After my son’s breakfast, I quickly grab a tissue and swipe away his runny nose. Checking for color, because that’s what mom’s do, I notice the yellow tint. I hold my breath, as a bit of panic sets in my chest. Not another flu or cold? I have to remember to breathe. What am I going to do? What could this be? Do I need to brace myself for another sickness?
This is an example of mommy stress. There are so many ways we can stress as mothers. We live a daily life of “what if’s”. What if my son gets a cold? Will my child pass an important test? What if other children don’t like your child’s quirky personality? As a mom, you are invested in caring for your child. Wanting the best for them, to protect them and to control their environment.
This desire comes with one unwanted friend: stress.
The Effects of Stress
As moms, we are used to putting ourselves last. The children have to be fed, clothed, driven to activities and put to bed at night. Then, whew, it’s time for you. You can breathe again and relax. Enjoy a long hot bath or a cup of tea and a good book. But what if you are not getting this “me time” on a consistent basis?
What are some effects of stress?
- Minor memory loss – Forgetting what you went in the kitchen for could not just be aging. But, may be the result of chronic stress. Remembering small details can be harder to do.
- Gastrointestinal Problems – Have you been feeling an upsets stomach, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation? These could be symptoms related to a stressful, non-stop lifestyle.
- Decreased Immunity – stress can impact your defenses and increase your chances for colds/flu.
- Weekend Headaches – This can be caused by stress.
- Eye Twitching – If your nerves are firing on a regular basis, these twitches are likely to happen.
- Hair Loss – the shower drain is one way to see if you are experiencing this symptom of stress.
At a recent doctor’s visit, it was agreed that stress is causing me some physical reactions from stomach issues to hair loss. Since I think of myself as a stress-free kind of gal, this came as a surprise. I have always heard how stress can negatively impact you, but to experience it first hand brings it home…too close to home.
Technically, as a special needs mom, I know I have stress. Who doesn’t? Especially us moms. And as we age, our bodies immune system works harder and generally doesn’t handle stress as well. So, the first step is to recognize stress in your life and to realize it is revealing itself physically. So, what can you do?
The Yoga App
It was recommended I download a Yoga App on my iPhone. The nurse said there are plenty to choose from. Upon searching the App store, I found many options available. Searching specifically for stress instead of Yoga only, I found an app called Calm. Apple calls it the “2017 App of the Year” and Human Tech says it is the “Happiest App In The World.” They have several tracks including 7 Days of Calming Anxiety, 7 Days of Gratitude and 7 Days of Calm.
The Bible App
YouVersion also offers several bible studies and devotionals available to help you to relieve anxiety. Two such tracks are Stop It! No More Worry and Max Lucado’s Anxious For Nothing. A unique feature is you can invite friends to join you in completing the devotional. In Max Lucado’s study, there is a “Talk It Over” feature that allows you and your friends to comment on each day’s reading. This can help you not feel alone and thus, relieve stress.
The Coloring Book App
A great way I relax is to color in a coloring book. Before doing a radio interview, I will sometimes color to calm my thoughts, relieve stress and completely relax me before going live. A quick way to access a coloring book without paper or color pencils is the Adult Coloring Book/COLORS app. Many apps I found have a weekly, monthly or yearly subscription fee. This app has no subscriptions and is 100% free. First you select a picture you want to color. Then a color palate appears. This is followed by tapping a section of the picture to “paint.” Once you get started, it is addictive.
Realizing stress is having an adverse impact on your health, is the first step to conquering it. These apps can be a start to help you get your calm on every day. The idea that you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others is true. But, we as moms, rarely do this for ourselves. Try out one of these apps and see if it works for you. Get your calm on today.
If you have a great stress calming technique, post it below. You never know who you can help with your great suggestion.