As moms we know what it can feel like to be constantly stressed and overwhelmed. Unfortunately for many of us this has become the predominant them of our lives as we try to balance the responsibilities of work, life and being a mom.
There are countless tips and advice out there about how to reduce the stress in our lives.
Exercise. Yoga. Breathing exercises. Manage our time better.
The list can go on and on. You may look at the list and think I just don’t have time for any of this.
These tools and tips certainly have a place in managing our day-to-day stress and helping us to relax.
I have tried them all.
However they often only provide temporary fixes. We feel good for a while but it doesn’t take long to get right back to where we were started. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Why is this? We spend our time and dollars on endless stress management tools yet nothing really seems to change.
I see many of these tips and tools being equivalent to a bandaid fix. We can cover up the stress for while, make it feel better, but eventually the bandaid will fall off.
We are not dealing with what the true underlying cause of our stress is.
I spent years putting the bandaids on only watching them fall off all to quickly. Unsuccessfully trying to jump off the stress merry-go-round.
Eventually I realized what needed to do was to make deep underlying changes in how I was living me life. Yoga and exercise alone just wasn’t going to do it for me.
As I look back over my own journey of shifting from a life of too much stress to one that feels more fulfilling and enjoyable on a daily basis I have realized there are 5 steps that enable me to do this.
It doesn’t mean my life never has stress or that I don’t experience overwhelm. What it has provided me with is a compass for navigating my way more quickly off the stress merry-go-round back to the more balanced and happy place I want to be.
Here are the 5 parts of the compass that I use to find my way out of the stress zone when I discover myself deep within it.
#1: What Is Most Valuable?
This is the first step in jumping off the stress merry-go-round. Checking in with our values. Often stress is a sign that we are living a life that it is out of alignment with our greatest values. We may feel that we are not getting the time to do what is most important to us. For example the demands of our work and other responsibilities may prevent us from being with our family. Take time to gain clarity on what your top 3-5 most important values are in your life.
#2 Evaluate Your Current Life
Once you have a list of your most important values take time to evaluate how you are living them in your life right now. Are you living in alignment with them? If the answer is no that can be a significant contributor to our stress. It can be extremely stressful to feel like we are not getting to live our life in a way that reflects our deepest values. Identify where there might be an imbalance. This helps to figure out exactly how to apply the brakes to the merry-go-round.
#3: Set Your Priorities & Boundaries
Now you have a clear picture of your values and how they fit into your current life you can begin to use this as a guide to set your priorities and boundaries. Create a list of what would be your most important priorities if you were to live your life in alignment with your values. What needs to change for you to be able to follow these priorities? What boundaries need to be set with others so you can create the time for your priorities?
#4 Your Thoughts
One of the most powerful influences on stress levels can be our thoughts. When we tell ourselves we are not doing good enough or we should be able to handle our endless demands it feeds into our stress. When we feel like we are failing our stress can skyrocket.
Start to pay attention to the thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. Are their common themes? It is that voice in your head saying you should be a better mom. You should be able to handle it. Maybe you constantly compare yourself to others.
Once we begin to understand the thoughts that drive our life we have the power to replace them with thoughts that make us feel successful, confident and good enough. When we do our stress lessens.
#5 As Elsa Says, Let It Go
In the words of the famous Frozen princess Elsa: Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go. One of the best ways we can release and reduce our stress is learning to let go. Letting go of our tendency to be so attached to the outcomes. Letting go of the need for things to be perfect. When we are so focused on the outcome and perfection it is difficult to enjoy the moment. It creates a lot of stress.
When we make decisions based on our deepest values and priorities and learn to say no to those that don’t, it’s the moment we can give ourselves permission to “let it go.” Knowing that we are living in integrity with who we are at the core no matter what the outcome might be.
What are you ready to “let go” of in your life so you can free more space to live in alignment with your greatest values?
Karen is a mom, entrepreneur and Founder of The Passion Shift. Download Karen’s FREE Training AudioMaster The Passion-Shift Mindset: Learn How To Change the Rules So You Can Start Living Your Passion, Revolutionize Your Work Life & Free Your Time & Energy to Have More Fun With Your Family.
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