With the hustle and bustle of lives and careers and heightened responsibility of caring for family, children, fur babies and everyone else who depends on you, it is hard to manage at times. Feeling the pressure of this kind of stress can sometimes feel like you’re standing in the eye of the storm.
Take a breath. Everything will be okay. Life is not meant to be rushed, but rather enjoyed.
There are many things that help me manage being a mom of two little ones, ages seven and four. Add to that responsibility three huskies, one who’s nine years old, blind and diabetic and needs medication and special care, two puppies and my aging cat. Lest I not forget my husband and might I add my growing career, business, ongoing pursuit of certifications and my client load. Whew!
I’m sure everyone has a list of their own personal and professional responsibilities. But how do we look at our lives and enjoy through the stress?
This has been my mission. And guess what?! I am now more capable of managing all of these things because I have dug deep and found out what I really want.
What makes me happy and how do I obtain this happiness? Putting things into perspective.
The number one thing that has taught me how to manage life tasks and stress is changing my perspective. Instead of saying “why is everyone so dependent on me?” I look at them and say “thank you for wanting my time and to allow me to teach you.” So I try to infuse this perspective into answers for the questions that plague me every day and see the life lessons within.
- Why must you guys be loud and crazy singing and dancing around the house? Why not join them in the fun! Take a break. Breathe.
- Why am I so stressed? These things in our life are not here to make life difficult. It’s to make life better.
- Why is everyone depending only on me? Teach your children to help take care of the pets. Go on family walks.
- How can I show that I care when I feel suddenly drained? Snuggle with the entire family, fur children included, and watch a movie.
Your mind has the power to change your story. Instead of complaining that you have to do this or that, flip it and say “I’m grateful I can do this or that.” And try the 5-5-5 Rule for putting things into perspective. Ask yourself, will this matter in five minutes? Will it matter in five months? Will it matter in five years? This allows for the unnecessary stress to fall wayside.
Another thing I have learned is to make time for yourself for at least an hour out of the day. This can be broken up in chunks of 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there. I personally prefer this because I don’t always have the time to do otherwise.
For a few minutes in the morning I meditate, reflect and sometimes I write. Whatever fills you up should be a priority, even if it’s just for a few minutes. At night I’ll take a bath. Mid day I’ll call a friend or take a walk. Each day is different. Whatever I am feeling. Taking the time is the biggest step. You deserve it and you can make that time. Keeping connection to others and yourself is a balance. You have to remember to plug yourself in and charge yourself again.
It’s also important to breathe throughout the day in those times that you make for yourself. Focus on your breath and your heartbeat and allow for it to calm you. I like to say mantras to myself throughout the day. And I have learned a fabulous one from a mentor. “Everything is working out best case scenario.” That mantra has gotten me through some tough times.
Each month I think of three positive words or actions that I want more of. Examples are worthiness, wisdom, support, abundant, confident, lighter, beautiful, calm, etc. These words set my life intentions. The more you put those thoughts and feelings out there, the more you become those words. Try picking three words for yourself. Write them down and put them on your bathroom mirror. First thing in the morning when brushing your teeth, read those words to yourself and again before bed. See what happens.
So to summarize, the things that help me manage family stress in the midst of a busy career begin with believing that everything is a blessing and I’m thankful, keeping a positive mind and finding time for myself even in short spurts, along with saying throughout the day positive affirmations or mantras. I recommend creating your own practice of stress management. Start with anything that helps keep your mind, body and soul in balance. Ask yourself, “What makes me feel good?” As caretakers sometimes we forget. Remind yourself what you love and that helps tremendously. And then make the time to do it. The more you do this it will become a habit. You will be filling yourself with love daily. I hope you take that time. You deserve to have love and peace. It will change your life for the better.
Dana Bartolotta is an experienced Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) and Reiki Master serving the Chicago area. She is a strong proponent of whole body wellness and healing and enjoys speaking to groups and sharing her expertise with those who want to live healthier and more positive lives.