That was the title of an article in Amazing Wellness my mom recently shared with me. As my eyes landed on the title I immediately said to myself, “why yes, yes I am.”
The day before my daughter had asked me to play with her in her playroom. “Ok, but only for a little bit” I said with an emphasis on “a little bit.” I really dislike going into that playroom. It’s not that I don’t love playing with my daughter it’s just that she wants me to sit there and drink her “tea” and not check my phone every five seconds for emails and new Facebook threads. In fact, she can’t stand when I even look at my phone. The second I do she screams “no don’t look at your phone!” So I usually listen and put it down but the moment she turns to make more “tea” I snatch it back up and check my calendar to see what I have going on for the week. Sound familiar?
When I saw this article the next day I was intrigued but I have to admit I didn’t read it right away. In fact, I remember thinking how this would be a great story for JMB and when it came time to write my blog I’d read it then. I think I even put it on my calendar to do later. When I finally did read it the first paragraph floored me. “Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to actually relax?” For something that’s supposed to be enjoyable, slowing down can actually cause a great deal of discomfort to someone who’s used to being on the go all the time…”
This is exactly how I feel most of the time and I’m sure you do to. Being on the go all the time is a mom’s job description. But what really grabbed my attention, and even made me a little sad was the line about how stress can take what is supposed to be enjoyable and turn it into discomfort. That’s what happened in that playroom that day. Sitting and watching my daughter play was becoming a discomfort for me because I was addicted to planning, organizing, checking emails and going all of the time. You can relate, can’t you? Even when us moms do get to relax for a few minutes we spend much of that time figuring out what we have to do next. There is a checklist always going on in our heads. What we think is relaxing isn’t really relaxing at all. So how do we stop the stress addiction?
Since coming to the realization that I was addicted to stress I’ve come up with a few stress busters that I hope you find helpful:
• Set Your Alarm – Since I work from home I spend 90% of my time on the computer. I realize that if I wake up at the crack of dawn I can get a majority of my work done before Isla get ups. When she does wake up I can spend my time getting her ready for school, playing, chatting or whatever else it is she wants to do without stressing about what I have to do that day.
• Planning – I usually spend one day a week figuring out my work-week. Once I know what has to get done and when I can plan on when I will do it without it interfering with Isla’s schedule. I then try to plan activities with Isla like going to Discovery House, shopping, going to the park, playing outside, etc. I find when I’m doing more with Isla outside of the house, even if it’s just going to our neighborhood playground I find I’m less likely to pick up my phone and obsessively check my emails or to-do list.
• Exercise – You knew this was coming. There is no greater stress-buster than exercise. After I work out I feel like I can take on anything. Even when my day is crazy and all my planning hasn’t worked I still find myself more relaxed and confident if I exercised first.
• Forget multi-tasking – The article discusses how when we multitask we basically don’t give any task the proper attention it needs. Therefore we make mindless decision that may hurt us later. Make sure you slow down and try to give each thing you’re doing your full attention before moving on. This includes nurturing relationships.