As much as we adore our children, it goes without saying that being a mom requires a great deal of responsibility. Even with the support of family members and your spouse, a mom takes on many roles that can sometimes leave her feeling a bit worn out. In time, constant ripping and running can lead to serious mental conditions including chronic levels of stress. If you’re not careful, not only do you run the risk of deteriorating physical health, but some women even look to substances such as alcohol to get them through the day.
Some Stress is Normal
I have yet to hear from a woman who has not experienced some stress in her life as a result of simply being a mom. From making sure there is food on the table and clothes on their back, to ensure that they steer clear of worldly dangers and peer pressures, there is a lot for a mom to worry about. That being said, parenthood, in general, will create some level of stress.
How Much is Too Much?
While some stress is necessary and common, too much stress could cause your health to deteriorate in an instant. Knowing how much stress is too much is imperative to your overall health. Here are some signs you’re under too much stress:
· Lack of energy
· Mood swings
· Trouble eating
· Onset of skin problems (i.e. acne)
· Unexplained pain
· Constant worry or anxiety
· Depression or feelings of sadness
· Difficulty sleeping (or sleeping too much)
· Social isolation
When to Get Help
If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms over the past few days then you’re likely under a great deal of stress. For some moms, this is a temporary thing. Maybe you’re dealing with a big project at work that has caused you to put some of your household responsibilities on pause. Maybe you’re dealing with a child who is having difficulties in school. Whatever the case may be, recognizing the signs of chronic stress and knowing when to get help is important. Below are signs that your stress is out of control and you need help:
· Your performance at work or home has declined
· You’ve begun using substances to cope
· You’re unable to cope on your own
· You have persistent physical ailments that cannot otherwise be explained
· You’ve had thoughts of suicide
· You’ve experienced significant changes in your eating or sleeping habits
Effective Ways to Prevent Chronic Stress
As I’ve stated previously, with the joys of parenthood often come some levels of stress. Some of it may be temporary, but if you’re not careful it can be harmful to your health. While getting help is ideal for those experience chronic levels of stress, taking preventative measures is often the best solution to dealing with this mental condition. Below are some tips on how to effectively prevent stress from becoming chronic.
· Recognize the warning signs
· Ask for additional help from loved ones
· Take a break such as a vacation or even a few minutes per day to yourself
· Prioritize your responsibilities and complete them in order of importance
· Address work-related stress with an employer for assistance
· Take care of yourself physically by eating right, exercising, and getting a good night’s rest.
Stress is one of those mental states of being that simply go hand in hand with parenting. However, when the going gets rough it is important for you to take a step back and evaluate your life. Too much stress can easily harm you physically and mentally causing you to fall off track with your personal and professional life. Whether you learn to delegate more tasks, call in reinforcements for help, or need medical assistance in dealing with your stress, remember that your health must come first. If you’re not at your best, you can’t possibly give your best to your family.