I read an article today about stress, and the effects it can have on your body. I realized that I identified with nearly all 50 symptoms of chronic stress. Wow. I’ve been told so many times in the last year that I need to take care of myself. I usually respond with a half-hearted laugh and a response somewhere along the lines of, “yeah, when?” But I get it now. This stress is killing me, literally, and interfering with me being the kind of
parent person I want to be.
So I made a few changes today after reading this:
1) Focus more on breathing. I apparently take shallow breaths and actually hold my breath a lot!
2) Prioritize! Can I get it done today? Do I have to get it done today? Can it wait until tomorrow without serious repercussions? If yes, then let it go! (This was very freeing.)
3) Let go of expectations. Does the whole house need cleaning? Uh, usually. Hahaha Is there any reason it absolutely has to get done today? No? Let it go…
4) It’s ok to ignore my phone. Set it down. Leave it on the charger in another room. Put the screen saver on, even in the middle of typing something, in order to really look at my kids.
5) Live in the moment. Stop those thoughts of to-do lists, worries, what-ifs, etc. Focus on the senses…what do I feel, see, smell?
Yes, I still slipped into old habits a couple times. But all these things helped immensely. I still got a lot done, but I didn’t feel rushed or like I had to complete it just to get to the next thing. I didn’t get everything done that I would have liked to, but who cares? My kids certainly don’t, my husband has said before that he doesn’t expect a perfect-looking house. So who did I disappoint? No one, really. I was more relaxed, yelled less, smiled more, connected with my kids more, and was generally happier. So that counts as a win, in my book!