When I talk about my week………work, blogging, volunteer positions, all of the kids’ activities, and preparing real food meals………..people always say to me the same thing. “I don’t know how you do it. My answer? “It’s not easy”. I’m no different than any other busy mom. Juggling the demands of a busy family is not easy for any of us. In fact, it is very stressful. If we are not careful, it can start to affect our health.
7 Ways to Stress Less
My oldest is 22 years old. I can’t even believe that I am old enough to have a 22 year old. I often say that I learned how to mother with his help. I’ve learned quite a lot over the years thanks to my 4 children and today I want to share my 7 favorite tips to stress less. Life is so much nicer when I can relax and really enjoy my family. The stressors are not going away. They just are not. However, we can manage the stressors so that we can be better parents and lead more enjoyable lives
- Embrace the mess: I don’t know any mother who truly “does it all”. It’s a myth. Something has got to give.…….the house, the job, the kids, meal prep. Something. I don’t like to have a horribly messy house, but I do realize that if I am spending all of my hours at work and with the kids then I don’t have too many hours left to clean. I do the best I can and accept it. If you want to bring your white gloves to my house, you will certainly walk away with dusty gloves most days. The dust that is created from softball cleats and playground sneakers is my current phase of life. My children are happy and that helps me to stress less.
- Cut back on driving as much as possible: My commute used to take a ton of time out of my schedule. Missing out on time with my family is a huge stressor. I found a job closer to home and it has made all the difference. Take a look at where you drive. Could you find a doctor closer to home? Is the dance school a long drive? Do you really have to go to the grocery store all of the way across town? Spending time with my children makes me and them happy and that helps me to stress less.
- Sleep: I know so many parents that think if they sleep less they can get more done. While that may be true for a while, missing out on sleep will likely affect your overall mood and affect your long-term health. Make sure you are getting the sleep you need. Being a well-rested mommy makes my kids happy and that helps me to stress less.
- Eat real food: This one probably seems obvious here at Juggling Real Food and Real Life. To be blunt……….digestive problems from eating bad food is a real stressor. When I eat real food, my body performs better. There is no getting around that fact. A healthy mom makes my kids happy and that helps me to stress less.
- Learn to say “No.”: It is just not easy to tell people “no”, but learning to politely decline can be a huge stress reducer. So often I am offered opportunities to help out with worthy causes, but there is only so much time in a day. I couldn’t possible do a good job with everything I am offered and still have time for my family. My friend Gaye over at Calm.Healthy.Sexy. taught me that saying “Yes” to someone is saying “No” to someone else. It is important to remember that if you are volunteering all of the time at the school while your kids are at home with a babysitter, it may not feel quite as good as volunteering together. Spending time with my kids helps me to stress less.
- Strive for balance over a period of time: Don’t worry about getting everything done every day. If you have to drive through a snowstorm to get home after your daughter’s dance class, it certainly is OK to skip the laundry and relax with a glass of wine. The laundry will still be there the next day and you won’t hate it as much if you take a night off. We also try to use the 80/20 rule for our food. We strive to eat real food 80% of the time. Certainly, if football practice runs late and I forget to start the crock pot in the morning, a quick pizza never hurt anyone. We just go back to our real food for the next meal. Balance helps me to stress less.
- Do something just for you: Blogging, reading a good book, and scrapbooking are all things that help me to relax. Relaxing with creative endeavors helps me to stress less.
OK………I’ve got one more for you.
Church: I find that having time for my faith helps me to look at the bigger picture and know that I am not in this alone. He is there with me every step of the way. Above all else that helps me to stress less.
What are your tips to stressing less and enjoying life more? Are you the same mom with your oldest as you are with your youngest? What types of hobbies help you to relax? I hope you enjoyed this “Real Life” post. If you would like to see more articles like this, please leave me a comment below.
If you are looking for help in making the transition to eating more real food, you should check out the Real Food Experience posts. You can get started at the beginning or jump around the challenges. You can find a complete round-up of the program here. Each week’s challenge is full of terrific advice to help you transition from fast and processed food to a real food diet. Changes that will help you to live a healthy lifestyle and have the energy to keep up with your busy schedule. I would also love for you to join me on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on a regular basis. Leave me a comment and let me know you are there. I love to visit with my readers.