7 stress management tips

So much to do… so little time. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or work full time, our schedules are getting busier and busier, even though most of us feel that we’re not getting much done. Despite having accomplished the normal routine of feeding, cleaning, sport, homework, supper and finally conning the kids to get into bed, you already feel yourself starting to hyperventilate as you worry about how you’re going to do it all over again tomorrow. Exhausted, you crawl into bed realising - tomorrow – it’s time for plan B.

Heart attack candidates?

To your relief, your doctor has an opening and as you start rambling off everything that’s happening in your life you start to cry…uncontrollably. ‘Megan, you’re stressed and I’m booking you off for 10 days’ you hear him say.  ‘Are you nuts?’ you want to ask, but don’t, as he continues. ‘It’s either that, or die of a heart attack at age 35. Take your pick’.

We all have a way of downplaying how we really feel. The scenario above is not unfamiliar at all and even though you think you’re ok, there comes a time when even the little things in life become too much. Stress is fast becoming a leading cause of many serious illnesses and affects us physically, emotionally and mentally.

Here are a few symptoms to look out for:

Physical: Neck and back ache, muscle spasms and regular headaches, stomach cramps, feeling short of breath, tapping of the feet, decreased sex drive, weight gain or weight loss, rashes, increased asthma or allergy attacks.

Mental / Emotional: Forgetfulness (Did you switch the stove off?), difficulty concentrating and racing thoughts, becoming frustrated or irritated, depression, tearfulness, mood swings and anxiety.

If you’re feeling like you’re losing it, try these simple guidelines to help you manage stay sane..and yes, you actually have to apply them for it to work.
Be realistic about your capabilities and say NO to the mom who thinks because you’re at home that you have time.
  • Exercise regularly and take short but regular ‘breathers’ throughout the day.
  • Make a habit of drinking water. Try to stop smoking and limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. 
  • Make a list of important things to do & try to stick to your schedule. 
  • Draw up a meal/menu plan for the week. It’s difficult in the beginning, but works like a charm when you stick to it.
  • Include healthy foods in your family’s lunch boxes like, nuts, seeds, berries and fruit. Removing excess sugar, additives and preservatives from their diet will also help them to calm down, which will in turn help you relax.
  • Find yourself a life or stress management coach. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, contact SADAG
  • Ask your doctor about supplementation like Omega and multi-vitamins.
Remember, you are not alone. Help is just a phone call or a friend away. Also always remember that life is a choice and only you can make the difference!

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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