How often do you experience those moments where it just seems too much? You want to be that super duper ‘I can deal with it all’ mama, however you don’t feel Zen at all? Relax ladies, here are some practical tips to transform you from Stressy Mama back to Sassy Mama.
From time to time, we have those days where we’re caught up with the stress of a hectic family life. We’re sometimes running around, doing school runs, going to work, managing the after school activities, and doing sports and socialising in the meantime. Where did the balance go? More and more, I get questions from mums around the world about how to ditch the stress and feel balanced in their life. Balance is the key word in this respect: that is, bringing your nervous system back in balance. We seem to want to do it all, however would it not be best if we just did a few things very well and enjoy the ride in the meantime?
So mums, take out your notebook and reflect on these practical techniques that reduce the stress instantly and will help make you feel a sassy, very relaxed mum again.
These are on-the-spot techniques, that work like a charm when things seem to get too stressful:
1) Breathe deeply
This is such an easy one to do everywhere, anytime. When stress comes up, take 5 minutes to breathe consciously. Try this: inhale slowly to the count of four, hold your breath for four and exhale deeply for four. Repeat this breathing pattern and make sure that you see your belly come out while inhaling and that it is tucked in while exhaling. Conscious breathing has been researched to be one of the easiest ways to release stress immediately. It will slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure, and get you straight back to the relaxing mode.
2) Laugh Loud
At least three times a day laugh out loud. Even if it feels like there is not much to laugh about, just start laughing real loud. It might feel uncomfortable in the beginning, I promise you in the end you almost cannot stop. A lot of stress hormones will be reduced by your laughter. Laughing means that your endorphins will be released, and it is an instant relaxing technique. Try it with your children as well, when things seem to get tough or you have lost your patience, start to laugh together and make it a game.
3) Get moving
Especially now it is such lovely weather outside, go and start walking. You can go alone or take the kids with you if they are with you, and just start to walk. In your compound, on the beach. Be aware of your feet touching the ground, smell the air, feel the wind in your hair. Guaranteed stress reliever. Other things that you could do are walking up and down the stairs a few times, or making head rolls with the little ones. It will interrupt the stress pattern at once.
4) Body Scan
This is a nice one that you can do anywhere, at the comfort of your sofa or in the metro. Become fully aware of your body. Start with your toes that touch the ground and work your way up to the tip of your head. Notice how your body feels, and pay attention to the sensations in each body part. Experience the places where you feel the stress, or relaxation, without trying to change anything.
5) Recall a relaxing moment
Take a minute break and think of a time when you felt really relaxed, you were on a holiday, or that last day on the beach. This can make you reconnect with your relaxed and calm side. Make this memory as lively as possible. What did you hear, what did you feel and where, any smells or images that pop up? Just go back to that place, every time you feel stress coming. It also aids in putting things in perspective, you realize that you have stress sometimes before and that better times will come.
6) Focus on your senses
When the stress level is increasing, drop everything and focus on all your 5 senses. What are you feeling, how is your touch of that cup, what are you smelling, what sounds do you hear, do you taste anything, what do you see, focus on the details.
The techniques that need some planning and analyzing upfront:
What are your priorities in life? Write them down. What do you find absolutely important? Is it social life, being healthy, spending time with your kids, making a career? Just make sure that you only spend time on your main priorities. For example, if your physical environment (house etc.) is not that important for you at this moment (it can always change over time of course), then do not spend your precious time on gardening or shopping for your house in malls. It is amazing how many people spend time on things that are not in their top 5 priorities at all. This will bring more relaxation and balance in your life.
2) Checking out once a day
Check yourself out once a day, or as I would like to say to the children I give myself a time out. Switch off all mobiles, laptop, iPad, and literally give yourself a five-minute break. You can even make it a family appointment where you will notify everyone that each day you have a fixed moment where you take these five minutes to yourself. Works like a charm. You can use these moments to fully reload and enjoy life even more.
3) Date night
Plan a regular date night, with your husband, friends or one with yourself. Make sure it is in the agenda, so you always have something to look forward to and recharge the energy. To create peace and balance in your life, you need those recharge moments.
Have a great stress-free week sassy mama! And looking forward to hear your experiences of a calm and relaxing week in Dubai.