Saturday, November 5, 2011

She Will Run - Wk 1 Stress

It just goes to show. I finally get into gear with putting together teaching sessions and wanting to do more with my using my blog as I intended and my week is busier than ever. Talk about stress. A great tester for how I am managing mine! I started out well but it all got a bit much as more and more was added to the pile without finishing what I needed to. It was a case of deal with it as best I could and make the most of the opportunity I finally have now to get back on top of things. A huge shout out to my hubby who has taken the boys for some action time and given me some space.

So to the study: Managing your stress. The dictionary defines it as 1. Pressure: tension. 2. Physical or mental strain. 3. emphasis on something. As I read this I happened to glance at the next word which was stretch. It got me to thinking. Stress is just like this. We are like a rubber band, stretched often times in different directions and to full or what feels like beyond our capacity. And what happens then. Either the rubber band snaps or pings off, hurting us and others. Most times I know that the ones who get hurt seem to be my children or husband as they are most likely to be in the cross fire even though they may not be the cause of my stress.

Stress comes in different packages but affects all of us. Sometimes I think that it often isn't the big things in life such as financial, health or relationship issues that cause the most trouble as we can identify these. It is the little everyday things like being on time to something, forgetting something that you needed as you go out the door and cleaning up another mess your toddler has made, that build up unnoticed. The result is a blow up at just one more little thing {the straw that broke the camels back}. You wonder how something so minor can cause that reaction from you.

Some degree of stress is healthy and necessary as it gets us going to achieve our goals. It is the quantity of stress and how we deal with it that weighs us down. Have you seen the illustration of the person standing at the top of the cliff looking down and the ambulance waiting below? As we look at this issue we address how instead of waiting for stress to take its toll (the ambulance}, we can identify the stress and address how we can manage it better {putting a fence at the top of the cliff}.

A big part of identifying your stress is getting to know yourself. Making a list of what areas are stressing you right now. Are there similarities between them. What is it that triggers your reaction? How do you deal with it? I know for me it isn't usually the situation itself that stresses me but whether I am organised for it. I find it hard to deal with things when there is chaos about me and I can't focus on the task at hand. My solution has been to put in place diffferent things {a whole post in itself} so I can focus.

An important key to dealing with stress is looking after yourself. We need to give ourselves permission to do something for us. We are constantly told that getting exercise and having at least 8 hours of sleep are essential. But, I don't know many mums that can put their hand up for that being a constant in their life. If you find it hard to not feel guilty about taking a bit of time, instead see it as a reward or a celebration of something you have achieved. Make a list of little things like sitting down for a cuppa and read a mag, having a foot spa, or reading a blog. Choose one thing that you can realistically do. Like the emergency instructions on a plane: if the oxygen mask comes down put it on yourself first and then assist your child. 'If Mum ain't happy ain't nobody happy!' And remember to breathe. Not take a deep breath {it has been read somewhere that this isn't good - when you think about it, it almost gives fuel to the fire to let rip}. Just the simple action of focus on breathing in and out and giving yourself time to think before you react. This one was actually my word for last year. You can read more about this here.

The stress associated with relationships is a biggie. When we are in conflict with someone else the stress that it can cause can often build, especially as we focus on how we will deal with that person when we see them. As a result we end up feeling anger, resentment and bitterness. These things are addressed more during later sessions. I realise more and more the importance of identifying and dealing with issues that cause broken relationships and how important it is to ensure that you have relationships that energise you. In line with this is recognising when other people are putting their stress on to you. Are you able to say no? Next week we look at this one in more detail.

If there is one thing that I have learnt and taken hold of it is the idea that we are in control of our actions. That given a situation we are able to stop and think before we react. Our brain is often on autopilot though and responds to what we put into it, and what we have experienced. Replacing our negative thoughts with positive ones, develops a can do attitude.

I leave you with an illustration that you can read on this post. Through learning, sharing, prayer, and taking it one step at a time you can become better.

I look forward to sharing next week as we look at the area of Motherly Guilt.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...