Last week at my current j.o.b we took a staff development class on Stress Management. It was a one hour class on Stress: The Good, The Bad and How to manage it all (I came up with that name!). I honestly went for the staff development points, but the speaker was so engaging and informative I found myself paying attention, taking notes and I FOUND OUT I WAS STRESSED OUT!
She handed out the following (below) stress rating scale and asked us to complete it and add up our points! I started reading and checking things off. I added up everything and my score was ###, well that’s private. Just show it was HIGH AS #@%^!!!!!!! I started looking back at this list to see what happened to me over the last 12 months. I had lost my grandfather and whalaaaa – I HAD A BABY!Although getting pregnant and having a wonderful bundle of joy is a blessing – I learned from the speaker that Pregnancy itself is STRESSFUL. In addition to all that comes with being pregnant, a new baby in the house brings new challenges and CHANGES! Changes to your body, habits, lifestyle and finances. So yep, stressed and didn’t even know it.
What is Stress?
- Stress develops when external demands or pressures tax strain the internal resources.
- Stress is your mind and body’s response of reaction to a real or imagined threat, event or change.
- The threat, event or change are commonly called stressors. Stressors can be internal (thoughts, beliefs, attitudes or external (loss, tragedy change.)
What is Good Stress? Eustress or positive Stress occurs when your level of stress is high enough to motivate you to move into action to get things accomplished.
What is Bad Stress? Distress or negative stress occurs when your level of stress is either too high or too low and your body and/or mind begin to respond negatively to the stressors.
When I look at my family’s newest addition, I can’t help but smile and kiss those cheeks! I can’t walk past him without “gettin’ some suga!” And although we all love him and feel our family is now complete, I can’t help but notice the current changes in me personally.
- Lack of Sleep – He just started fully sleeping through the night but as a mom I still don’t. I still check on him throughout the night and most likely will until he is 1. The lack of sleep in addition to all the other mom/life/wife needs take a toll on your mental state eventually.
- Change in recreational activities – My time is now even more limited. When I get off my 8-to-5, I have a few hours to get in “Mommy Time” with my oldest two kids. Which is homework supervision, feeding them, playing with them and whatever they need before they go to bed. Once they go to bed – Baby E is still up!! His schedule varies, which means so does my workout, personal business, cleaning house schedule varies as well.
- Change in eating habits – I am eating healthy, but also eating to maintain/lose weight! I had to eat a certain way when I was pregnant & breastfeeding (which is actually the best way to eat!). Now that I am no longer BF’ing, I am just as picky because I don’t have that extra UMPH! that comes with breastfeeding to help me burn those calories off!
I know in time, this will become the New Normal to me and what might be stress now will surely level of. I will get into my familiar groove just as I did with my other two babies. I would love to take this test again in 9-12 months to see where I am – stresswise. And although this form tells me I am stressed – I am also HAPPY & IN LOVE WITH MY BABY! I also learned there are many ways to protect myself from stress. I can name just a few here (there were so many more!):
- Stop setting unrealistic goals.
- Give up perfectionism.
- Learn time management skills.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Find a mentor or friend.
- Spend more time with positive people
- Organize / De-Clutter / Clean
The Good News is life doesn’t have to be stressful. Managing and reducing stress will bring important health benefits. Take the test and see where your stress level is. And if it’s too high, take the time and necessary steps to reduce it.
Are you stressed? How did you know? Are you trying to change the factors/issues that are currently stressing you out?
Living Smart, Simple & Stylish