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Coping with Stress

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How do you cope with stress?

If you are a Mom, you can most likely relate with the word stress! Everything seems to be moving SO fast – we juggle too many hats and often neglect the most important person…YOU!

As a Mom of two beautiful girls, I have had MORE than my share of moments that made me want to pull my hair out…or sneak away to the closet to eat that dozen donuts we picked up for the hangout tonight!  My eldest daughter is 22 this year; over the years, I have found a few key ideas that can help alleviate a little of this stress that I would love to share with you.

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The first thing to understand is that stress is an emotion that you have complete control over. It’s a reaction your body has when your brain thinks it cannot process any more craziness. Have you ever been told… just take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed? Or maybe you count to ten slowly? There is a scientific explanation to that advice! Its true, when so many things are happening at once, your brain needs a quick break to slow down the natural fight or flight hormones that are being released. Try this… Right now – take 5 deep breaths with your eyes closed and breathe out as slow as you can. It sounds too easy right?? Now, I can’t say that the current circumstance will stop but your body and emotions will be better able to cope.

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Second, your kids feed off of your energy! You can help intentionally create the atmosphere in your home! They can feel when you are not paying attention or that your day at the office was tense. You would hope kids would have compassion for poor Mom and cut you a break. Unfortunately, that’s not a reality! Where energy goes, energy flows! Your state of mind when you are around your children will give you back an extra measure of how you are feeling. The good news is you can use this to your advantage! Your brain is very complex, but can be trained to submit to what you CHOOSE to believe. Simply choosing to put a smile on your face will can change your posture and the way the kids perceive you.

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Since your attitude and emotions help shape the culture in your home, it’s critical you are making time for you. My hope is that your smile is REAL and that you choose to fit time in your day (even when you’re busy) to do one thing just for you without feeling guilty!  My favorite escape is to lock myself in the bathroom and sit in bubbles after everyone has gone to bed. Whatever your escape is, find a way to protect that time and make it happen every day 🙂

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Finally, in moments of stress, try to remember that these moments are fleeting, even as challenging as they can be. The days and years pass quickly and we just get today once!

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