Are you a stressed working mum that dreams of stress-free minutes, hours and days. There is so much to do and organise, sometimes you wonder how you’ll ever get it all done!
On top of that you may have a stressfull job which is either supportive of your family life or not. Maybe you are up at the crack of dawn cracking out a few emails and a nice powerpoint presentation for that meeting you’ll be at later. But not before you:
- Send that urgent text
- Check you have your tickets for the train
- Get ready for work
- Do the school lunches
- Check the school bags have the necessary items for the day ahead
- Double check your kids are getting picked up at the right time and place later whule you are at work
- Defrost that thing from the freezer you will have for dinner when you get in later tonight
- Get the kids up
- Pack your bag for work
- Remember that bill you need to quickly pay
- Half load the dishwasher
- Fly out the door shouting at the kids and forgetting the charger for your phone
Phew, no wonder your a stressed working mum! But you do love being a mum and enjoy using your brain at work (and also having ‘grown up’ conversations. You don’t mind being busy, but you are starting to feel that you need some sort of strategy to help you cope and to help you maintain your mind.
Being stressed due your circumstances is actually a bit of a myth. Some people can cope with a lot going on and not feel stressed at all. Others feel stressed more easily. The difference is the way we handle our minds; that is our thoughts and how we respond.
What is true is modern life is getting busier and busier and mind management might not be at the top of your to do list. A lot of people now make time to work out and keep their body fit as they have realised they can be stronger and healthier for longer when they do this. But the mind needs work do. It controls the body after all!
Maybe you don’t often find time to cook. There are plenty of tasty things available that you don’t need to cook right? But how about a recipe to reduce your stress? That doesn’t take a lot of time and effort. That you have all the ingredients for already. That will be delicious when you savour it and you will be delighted that you discovered it.
You brain is constantly being reshaped throughout your life by your experiences and thoughts. You can weaken or strengthen pathways in your brain by the thoughts you have. The more you worry or stress the stronger those networks get. But if you focus on being calm or positive, these pathways can also strengthen (even when you feel stressed and overwhelmed).
There is a part of the brain called the amygdala which manages your fight or flight response and the productions of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Although the amygdala is two small almond shaped areas of the brain (the structure is actually a bit bigger) it is very important and powerful. Mindfulness and meditation are great techniques for focusing attention and awareness so the amygdala is more settled. Regular meditation settles your mind and helps you manage your emotions more effectively. Regular meditation and mindfulness practice reduce the size of the Amygdala (your brain almonds).
It should only take about 10-15 minutes a day to meditate or practice mindfullness but in my experience of treating stress as a hypnotherapist, a lot of stressed people won’t find the time. Or they can’t do it by themselves. Or they haven’t truly felt the benefit of deep relaxation because if they had, they would want it again!
To change your state from stress can just a couple of minutes with the right recipe. For a deeper relaxation and to let go of what’s worrying you or stressing you takes about half an hour.
This dish is best served to those that are feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. If you are having trouble sleeping, concentrating or feeling any of these physical symptoms as a result of stress you need to make this recipe:
- Heart racing
- Red face
- Uncontrolled breathing
- Finding it hard to concentrate
- Mood swings
The ingredients to a calmer life are super easy to get hold of! You need:
- A body
- A brain
- A quiet place (although once you’ve got the hang of this recipe you can whip it up almost anywhere)
- A relaxation recording
- Candles if you like that sort of thing
- Good intentions
One in three people will suffer from a mental health issue at any time. Prevention is key. By learning to manage your stress you will lower your chances of developing anxiety and depression amogst other things. Stress can also contribute to:
- Weight problems
- Auto immune diseases
- Skin conditions, such as eczema
- Heart disease
- Digestive problems
- Sleep problems
- Cognitive and memory problems
If you already suffer from any of the above, you will no doubt have noticed how they are aggravated by stress.
I don’t know if you know any stressed people but you might have noticed that they can’t engage properly as they are so caught up in their own stress. They may be fractious, unsettled and rushed. Stress can affect relationships greatly.
So what’s the recipe? How do you make this stress free life?
1 – Know or admit that you are a stressed working mum. Don’t fight it. It is not a sign of weakness, in fact you are being strong by taking control of your own thoughts and emotions and managing your health to prevent something nasty.
2 – Own your stress and the management of it. This is a really important step in making changes. When you own your problem, you are becoming accountable and are responsible for the making things better. You will also get great satisfaction and sense of achievement once you have overcome the issue. Changes last if you own them and learn strategies and techniques for making changes yourself.
3 – Find something that works for you. There are numerous books, audios, online programmes, mindfulness classes and courses. But just like there are many types of recipe for paella, there will be some you like more than others and then you will find your favourite.
4 – If the recipe doesn’t work. Modify, find new ingredients and try again. The number of clients I get that say they tried mediation or mindfulness and it didn’t work. Then we do hypnotherapy and they are amazed at this relaxation that becomes theirs! Once they have connected to that calm place they will want to get back to it and make it their mission to do so. Maybe with my help for a few weeks, but then I teach them self hypnosis and off they go. I give my clients personalised recordings to listen to whenever they like.
5 – Make it often. Make it your signature dish. Savour the flavour and welcome it into your life. Tell other people about it and share the fantastic flavour of calm for a more creative, productive and enjoyable life.
The cherry on top
If you are feeling stressed and would like to change how you feel, connect with a deep sense of calm within yourself and understand how to manage your thoughts then you might enjoy my 21 day wellbeing challenge.
The thing with being a stressed working mum, is that people think that it’s part of modern life. And another misconception is that you need to be busy and ‘switched on’ to be effective. This is a complete myth as being calm and in control can give you better creativity and ideas and make you achieve much more (without the angst).
Mindfulness, meditation and hypnotherapy have similarities in that they all work on slowing the brain down and accessing your subconcious. Hypnotherapy is really good for anxiety and depression as it can also make changes in the subconcious by replacing negative thoughts and feelings with in like calm and confidence. Hypnotherapy achieves a much deeper level of relaxation than the other practices.
Commit to making changes that will make you feel lighter and brighter and put you back in control. All the power to manage your mind is in you, you just need to learn how to do it and practice often. This can become part of your life.
This is your recipe for a stress free life. You can tweak it, add flavours and spices of your own choosing to really make it your favourite dish.