It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.

Updated: Jul 28

In our last post we spoke about the importance of self-care for the sake of our children and their development but what if giving ourselves what we really need is the last thing we can think about especially when life demands so much of us, not to mention when the kids need 100% of our attention!

Let’s be real, who lives a stress free life? No matter how healthy, wealthy, strong or confident a person may seem stress inherently affects everyone. Reconnecting with your personal needs can feel challenging often leading to worry, anxiety and even fear. So it’s completely understandable when someone tells you to chill out that you may begin to feel even worse “umm...I’m juggling so many things, try walking a mile in my shoes!” 

Even if you’re not a parent the concept of creating harmony between your inner and outer environments can seem a mammoth undertaking, something unrealistic and unattainable. So, what if creating harmony had nothing to do with balance? What if you could give yourself what you need and still juggle those many things? The good news, well we can learn how to grow towards resilience and managing stress. It may take some time but it’s all so worth it. 

Perhaps it’s your time to put the breaks on and say “I choose me right now and that’s ok!” There will always be dishes to wash, laundry to do, grocery shopping, the school run, extra curricular activities, homework oh and let’s not forget spending time with our partners, so if not now, then when will we for a short time pause the pressure and give to ourselves the time to go inwards and connect to our real needs? Life, parenting, relationships and careers have no normal, the truth is there is no balance but rather a series of choices that we make daily to prioritise the things that matter. 

You’re a great parent we know this for sure, so here are some tips on reconnecting to your needs without the guilt or time pressure!

  1. First thing first, let’s get this out of the way, You’re not perfect, ahhh so glad we had this chat! We know you have high standards for yourself but accepting that perfectionism has a way of draining the joy out of you is the first step to recognising that it's absolutely ok to be perfectly imperfect. Save that joy for “me time!”

  2. Have self-compassion, you can be your own comforter by practising self-kindness, recognising that you’re only human and there are many others in the same position as you. Becoming mindful of our inner dialogue can help us recognise negative and positive self talk.

  3. Remember you are worth it, you deserve to feel good about yourself and while this can be challenging when you feel overwhelmed with daily tasks, rest assured you and well everyone for that matter can benefit from a good dose of self-esteem and a positive self-image!

  4. Let’s get S.M.A.R.T, that’s right you heard it here, make your “personal needs” specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. No need to create massive goals, perhaps your smart goal for today is to sit down for 10 minutes with a hot chocolate and do nothing!

  5. Learn from your past experience, how did overlooking your needs help you in the past? What did you learn from that experience? Turning our mistakes into our wise teacher is a sure way to ensure we head down a different path and build on our resilience. 

While we can’t always avoid stress, we can control our reaction to it by looking after ourselves, taking time for rest, eating a healthy diet, exercising and most importantly having fun! To end here’s a little assurance from American psychotherapist Amy Morin, “Everyone has the ability to increase resilience to stress. It requires hard work and dedication, but over time, you can equip yourself to handle whatever life throws your way.” 

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