If you’re a mom you have definitely experienced stress. You’re juggling so many things, and on top of it all you wonder whether you’re doing enough for your kids.
You’re never going to get rid of everything that stresses, so the next best thing is to learn how to deal with it so that it doesn’t damage your physical and mental health.
Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed by life, or feeling unable to cope with the pressures and responsibilities of your life.
It can be caused by normal life activities or by an event such as trauma. Either way, too much stress can be bad for your body, mind, and soul.
Here are some natural ways to manage stress:
Prayer has a calming effect if you come to God and leave all your worries and cares with Him. Don’t pick up all your cares once you’ve finished praying though. Practice letting it go and trusting God with it.
Mix faith with your prayers by thanking God that He will help you, guide you, meet your needs and solve your problems.
What’s making you stressed? What time of day do you feel more stressed? Why? Are there areas of your house that make you anxious? Are there relationships that stress you?
Once you’ve identified your stressors, plan ways to deal with them. Do what you can to eliminate as many as you can by planning ahead, having conversations, or saying no to things that stress you.
Creating a schedule helps you stay on track, and creates security for you and your kids. When everyone knows what’s coming next, life is far less stressful.
Readjust your schedule if it’s not working for you. Don’t let it be your master.
Be sure to put some buffer time between activities to allow for moods, mishaps, and meltdowns.
Related: Time management for Christians
Take time every week to plan your next week so that you go into it knowing what’s coming next. This will immediately give you a sense of control and lower your stress levels.
Check out my planning pages for busy moms – it includes daily planning pages, but also personal growth, self care, goal setting pages and more!
Just click the image below:
When you are always behind you will feel stressed. Work towards “being ahead of yourself”.
Being ahead of yourself will make a huge difference to your stress levels.
You don’t have to say yes to every church position, social engagement, party, or outing. You can control how much running around you do. (And work on getting over the fear of having people displeased with you for saying no.)
Re-evaluate your priorities and start saying “no” to things that don’t fit in with what’s most important to you.
Related: How to prioritise your life
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not productive. Trying to do too many things at once adds stress to your mind. Focus on one thing at a time and block schedule so you can get into the flow instead of jumping between three different tasks.
Gentle walking reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Don’t make this a cardio workout. Keep your heart rate and breathing normal and walk outside if possible. Nature has a calming effect on the nerves.
Find some ways to laugh. Read a book of jokes. Watch some funny cat videos if you must. But laugh.
This one isn’t always easy, because sometimes being stressed causes us to stay awake. Or kids keep us awake. But do your best to get a good night’s sleep – between 7-9 hours.
If possible, try and have a nap during the day if you’re not getting enough sleep at night.
Clutter makes you stressed. Make a point of clearing the clutter from visible areas and then progress to hidden areas as well.
A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind which leads to more stress.
Declutter your thoughts and emotions too.
Related: How to declutter your life
Writing things down on paper is a huge calming technique. Brain dump everything that’s going on or that’s pressing on you.
After that, categorise them into 3 lists:
Again, writing stuff down gets it out of your head and onto paper. It frees your mind from the mental clutter and makes space for solutions.
Journaling will help you sort out your thoughts. Use questions to help you process your thoughts and feelings, and include God in this process.
What is stressing me?
Why is it stressing me?
What do You want me to do about this, Lord?
It’s important to write down both the questions and the answers.
Being thankful is a great way to take your mind off the things that are stressing you out. Write a gratitude list every night before you go to sleep. It’s a great mental health practice to write down 10 things you are grateful for every day.
Instead of keeping your schedule tightly packed, give yourself transition time between activities.
Instead of rushing from one event or activity, take time to mentally and emotionally transition. Once the kids are in bed, don’t rush to do chores. Take a few minutes to savour the peace and then move on to the next thing.
Be intentional about slowing down. This means you will have to cut some things from your schedule to allow for this, but once you start doing it you won’t want to go back to your harried way of living.
Nature has a calming effect on the nerves. Get out and walk or sit under a tree for a few minutes. Deep breathe. Observe the sights, smells and sounds around you. Spending up to an hour is best, but do what you can.
If possible, don’t make your weekend a time for only chores and work activities. Take a break and have some fun with your family. Do something different. Get away from the everyday grind.
Related: Importance and benefit of family time (includes ideas)
Sometimes it helps to get someone else’s perspective on what you are going through. Getting it off your chest will allow you to see the situation for what it is, and find solutions for yourself.
There are natural ways to boost your happy hormones which will help you deal with stress better.
Before you go to sleep at night, consciously choose to give everyone and everything to God. Leave it in His hands as if it doesn’t exist. It’s about release. Turn over into the hands of God whatever is burdening you, and leave it there.
“I give my children to You, Lord.”
“I give that meeting to You.”
“I give my to-do list to You.”
“I give everyone, and everything to You, Lord.”
If you find yourself still mulling over the things you just released, you haven’t released it. Go back and repeat it until you sense the release.
Take your gardening gloves off and get your fingers in some dirt. It will boost your serotonin levels and make you feel much better.
God’s word has power to keep you calm and peaceful under stressful circumstances. Pick a verse from the list below to memorise. Write it out and stick it somewhere you will see it to remind yourself not to worry and stress, and that God is in control.
Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
Philippians 4:6,7 “Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Matthew 6:34 “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (See verses 27-34)
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
Isaiah 41:13 “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
Psalm 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.”
Jeremiah 17:7,8 “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.”
Luke 10:41,42 “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (anxious) and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Get a full year’s worth of topical Bible reading plans – a new topic for every month of the year!