Got stress? We’ve all been there! A mother’s stress can sometimes feel inevitable. And, let’s face it, for moms in particular, going a day without feeling completely overwhelmed can seem like wishful thinking. Between managing schedules, tending to the needs of your family, and somehow finding time for yourself, it can feel like an unending battle of efforts. The good news is that you’re not alone. Everyone has felt the sting of stress time and again. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to help manage the rollercoaster ride on your own. We’ve asked Yvonne Williams Casaus, licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and author of A Drop of Water, to give us a few simple stress management tips that you can practice solo to help overcome even your most trying of days.
Reach out and stay connected to supportive people.
The truth is this, asking for help demonstrates strength. While it can sometimes feel like quite the opposite, you’re actually putting yourself in an active position by stating your needs. Call up a friend or someone you feel supports you. If a friend or family member is not available there are many 24/7 hotlines with people waiting to talk or just listen. You’re not in this alone, and you should never have to feel like you are.
Do things that make you feel good, even if you don’t feel like it.
Remember, getting started is the hardest part. You might be surprised to find that once you make the effort, it may help the depression move along. Reflect on some of the things you’ve always loved to do, activities that bring you comfort and joy. Play music, read a new novel, watch a funny sitcom or movie. Play with a beloved pet. Call or go out with friends. Whatever it is that brings you joy can continue doing just that.
Do something creative.
This one might seem tricky, especially if you feel like you’re not a “creative individual” per say. Regardless, there are many things you can do to get inspiration and creativity flowing. Make something for someone you care about. Draw a picture, or write (no need to worry about the quality)! Go out in nature to get inspired. Being creative can even include visiting a museum or just taking a walk inside your favorite craft store. The possibilities are endless.
Work on challenging your negative thinking.
Although it can be tough at times, don’t believe those negative thoughts in your head, and practice replacing those ideas with positive affirmations. What are you good at? What are you grateful for? If you’re having a tough time focusing on the positive, there are many apps available now with ready-made affirmations. If you’re on the hunt for a good one, ThinkUp and #lovepioneer are both great places to start. You can even record yourself and listen to them over and over to make them more effective.
Simple, but true. Treat yourself with the same kindness, love, and appreciation you would a dear friend. Do things that benefit your wellbeing. Spend some time outside. Eat your favorite food. Take a soothing bath. Drink some refreshing water and know that no matter how alone you might feel you are never alone—water connects us all.