I’ve done it again. I’ve over scheduled myself, taken on too much, and now I am freaking out! I can’t even think straight I am so overwhelmed and everything in me screams that the solution to this problem is to go shopping and then go out to eat. Food and stuff that’s what I need to be calm again.
Thankfully all of the work I have done to become a person who lives with less is starting to weave it’s way into the fibers of the yarn I am knit with. I know that food will only soothe temporarily and buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff will only cause me grief in the long run. I am encouraged that my rational self is getting a foothold in all of this chaos. I really want to be better at handling stress so I asked a few other moms what they do.
Teresa who writes at Capturing the Charmed Life has three really good questions that I want to add to my stress recovery process:
1) Is what I’m thinking true?
2) Is it REALLY true, and I can be 100 percent certain it is true?
3) How would I respond differently if it weren’t true?
Louise over at Talk Nerdy To Me (I used to have a t-shirt that said that and nobody “got it”, Oh how times have changed) wrote:
“When I’m stressed it’s usually because I feel overwhelmed with all I have to do. I make a detailed `To Do’ list because crossing off items makes me feel better. Also, I often delegate a few items to my willing husband so I know I’m not alone in it. Finally, fresh air.”
I totally agree with the To Do list approach. If I can see what I have to do in front of me then it alleviates the stress of the “I’m going to forget something!” feeling. Also there really is something about crossing things off of a list, seeing your tasks shrink before your eyes is magic.
Then there are those times when information is bypassing the frontal cortex of our brain, the part that handles calm rational thought, and zooming right into the midbrain which is the reactive/ fear part of our brain. When things are truly overwhelming and you feel like one more little thing and you are gonna blow. When deep breathing and list making just isn’t gonna cut it. That’s when I try really hard to choose flight over fight.
Jacqueline one of the Two Fun Moms has a great strategy for these times.
“Sit on the bathroom floor with the door locked and my ears plugged for three minutes. I’m not kidding; I do this. Sometimes the screaming and fighting and negotiating and yelling is just too much and a few minutes of tuning it out is completely necessary and very much helps me feel better. It does not help the toddlers kicking on the door, but they usually get over it.”
Remembering to regroup and be the grown up is sometimes the most pressing need to fill. Perhaps along with that to do list we could come up with an attack plan for when life becomes too much. Write down a list of ways to care for ourselves so that we can love our little monsters… er I mean munchkins better when we are in the thick of it.
Alexandra from All Three Wishes speaks truth about finding community to help you.
” The best thing to reduce the stress was to learn to ask and accept help. And connect with other moms (and dads) that have been through it and understand the juggling act.”
What practices do you have for handling stress? How do you stop yourself from becoming overwhelmed? Where do you find your community?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment.