You may need to lower your standards to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
When I was a young mum, an older woman - who was a second mum/mentor to me - said she dropped her standard with the birth of each of her four children. She was a wonderful mother, friend and community member. Sometimes your worst enemy is yourself as you try to be the perfect cook, have an amazing house and be all things to everyone.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
To reduce stress try some of these tips:
Think about what makes you happy and plan your life around these things. Perhaps a walk along the beach is one of the things that lifts your spirits. Plan to do this regularly or if you live far away from the beach, plan a holiday at the seaside.
Make a point to regularly take some time out. You may find small amounts of 'me time' taken frequently reduce your stress more than the occasional longer stretch of time.
Say 'no' if you already have enough on your plate. Taking on too much leads to feeling overwhelmed and can result in depression.
No time/money for a massage? Even a 10 minute neck massage can help you relax.
Signal to your family that you are taking some ‘me time’ by putting on your fluffy animal slippers or taking off your shoes and walking around the house barefoot.
Now and then take a bath instead of a shower. Enjoy the experience and use special bath products.
If you take a bath, make sure you indulge yourself and really enjoy it. Image courtesy of Pixabay
Don’t feel guilty about a takeaway meal once a week, or more often if life is particularly crazy.
Cook extra and put it in freezer. If there isn't enough extra for the whole family, freeze and label one or two serve containers and do the same on other nights when you have one or two serves left over. Once a week the family has a choice of what they get for tea and you don't have to cook.
Take short cuts when cooking. Buy grated cheese, sauces in a jar etc and don't feel bad about it. Your aim is to get a meal on the table, not win a television cooking contest.
Limit the time you spend at the supermarket. Freeze a couple of loaves of bread and keep some UHT milk in the pantry so you don’t have to make a trip to the shops when you run out.
Consider shopping online for your groceries. If it works for you it could be worth paying the delivery fee. You may find that the fee is cheaper than what you spend on extras like lollies and chips if you take a couple of children with you to the shops. Sometimes you can avoid a delivery fee. Advantages of online grocery shopping
Getting your groceries delivered can reduce the amount of stress in your life. Image by Marie Vonow
Go for a walk. Walk with the baby in a sling or stroller. Get a stroller that works for you; a big pram may be unwieldy.
Accept any offer of help. Don’t feel like you have to do it all alone. Also, don’t put pressure on others to do things your way unless it is a safety/health issue.
Take a few minutes for yourself every hour to close your eyes, stretch and take some slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and really look around at the things you may take for granted.
Simplify your house. De-cluttering really is a good idea. I have some ornaments and vases that I haven’t unpacked since moving house. I don’t miss them so will donate them to an op shop. Donating them also means I can reduce the self imposed guilt I tend to get about not donating more money to charities.
From time to time do a stock take of what is currently important to you. We change with time. I used to have lots of books and wouldn’t part with any. Now I have only a few special books. I use the library frequently and find the internet great for getting current information. I don't miss the extra bookcase of books but if books are important to you, hold onto them.
Maybe the garden can be simplified. Gardening is good for you, but if it becomes a strain perhaps some changes would make it more enjoyable. Shrubs tend to be less work than planting annuals each year. I find too many pots can be time consuming but it’s all a matter of personal choice.
Avoid buying clothes that need ironing. These days I rarely iron and the sky hasn’t fallen down yet. I hang some items on clothes hangers when I put them out to dry and then hang them in the wardrobe when they are dry.
Sometimes, don’t be available. Turn your mobile off or leave it at home. If you have a landline, take it off the hook. People can leave a message or phone back.
Don’t feel like you have to be crazy busy just because other people are living a hectic lifestyle. Work out what you can manage. Make your own decisions and live by your own rules.