Many women are SO stressed out and they don’t even have a clue where to begin to change. This post will show you 10 things you can do that will begin to make a difference right away. As always, I don’t necessarily encourage you to try to implement them all in one day. That may be too stressful! Two or three at a time will still help you make some lasting changes to improve your stress level.
1. Most Important Things (MITs) – Before going to bed, make a list of the THREE most important things you must do the next day. That way you know what to focus on first thing. Getting those 3 things done will help you feel better about your day and give you momentum to move on to other tasks of lesser importance.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast – Create a list of 5-10 healthy breakfasts that you keep items on hand for. Make sure you EAT breakfast every day. It is important for you energy, your metabolism, and for your sanity.
3. Stay hydrated – Make water your drink of choice. You don’t necessarily have to cut out all soda or coffee/tea, but when you’re thirsty make water your first choice 80% of the time. Many walk around dehydrated and don’t even realize it. Two of the symptoms of dehydration? Fatigue and confusion. Felt those lately?
4. Be prepared – Prepare for the next morning the night before, especially if you have to leave the house for work, school, or an appointment. Get clothes out for everyone (or have them do it) make sure backpacks and diaper bags are ready. Have as much as possible already in the car or at least by the door.
5. Wake up before kids – This may be difficult depending on the stage of life you are in, but do your very best to wake up at least 15 minutes (or more) before your children. This gives you a chance to splash water on your face, go to the bathroom, start the coffee or tea, and a few minutes of quiet to think about your day. For those so inclined, take this opportunity for prayer. Spending a few minutes getting oriented in the morning will help you have a better outlook on your day.
6. Learn to say NO – Let NO be your first reaction when presented with something that will be a responsibility or added pressure. Committees, volunteering, etc can be a good thing if it is something that is important to you. You must learn, however, that it IS okay to say NO. And don’t feel like you have to explain. Learn to say “Due to my current obligations, I would not be able to …. “.
7. Everything in its place – Build the habit in yourself and those in your household of putting things away. Everything needs to have a place and they need to learn to put things back where they belong. You will never get them to do this 100% of the time, but it is worth the effort to teach them. Consider this: 5 people in a household each leave out 10 things per day. That is 50 items a day. In a week that would be 350 things out of place!
8. Plan ahead for dinner – Know what you will be having dinner the next evening before you go to bed at night. That way you can take something out of the freezer, pull out your crockpot, plan to run by the store, or coordinate meeting other family members at the local pizza place after a game. Planning meals in advance and having the shopping done for them is another great tool to make life a little easier.
9. Build a team – Teach your family from a young age that they are part of a team. A team works together for a common goal. In this case, that goal, in general, is a house that runs as smoothly as possible and a family that is growing together. This will help keep the mom from becoming the maid and the kids growing up with a sense of entitlement. And of course, dad will do his fair share in this team as well.
10. A daily review – While getting ready for bed, think about your day. What went well? How can you make sure to have more days like this? And what didn’t go so well? How can you possibly prepare to prevent having another day like today? Sometimes we just get caught up in the crazy hustle and bustle of life and don’t stop to realize that we CAN have an impact on how our days go. It takes a little planning and effort, and a shift in attitude, but you can work towards having more better days and less of those not-so-good days.