01 Jun How to manage stress? Laugh like a child!
Picture this scenario, your youngest is being grouchy and dragging her feet. Your pre-teen “has nothing to wear” because clothes are piling up in his/her room. You can’t find your car keys, you were certain you’d left them on the counter top. And finally just for good measure, your daughter knocks over your coffee and now you need to go and change your clothes. You’re trying your best to organize everyone and get out of the house on time, but it’s as if the universe is against you today and trying to make you late! You’re frustrated, you’re flustered and you’re about to blow your top.
I’m sure most of you can relate! So, the question becomes: How on earth can you make it through a morning like that, without losing your temper or getting wound up? “Impossible” I hear your say! Well, I can tell you now it’s not, and with these simple steps mornings like that can be a thing of the past.
First of all, give yourself some credit.
Even if you didn’t handle it the way you wanted to, start by giving yourself some credit for getting through that incredibly stressful morning – Don’t beat yourself up over it, try to move forward and think about the rest of the day. Let’s face it, parenting is hard and you are doing your best, so try to acknowledge that internally. Be intentional about using humor and smiling, it always makes things a bit easier when we take it easy.
Be methodical and problem solve.
Try to look at the situation when you’re not so pressed for time or under stress. I bet you’ll even be able to find some humor in the next difficult scenario that arises. What changes can you make that will reduce your workload in the morning and give you more time? Maybe setting your alarm to buzz 10 minutes earlier could help? How about choosing outfits the night before? Taking something off your plate in the morning will be a welcome relief. Again keep a cheerful attitude, sometimes you may do well and sometimes you may not do so well with managing stress, but the cheerful attitude you put up helps.
Communicate with each other (nicely).
Admit when you’re in the wrong – it’s all part of the learning process and helps your child to understand that we all make mistakes and that it’s OK to do so. It can be something as simple as, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that this morning. It was a really stressful start to the day, wasn’t it? This is how I suggest we change things tomorrow morning…” I think that people believe patience can mean that nothing ever bothers us. That’s simply not true! We know that you might be coping with some very stressful situations. Feeling stress is normal and it’s your body’s way of telling you that something needs to change, so use your stress response as important information from your body and take action. Try to address what is causing you the most stress, then think about how can you help alleviate some of that stress. Maybe there’s something you can let go of or someone who can help you? Give yourself permission to find patience by dealing with the causes of the stress bit by bit. By doing this you’ll find ways to take care of yourself and prevent the stress levels from reaching boiling point each day.
Laugh like a child
Imagine the sound of a child laughing; think back to when you were a child, nothing in the world mattered, right? Well sometimes even when we have so much stress and think the world is on our shoulder, it is time to laugh, to laugh at ourselves, and to relax and find a way to make things better and to know that we have yet another day to try.
About the author
Rita Izu- is passionate about writing and supporting other women in her community to have a voice in their world. As a mother, a nurse and a home maker, Rita believes that every woman has a talent which she needs to find and use to make her life and the life of her family fun and more interesting. She enjoys creating a warm, nurturing and loving home for her family. Rita is resourceful and innovative about the impact mothers, teachers and women can make in the lives of their children and family.