As moms we know what it can feel like to be constantly stressed and overwhelmed. Unfortunately for many of us this has become the predominant them of our lives as we try to balance the responsibilities of work, life and being a mom.
There are countless tips and advice out there about how to reduce the stress in our lives.
Exercise. Yoga. Breathing exercises. Manage our time better.
The list can go on and on. You may look at the list and think I just don’t have time for any of this.
These tools and tips certainly have a place in managing our day-to-day stress and helping us to relax.
I have tried them all.
However they often only provide temporary fixes. We feel good for a while but it doesn’t take long to get right back to where we were started. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Why is this? We spend our time and dollars on endless stress management tools yet nothing really seems to change.
I see many of these tips and tools being equivalent to a bandaid fix. We can cover up the stress for while, make it feel better, but eventually the bandaid will fall off.
We are not dealing with what the true underlying cause of our stress is.
I spent years putting the bandaids on only watching them fall off all to quickly. Unsuccessfully trying to jump off the stress merry-go-round.
Eventually I realized what needed to do was to make deep underlying changes in how I was living me life. Yoga and exercise alone just wasn’t going to do it for me.
As I look back over my own journey of shifting from a life of too much stress to one that feels more fulfilling and enjoyable on a daily basis I have realized there are 5 steps that enable me to do this.
It doesn’t mean my life never has stress or that I don’t experience overwhelm. What it has provided me with is a compass for navigating my way more quickly off the stress merry-go-round back to the more balanced and happy place I want to be.
Here are the 5 parts of the compass that I use to find my way out of the stress zone when I discover myself deep within it.
#1: What Is Most Valuable?
This is the first step in jumping off the stress merry-go-round. Checking in with our values. Often stress is a sign that we are living a life that it is out of alignment with our greatest values. We may feel that we are not getting the time to do what is most important to us. For example the demands of our work and other responsibilities may prevent us from being with our family. Take time to gain clarity on what your top 3-5 most important values are in your life.
#2 Evaluate Your Current Life
Once you have a list of your most important values take time to evaluate how you are living them in your life right now. Are you living in alignment with them? If the answer is no that can be a significant contributor to our stress. It can be extremely stressful to feel like we are not getting to live our life in a way that reflects our deepest values. Identify where there might be an imbalance. This helps to figure out exactly how to apply the brakes to the merry-go-round.
#3: Set Your Priorities & Boundaries