Stress-Free Stress Management for Stressed Out Moms

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

If your day starts at 6:00 AM and doesn't stop, literally, until 11:00 PM, chances are you have some stress in your routine. Here are some stress-free tips to get the stress out of your life.

It's a hectic world and a go-go lifestyle for most moms today. Most of us barely have time to sleep, much less slow down to enjoy life. So, here are some low-and no-cost solutions to help you take control of your life.

Make A Schedule
Before you pack up the kids for school, load everybody into the mini-van, drive to the office, pick up the dry cleaning, pick up the kids at soccer or dance class, drive home, start dinner, do two loads of laundry and organize the neighborhood fund drive - stop. Right now.

You need a schedule - a sequence of your chores for the day - every day. Make a list of what has to be done that day, what can wait until tomorrow and what can wait until the cows come home. Focus your energy on those things that must be done and done by you. Eliminate the unnecessary chores du jour and eliminate a little stress each day, every day.

Delegate
Have dad help out by doing the shopping on his way home from work. Have your 16-year-old at least get supper started, and even little kids (9-12) can learn laundry basics. Don't try to do everything yourself.

Start a Mommy Co-op
You know you're not alone in your effort to manage stress. You have lots of friends in the same boat. Put together a Mommy co-op and swap services. Have a neighbor do your laundry in exchange for feeding their child while they enjoy a night on the town, This plan works best in a neighborhood setting, but can be adapted to wider areas.

Exercise
A 2-mile jog may seem like just one more chore, but the fact is a jog or walk around the block is one of the best stress relievers available to the stressed out mom - and it only takes a half-hour. Set the alarm early and give yourself a half hour each day just for you.

Don't Feel Guilty About Saying 'No'
Got too much on your plate at the moment? Well ,when the PTO president calls and asks you to run this year's raffle, politely decline. You can say 'no'. It's especially okay for busy, overworked, stressed out moms.

Set Aside 'Me' Time
A quiet dinner with friends, a weekly massage, or a weekend out of town will do wonders for your stress levels. Use your mommy co-op and swap weekend babysitting chores with other members so that you and your spouse or friends can take off for a quiet weekend lakeside.

Lots of stress over a long period of time can cause a host of health problems from ulcers to hair loss to depression and free-floating anxiety. Give yourself a break everyday - even if it's just for a few minutes. Finally, retail therapy has proven to be successful, so go out and buy yourself something you've wanted for while. Just make sure it's not an expensive sports car. Those monthly car payments will stress you out to the max and after six months, it’s just another car.