Reducing Stress In Your Busy Life

April 2013

The house is a mess, the kids need a ride to school, the car keys are missing, the dog just got out of the yard, and your boss just scheduled a mandatory meeting first thing this morning...

...no wonder why you feel stressed out.

Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened, or upset your balance in some way.  In small doses, stress can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best.  But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.

There is no doubt that women have a lot on their plates these days, between balancing work responsibilities with commitments at home and still trying to find time to do the things they enjoy.  Often women feel overwhelmed by the things that are expected of them and do not take the time to plan for and achieve the things they want.

According to the findings from the 2013 Work/Life Balance Survey conducted by Maid Brigade, 78% of women feel they work a "second shift" when it comes to their daily life responsibilities, such as cooking, cleaning, running errands, and taking care of family.  In 2012, the survey yielded 72%.

The survey also showed that 51% of women feel the need for control over their lives.  The lack of control over the minute-to-minute chaos that fills each day may be a leading stress trigger.

The survey's findings showed that daily home and family repsonsibilities prevented some women from persuing their individual hobbies and personal health goals, which added stress in their lives.

In honor of April's "National Stress Awareness " month, here are some preventative measures that can help combat stress and help you lead a more balanced and healthy lifestyle:

Learn to delegate properly and be comfortable with it.  Delegating things that you don't like to do can lighten your load and free up some needed time.  Make a list of all your routine tasks.  Decide what can be delegated.  For example, hiring a cleaning service is one way to take that large weekly chore off your hands and free up some time.

It is important to delegate responsibilities to create that "me time" you deserve (and need).

Taking "me" time when you have a family, work, home, and life to keep may seem like a selfish act, but guilt may be our greatest setback to creating a more balanced, calm and happy existence for ourselves and our families.

Because of our demanding schedules, there is often very little time or energy left for for ourselves.  Decide what really matters to you and what you can realistically achieve based on other commitments.

Stress may not be completely eliminated from your life, but you CAN control how much it affects you.  Relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing can help the body and mind relax.  When practiced regularly, they can lead to a reduction in everyday stress levels and can also increase your ability to stay calm and collected under pressure. 

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