I am a home educating parent of four kids and my house is a tip. I sometimes shout at the kids when they kick their wellies off in the hallway and chicken poo flies off them up the walls. I am supposed to educate them, take them out socialising, keep on top of the house, do the laundry, I wipe bogies off the bathroom walls. I forget to brush my hair. I am not exactly the best person to be advising on stress management! (Or maybe I am…I might be losing my marbles but I’ve still got a FEW)
Anyway, here are my top tips:
- #1 Stay present in the moment
Easy to say it, but I find that most of my stress is either about something I feel I could have handled better (in the past) or something I am worried about that is about to happen, or may never happen in the future. Staying in the present moment eliminates LOADS of stress. If I can do that then I can flush the poo in the potty, wipe up the wee from the floor and still manage to have three conversations at once with the kids. Because my mind isn’t somewhere else.
- #2 Prioritise and delegate
The old adage ‘How do you eat an elephant? A piece at a time’ is my mantra. When the house is a wreck from top to bottom and we have a play date on their way, I have to get everything done. I prioritise and I delegate and we start at the top of the house and work down. I try not to think of the WHOLE house being a mess, we just do one room at a time starting with the ones that will get seen!
- #3 Meditate
Ha ha! I stuck this one in here because meditation is brilliant! But I don’t do it! If I shut my eyes for even half a second the whole house would be covered in blue felt tip pen!
- #4 Reduce caffeine and sugar
This one does work for me. I drink weak tea these days, but years ago I was a jittery mess stumbling from one filter coffee to the next! Caffeine withdrawal means headaches and grumpiness and anxiety…keep the caffeine to a minimum and you eliminate that stress. I am a real sugar addict though, still. I am a biscuit-queen and have a 3pm slump where I have a break and eat half a packet of gluten free choc chip cookies. I’ve had to knock them on the head recently as I was getting to be a bit of a porker. Since I did though, I have found that my blood sugar is much more stable and I get less grumpy in the afternoons.
- #5 Yoga
I need to find myself a yoga class, because it’s a great way to de-stress. Also I have a bit of back pain, so some core strength would help me with that. . . MUST FOLLOW OWN ADVICE!
- #6 Don’t be afraid to seek help
My washing was knee deep last week. I’d been ill and Oona had been ill and well, washing isn’t one of my faves…I had done the thing of buying extra socks in the Supermarket because we were out of socks and we were about at the point where the kids were saying they would go down to the laundry room and just wear dirty clothes so I bit the bullet, bagged everything up and called the local launderette who picked it up, washed and dried it and brought it back. Clean. I felt guilty for about a nano second and then I just thought, you know what? I needed some help! It’s all under control again now!
- #7 Sleep
I am a monkey for staying up too late because I want time away from the kids with Paul. They are getting older now and even though we manage to get them all in bed for 8pm ish, that only gives us a couple of hours until 10pm when really we should go to bed. Oona wakes us at around 5am so bed at 10pm is the sensible thing to do. It does creep up to 11-11.30pm but when we go to bed earlier I find myself much less stressed in the day and much more patient with the kids.
- #8 Cuddles
Cuddles release Oxytocin, the feel good hormone. Oxtocin helps relieve pain, bond with the person you are hugging and relieves social anxiety and stress! Get hugging!!
- #9 Spend time outdoors
Walking outdoors is inexpensive, low risk and has been proven to lift your mood! Scientists measured the stress-hormone cortisol in people who spent lots of time outdoors versus those who lived in the city and spent most of their time indoors and…you guessed it, the people who enjoyed outdoor time had lower levels of the stress-hormone in their bodies. Just five minutes is enough time outside so when you are feeling stressed out, take that cup of tea in the garden instead of sitting on the couch!
- #10 Also, remember stress isn’t always bad, it can be a good motivator
I don’t know about you but when I was at Uni I often waited until the last minute to write my essays, pulling ‘all nighters’ in order to get them done in time! I often find that having a bit of stress motivating me to get things done helps a lot with getting me off my bottom and stopping me procrastinating!
I hope you found my top tips useful! If you did then share them with your friends!