Tag Archives: good stress

Release your stress – Part 1

29 Jun

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

Stress is common.

With nothing but bad news everywhere you turn (health scares, the economy, widespread natural disasters), people are smothering under a blanket of stress.

What about parenthood?  Stressful much?  Just a teeny bit?

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

When I’m working kid-free style, I can take a solo coffee break, focus on a task for more than twenty consecutive minutes and generally assume a certain level of quiet. Phone calls go uninterrupted and I even get to venture to the bathroom…alone.

Yay! Going to the bathroom with no little person trying to join me, talking though and/or banging on the door because I am a sudden reminder that they also need to go….desperately!

(Insider tip: It’s fast becoming a contractual condition for all mummies who work at home!)

Mummyhood may be splattered with love and the odd moment of unparalleled joy but the constant demands and oftentimes chaos can easily culminate in persistent stress.

This is why I’ve decided to do a series of posts on minimising and releasing stress.

Over the next few weeks, I will share some stress-busting knowledge and strategies aimed at assisting mums.

I will also be putting this knowledge into practice so you can follow my path while simultaneously carving your own.

It will be like going on a super funsky ski trip together, only not so cold and with an instructor who only takes the jumps they know won’t land you in a pile of face-freeze!

I’m not going to delve into the effects of chronic, long-term stress, such as anxiety and depression.  That would be a book.

Identifying sources of stress in your life, prevention and stress management is where it’s at for me.

My focus, as always is on getting the most out of our lives, right here and now, while raising a happy family.

What is stress?

Stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by our response to pressure.

Stress can sometimes be a friend, spurring you into action and helping you function well.  Orchestrating the school run five days a week, planning birthday parties, family holidays, or meeting work deadlines, are everyday examples.

Without some stress, we may just be prone to fulfilling that old cliché of sitting on the couch, eating bon bons and watching Oprah re-runs all day.

Recognising different types of stress

Several years ago my now-hubby (then boyfriend of sorts), decided to follow me back to Australia from South Korea.

I vividly recall how my body was fizzing with excitement when I met him at Sydney airport.I was sweating a whole lot more than I would have liked….at a time when I was hoping to look and smell my best.  My heart rate was elevated, mouth-dry, cheeks flushed (BONUS) and I was incredibly ‘antsy’, pacing back and forth, both hands flailing at my sides.

Looking stupid AND experiencing positive stress? Check.

A hard-core Zumba class, the elation of watching your child perform in their first dance recital, or the creation of a new project, are all examples of good stress.

It’s all relative though isn’t it?  What feels good to me, may not feel good to you.

Individual personalities dictate how events are perceived and physiologically experienced as good or bad stress.

For me, job interviews have always been a source of negative stress and intense nervousness, even when I know I am going to perform well.  The same scenario can evoke feelings of positive stress and excitement for other freaks individuals.

What’s your personal definition and experience of negative stress?

I feel stressed when I believe I am not able to cope with all the demands on me…from my children all wanting my attention at the same time, the unreasonably high expectations I place on myself in both a professional and personal capacity.  I get to a point of overload where I just wish everyone would leave me alone and a feeling that my head is about to erupt!

Think about your personal definition of stress. What does stress mean to you?

How does it affect your thought patterns, relationships, parenting, and the way you feel within your body?

TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO REFLECT AND RECORD YOUR THOUGHTS.

That’s it for today guys.

If you want to take it a step further, keep a ‘stress’ diary over the next week or so and recording the following:

  • Sources of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ stress in your life right now
  • Personal observations ie, how you are currently managing stress
  • Things that you have found helpful or ineffective for managing your stress

Alternatively, you can record your thoughts, experiences, or any questions you might have in the comments section.

I love feedback!

~Kirri

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