a feeling; it actually is a physical response.
Remember Your Thoughts Lead To Your Feelings
Your thoughts are what is causing you to be stressed. You need to challenge your thoughts. What is it that you’re playing on repeat in your mind during your stressful moments? What is the story that you keep telling yourself during these stressful moments? Challenge whether or not that story is actually real.
For example, you’re sitting at work, and you think to yourself, “Oh my God, I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer!!!” Then you become stressed because you think, “The chicken is not out of the freezer. What are we going to eat tonight? The kids are going to starve, and my husband is going to be so disappointed in me. I’m an awful mom.” All these thoughts start to happen in your head, just because you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer. But there’s peanut butter in the cupboard, and everything’s going to be okay. It’s not the end of the world, but you stress yourself spiraling with all of these thoughts. Your husband’s still going to love you, your children aren’t going to care, they’re going to love peanut butter and jelly for dinner, and you’re going to be all right, but you stress yourself out because the beliefs really start to pile up and cause those intense feelings. The idea is to think about what is causing your stress. What are the thoughts that are leading to the feelings and then challenge them?
Identify What You Can Control And What You Can’t Control
After you’ve checked-in with your body and evaluated what thoughts are causing your stress, take a moment to identify what you can control and what you can’t control because, believe it or not, mama, you can’t control everything. Thus, there’s no reason to worry about the things you can not control. Focus on what you CAN control. Then with that information, create an action plan. What can you do about the things you can control? Create an action plan and then work that plan.
Let It Go
Cue Elsa singing, “Let it gooooo!”
The last step is to let go of the things you can’t control. LET. THEM. GO. They may eventually evolve and turn into something you can control, but you don’t know that because you can’t control it, so let it go, mama. Just focus on those things you can control. That’s it.
At the end of the day, take a deep breath, take a moment, and pause. Pause for 60 seconds. Breathe deeply a few times, and then come back to following the above steps.
Take time right now to commit to giving yourself grace and working through these steps the next time you feel stressed. Committing to give yourself grace, love, and understanding in times of stress can help you live a life you love.
For more tips on how to decrease stress in your life check-out, 5 Self-Care Ideas For Stressed Out Moms.
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