We all know that stress is a big factor in our overall health. With all the garbage going on in my health recently, including major hormonal shifts (hello, premature menopause), weight gain, food intolerance, anxiety, and ELEVATED cholesterol (too many carbs!)… it became apparent to me that I really need to find ways to better manage my stress. We all have stress… so management is key. We have SIX children ranging in age from 2-15 plus we took in a long term high school exchange student from China (that’s a whole ‘nother kind of stress). I run an in home childcare which means that currently I care for 5 children who have not yet reached 3 years of age. . . (it’s like herding cats, people!). We also have two challenging children in our home… so there are lots of therapy appointments and doctor appointments, etc… the struggle of meeting the needs of a large family like ours PLUS work a more than full time (and underpaid) job is very real. Most days, I want to curl into a ball and cry. Now, that’s not an option and I’m a “pull yourself up by the boot straps and march on” kind of person… so I trudge on. In the process, I do not take care of myself. Because, how on earth do you find “me time” in the middle of raising this family AND working 60+ hours week and caring for your marriage?
I’ve decided that small steps are necessary–
One- try to NOT stress over the small things (like if the house is “clean enough”).
Two- sit and just snuggle my precious toddler during quiet moments and forget the tasks that need done (cleaning… laundry… paperwork…).
Three- warm baths with a mindless book… I stopped reading fiction several years back. I used to have a garden tub and I would soak several times a week and read a book that didn’t require thinking. This was a huge stress reducer for me. Now, i have a tiny tub and the bath isn’t so relaxing… but I’m going to try anyway.
Four- eat better.
Five- sleep more.
Six- man the budget better so that the plan becomes reality (the plan is to be debt free in three years which will allow me to reevaluate how I spend my days).
Seven- pray the rosary and read scripture every day… (I started listening to Catholic radio most of the time– and the prayers are very soothing!).
Eight- institute date night rules… no talking about the kids or stressful subjects!
Nine- drink more water
Ten- take my supplements (I am on a regime that includes iron, dha, multi, b12, & probiotics).