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What do you do to handle stress?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have major stress, anxiety, self critism issues and I need to UNWIND.
I would like to do kick boxing, yoga and more prayer/meditation. But I need to be realistic too. I have two young kids all day, what can I really expect to be able to do on a daily/regular basis.
What do you ladies do? and How do you find the time to do it?
post #2 of 28
I walk 2 miles in the morning (I used to do this with them in the stroller with snacks and water) and make a caramel macchiato daily on my $30 espresso machine. I once watched this "how it's made" type show on Starbucks and it covered how coffee provides temporary mood "enhancement."
post #3 of 28
I too need to exercise to release stress and anxiety. I'm not a fan of gym childcare cuz me kids don't like it and it's too expensive. So I go at 5:30 in the morning (to be back in time for dh to leave for work) or I go in the evening, usually after dinner. I also try to find a time on the weekend to get in a workout.
post #4 of 28
I followed a sophrology class (once a week) where I learned to relax in ordinary clothes, standing up or sitting down, eyes closed ... considering how tense and stressed out I was, I've been surprised to see how suggestible I could be & that it works (I can now micro nap rather easily if I psyche myself up by saying in my head "so and so [name of the teacher], help me please ...."

I can no longer attend so am planning to find some sort of tutorial online that would last 5 to 10 minutes so that I would have an external reminder to "unwind" every night after the children are in bed ... or maybe another tutorial I could download on an MP3 to learn to meditate for 10 minutes every morning before every one is up ...

when I'm so stressed that my body aches, a very hot bath with 2 cups of magnesium sulfate in it & reading in the bath for 15 minutes helps ....

+ getting my DH to understand that I NEED him to take care of the children for a few hours at the week-end so that I can go and swim laps ... that has been recent but very good ... + I go swimming with a friend who comes to fetch me by car and in exchange I pass on tips and suggestions since it's her first pregnancy .... getting a chance to listen to each other and talk has been very good for both of us , we had never been that close but I've known her 15 years so it's an "easy and old" friendship & we seem to both bring something to the other right now, we are in balance ...

+ I've been fortunate that nearby there has been some free talking sessions organised by a psychologist for local people on various subjects relating to being a parent/mother/wife/conflicts/sibling rivalry etc ....it's been eye opening to go and listen to other people's stories as well as receiving feedback on what I wanted to share ....

I also ordered on the net some Yoga cards that are meant to be gone through with one's children .... haven't got round to doing that yet but am sure it would be of benefit us all ... if only we could get in the habit of doing it regularly ....
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebirdiemama View Post
I have major stress, anxiety, self critism issues and I need to UNWIND.
I would like to do kick boxing, yoga and more prayer/meditation. But I need to be realistic too. I have two young kids all day, what can I really expect to be able to do on a daily/regular basis.
What do you ladies do? and How do you find the time to do it?
I journal, pray, and at times I even have a glass of wine! But I only have been able to do that latter now that my children are older. The youngest is 7 and I feel fine having a glass of wine while dinner is cooking and they are occupied.
post #6 of 28
wine ... I forgot ....I went somewhere where I was served orange wine so I looked up recipes online & made some 2 months ago

& yesterday I bottled my two bottles of OWN HOME MADE orange wine ... well, I felt I HAD to taste it a bit of course .....

not only it felt good physicaly ... but also I had the satistaction of saying "I did that myself"

+ a friend tried it 3 weeks ago but found it too high in alcool so instead of chucking the cut up oranges that marinated in there for 2 months I added a bottle of rose wine and dose of sugar, omiting the extra alcool that is called for in the recipe
& am planning to bring a bottle of it to her after she has moved in August

I find that this time line si doing good for my stress level
- liked something
- made it but had to wait 2 months to complete the task (= something to look forward to)
- and now am also getting pleasure for myself in the prospect of surprising my friend with that bottle of "something home made" in August ....

(especially as I will have a little "hurdle" to go through at the end of July, which stresses me out already ....)

so I need to find a few more things I can do over a certain period of time
SO THAT I can start to change my frame of mind from "I'm suffering right now and cannot think of anything else , my present condition being so intense" to something more like "of course it sucks right now and I'm not happy, BUT I've go something to look forward to ..."
post #7 of 28
I too love really physical regular exercise but just can't get it in regularly with 2 young kids either (oh, bygone days of kickboxing DVD's with Billy Blanks) much less peaceful meditative yoga ().

What I do manage to get in to help unwind:

I take a bath or shower with favorite bath/shower things, come out feeling clean, make some pressed coffee and sit down (hopefully with a cookie or baked something) and watch a House episode from the dvr (kiddo sorta likes the show, so she'll tolerate that - sometimes set up art stuff for her first). I do this a lot, once a day, usually in the afternoon.

I used to make lists a lot - I've been trying to get back to that, it helps a lot of my anxiousness about 'what do I have to do, how will I fit it in, how am I going to do this'. I do this at bedtime while nursing (or at the tail end of nursing) and it's 'boring' for the other kid so she'll fall asleep while I'm doing my lists too.

I love baking and cooking, but since kiddo has become interested in doing it together, it's immensely less relaxing (but I've sorta focused on improving and trying new recipes a lot as a personal goal - doing it more reguarly has helped my confidence a lot because. . .ahem. . I am now easily really good as evidenced by the deliciousness of the stuff I make, and few things that have really flopped.)

I use music a lot too, bringing particularly meaningful songs along in the car or playing them while hanging around doing bedtime stuff. If I'm feeling badly about myself or things going on, I'll just let myself feel that way through that song for awhile and then walk away from it.
post #8 of 28
Long hot baths or showers. I'll take a book or my Kindle (in a ziplock baggie!) into the bathtub with me. I like LONG soaks - such as an hour or more.

Lots of Earl Grey tea with milk (or soy milk) and sugar.

Icy cold Coke Classic

A massage once a month.

I've been working 12 hour days the past week or so, so they have been used. I'm too fried from work to exercise, but I love to read to relax. My "light" reading currently is US history - I'm working on a book on the colonial/Revolutionary period!
post #9 of 28
The book Mindful Motherhood by Cassandra Vieten has some great suggestions for incorporating meditation practice into a busy family life. I found it very helpful.
post #10 of 28
In reality? Eat chocolate chips and play stupid computer games.

I should go ride the exercise bike after the kids are asleep.
post #11 of 28
I have three young children at home. Trying to find the time to take of yourself can be maddening. Here are a few things I do to help me unwind.

* I have a special mediation place in my bedroom where I can light a candle, smell my lavender pillow and think for a few minutes.

* If I can not escape from the kids I take a shower with them or give them a bath. They can play in the tub and I can just sit back and take a few minutes to just breathe.

* Quiet time either indoors or out

* listening to peaceful music

If all else fails WINE!!
post #12 of 28
I'm a stress cook/baker. Which, I guess, is good--we need to eat.

Then again, my kids are 7 and -6 weeks, so I can actually do a reasonable job of cooking/baking. We'll see what happens once the newbie is here.
post #13 of 28
I really like exercising, just not the part about dealing with the kids to do it. I have my fingers crossed that the local Y will work for ALL my children.

Otherwise I really like to read books, especially fluff since it let's me escape to another time/place. Aahhhh, a good book solves all my problems - too bad all the books I have read lately are de.press.ing.

And sitting down , taking pictures at the park when the kids are contained is pretty nice too. Especially if the weather is nice.
post #14 of 28
Go to the pool.

Journal.

Watch nature videos.

Take daily naps.

Read books.

Take long baths.

Drink Sleepytime Tea.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaFrench View Post
wine ... I forgot ....I went somewhere where I was served orange wine so I looked up recipes online & made some 2 months ago

& yesterday I bottled my two bottles of OWN HOME MADE orange wine ... well, I felt I HAD to taste it a bit of course .....

not only it felt good physicaly ... but also I had the satistaction of saying "I did that myself"

+ a friend tried it 3 weeks ago but found it too high in alcool so instead of chucking the cut up oranges that marinated in there for 2 months I added a bottle of rose wine and dose of sugar, omiting the extra alcool that is called for in the recipe
& am planning to bring a bottle of it to her after she has moved in August

I find that this time line si doing good for my stress level
- liked something
- made it but had to wait 2 months to complete the task (= something to look forward to)
- and now am also getting pleasure for myself in the prospect of surprising my friend with that bottle of "something home made" in August ....
Orange you creative! (pun REALLY intended!)
post #16 of 28
I like the pool too, especially since my little ones are old enough not to cling to me all the time.

Honestly, lately I've been reading zombie novels, downloading them on my kindle in the middle of the night.

Because there is nothing like a good zombie apocalypse to put one's own problems into perspective

And it beats comfort eating (and doesn't promote it, either, since zombie novels are pretty gross).
post #17 of 28
subbing to read later
post #18 of 28
Today I was feeling down and stressed.

I took DD and a good book to the pool and voila---instant Did us both a world of good.
post #19 of 28
Bluebirdiemama, I just went through the most stressful 6 months of my life, house hunting, terrible renting drama, 2 week hospital stay with surgery because my son had 3rd degree burns, the resulting 5 figure debt from said hospital stay then buying a house, and moving and trying to fix up a fixer-upper, all the while hubby works 12 hour days and extra hours on weekends. All of the stress finally caught up with me 2 week ago and I imploded on myself. Hubby had to take an entire weekend to not work while I slept and cried and got the motivation to make some changes in how I deal with the stress. I have gained 10 pounds during all of this and decided two weeks ago to join a gym. It has childcare that my son likes a lot so far and I get to have a precious hour to myself to do something that is really truly good for me.
post #20 of 28
A few years ago, when DS was 3 and DD was almost 2, I finally demanded the occasional afternoon off (DH watched the kids). I was tandem nursing, co-sleeping, and a full-time SAHM and was getting seriously burnt out. Having one afternoon a week to go shopping, biking, or meet a friend for coffee was a lifesaver! Now that the kids are old and in school and I'm working part-time I don't need one afternoon a week anymore, but I do work hard to find time to do fun stuff on my own occasionally. I work out daily and have since my kids were born, which helps a lot - I used to put them in the tandem stroller and take long walks, now DS walks and DD rides in the Ergo. Or, I get up early and go by myself before the rest of the family wakes up. Now that its summertime, my kids can play in the yard while I work in the garden.

I also loooooove my glass of wine while fixing dinner - that's the worst hour of the day! The kids are cranky and hungry, DH is still working, and I'm trying to get dinner fixed. I put a video on to entertain the kids and have a glass of Moscato wine while cooking dinner. Ahhhhhh...
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