Monday, March 21, 2011

Ten Stress Strategies Every Mom Needs - Summary from Hearts at Home

I went to the workshop given by Jill Savage at Hearts at Home called "Ten Stress Strategies Every Mom Needs".  Here are my notes that I thought might be helpful to you moms out there.  I am already implementing some of these strategies!!!

Jill says its important for us to remember that we can not go back and parent and that parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.  We need to be wise for the long haul.

10 Stress Strategies Every Mom Needs

1) Take a day off - Establish a day each week or each month that you can look forward to - for projects, relexation, whatever you want to do.  This will refresh you so that you have something to give back to your family. 
  • Find a friend and give each other a day off.  Say every other Tuesday you swap kids for the day.  The mom with the day off gets to do whatever she wants - even if that is to go back home and go to sleep!!! 
  • Arrange a night each week that your husband takes the kids so you can do something alone.
2) Increase margin - having enough "white space" in your lives to that you can read the words
  • limit our activities - our own activities and those of our children - this will increase white space
  • setting boundaries - one major and one minor activity/committment
    • example of major - teaching sunday school - it's a regular responsibility which requires priority and planning
    • example of minor - committing to a certain activity say 3 times a year (providing treats in your child's classroom).
3) Learn to say no - only you know what is best for your family (not the person who is asking)
  • Never say yes on the spot - pray and think over it and get back to the person
  • Carefully consider - brain space
  • Simply say no when unable to - no long list of excuses
Remember saying no allows opportunities for others.  You owe protection to your family - you don't owe someone something.  You don't have to say yes just because you are capable - think - "I'm capable but am I called?" (loved this!).  You might have to say no to things you might really want to do.

4) Take care of your body - Nutrition, Exercise & Sleep - all of these refuel and destress us. 
  • Increase fruits, veggies, and water
  • Decrease sugar intake
  • Leave things for morning
  • Take a NAP (loved this one)
  • Go to bed early
5) Expect Interruptions - underestimate the time it takes for everyone/thing
  • "motherhood is the ministry of interruptions" - use words like "of course" when interrupted
6) Refuel proactively - recognize when you have a "half full" tank.  We need to pull over and refuel.  You don't want to get to a place where someone has to rescue you.  You want to have overflow not emptiness.  Think about what refuels you and write them down (being alone, being with people, shopping, reading etc) and have those things carved out in your schedule so you are always refueling.

7) Choose important over the urgert
  • People/family = important; urgent = tasks/things that scream for attention (phone calls, laundry in washer that needs to be put in dryer). 
  • Do what you NEED to do not what you have to do - ask yourself "will it matter in 10 years?" (the phone call, the laundry, etc). 
8) Step away - proactively step away; relieve yourself - keeps you from doing something you will regret later
  • respond to a situation, not react
9) Ask for help (with WORDS, not body language, hits, etc ladies);  accept help.

10) Talk to Jesus - follow Jesus's example - he withdrew to a solitary place and prayed - so should we be praying!

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