What are some good stress management techniques that will help a working mom with two young toddlers?
It's not easy, is it? Stress is a natural byproduct of being overscheduled, poorly nourished and/or parenthood, so there are some simple things you can do to ease at least some of the stress you may feel in this situation.
First, concentrate on the things you can control that affect your stress level. Diet, eating regular, balanced meals that are not too high in either fat or sugar will help keep your mood on an even keel, and prevent elevated levels of stress or fatigue. Bananas have a lot of Vitamin B, a natural stress reliever. You can also take Vitamin-B supplements.
Exercise a few times a week if you can. It releases nervous energy and is a natural stress-fighter.
It's hard to get enough sleep as a parent, I know, but if you can arrange getting at least six hours per night, that will help. Exhaustion raises stress levels. Avoid caffeinated drinks, especially at night, this will lower your blood pressure and resting heart rate, which affect anxiety levels.
Secondly, since you do work, I assume you have some time during the day where you are not responsible for the kids. Take your lunch break or a little time before and after work to close your eyes and rest, in your car or office, or to listen to music or take a walk. Even 15 minutes a day that are utterly yours, in a calm environment, can make a difference.
Really, stress management techniques are "good" or "bad" only insofar as they do or don't work for a given individual. In other words, a stress management technique is only good if it fits with the personality of the person it is meant to help.
Some stress management techniques that are supposed to be good, but are not for everyone include:
- Prayer -- many religious people find this reduces stress, but it would do nothing for a non-religious person.
- Sports -- again, only good if the mom you are talking about is athletic.
- Talking with friends -- if the mom is a social person.
- Reading -- if that is something the person enjoys
I think that most stress management techniques do not work for everyone and people need to look at various techniques and decide what will work for them personally.