To manage stress we need to view our perceived ability to manage the stressful situation, time to do it and the demands. So when preventing stress, the first task is to identify what is causing the stress and what to do about it. Just like a three legged stool needs it’s three legs working to stand, we need these three pillars to avoid stress causing us harm.
If I feel insecure in my parenting role, I don’t know whether I’m doing good or bad and I’ve got a nagging remorse for things I fear to have done it is stressful.
It’s stressful not to know and to feel that you’re not on top of the situation. Uncertainty is scary and stressful to many, indifferent what the uncertainty is about.
So, I’ve identified the insecurity as the cause and not being on top of the situation. What I could do is to increase my capacity to handle my parenthood and perhaps my own thoughts and emotions through participating in a parenting course, by talking to other parents or by attending tutoring or coaching, in order to raise the level of knowledge and ability.
Time or rather lack of time is another thing that’s causing stress, and in today’s society, it seems that there’s just never enough time. We’ve got too little time with our family, we are short of time to care for our partner and friends, little time to coordinate the household and there is minimal time to take care of yourself, your interests and for just relaxing.
Feeling stressed when multitasking all day juggling everything isn’t strange, but ponder over who’s setting the time frame. Is it you or is it someone else? For some reason, we’re pretty good at having some sort of mental picture of how and what we should accomplish, and when we don’t meet our own expectations we become stressed.
Instead of hurrying even more to get it done, try to stop, and ask yourself if it’s necessary to do it all.
“I need to wash all clothes today, pay the bills, make a list to do some grocery shopping and cook dinner!”
Is it necessary to do it all today? What can be done tomorrow? I’ll make a priority list.
Many times the necessary things are only necessary in our minds but put in perspective, it’s not.
So make a priority list and give yourself more time if possible.
Or maybe you have a deadline at work, ask if you have the opportunity to postpone the deadline to get more time and be honest about how you feel.
Today many feel the demands are high, but we need to figure out if it’s someone else or we ourselves that put those high demands on us. Again, it’s not uncommon that it’s we who put those demands on ourselves and this is especially true for women. Many women have very high standards for themselves. When I don’t meet my own demands, I feel stressed.
What I need to do when I have high standards is to identify the person putting the demands on me. Is it me or someone else? Is it realistic? What would happen if I didn’t meet the demands today?
In other words, it’s okay to be human, lower the demands. If someone else demands something of you, talk about it and how you react to it, and say no if you have to.