It’s no surprise that we are all under enormous amounts of stress! Often, we put pressure on ourselves to achieve more, and do everything better or faster than we already do. Some of our stress is from outside forces such as an unexpected job loss, illness, death of a loved-one, a spouse deployed to war, while some sources of stress are expected, such as the birth of a new baby or arrival of twins/triplets, but its intensity and duration are unexpected. Honestly, three of the most stressful and exhausting times in my life were the first few months following the births of my twins.
I recently read a valuable article on LiveStrong.com (a blog produced by the Lance Armstrong Foundation) written by Melissa Scholten-Gutierre. LiveStrong.com’s posted articles are consistently RICH in information regarding health, fitness, wellness and finding ways to achieve balance in 0ur lives, and this particular article by Scholten-Gutierre lists:
1. Relationships (dating, planning a wedding, marital problems, divorce, problems between parent and child, everyday demands of family life);
2. Environment (moving, retirement, travel);
3. Death (of a close family member or friend, whether expected or unexpected);
4. Health (being given a frightening or life-threatening diagnosis, difficult pregnancy, new baby(ies), weight-gain);
5. Work (pressures to perform on the job, personality conflicts, fear of losing one’s job or of demotion).
There! We made it into two of the five, and most impressively into the #1 cause! With all that we take on, are asked to take on, or with what happens in our lives as a result of this fast-paced life in 2011, it’s no wonder we’re all stressed-out!
MayoClinic.com provides one reliable source for understanding stress and finding the ways that work best for you to ease the stress and the symptoms.
I find now with toddlers, and found especially while my babies were all infants, that taking advantage of the times between feedings when they were asleep or at least quiet (and in the care of my husband or of my visiting mother or mother-in-law), I would find a far on the other side of the house and SLEEP. Sleep is so incredibly recuperative and beneficial to our brains, exhausted bodies and nerves, that even an hour to 2-hour nap can work wonders.
EXERCISE, for instance, taking a stroller walk (good fresh air for babies and you), doing some stationary stretching, a yoga video, or whatever gets your blood circulating, your heart rate up a bit, and your breathing deep helps to release the pent-up stress and tension that invariably builds up under the enormous demands of new motherhood. If you’re up to it, and you’re doctor has given you the thumbs up, a good roll in the hay with hubby is a wonderful stress-releaser … for both of you, and you both more than deserve it!
Sometimes, just GETTING OUT for a change of scenery (lunch out with a friend, a walk in the mall, grocery shopping) can cleanse the mind, body and rejunenate the spirit to actually have your looking forward to going home and nuzzling up to your babies for their next feeding … at least until the demands start piling up on you again, in which case, I recommend you repeat the above suggestions all over again!
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