Stress: general state of distress including physical, mental, or emotional states of fatigue and tension. Or feeling overwhelmed when demands exceed your personal and social resources. (American Institute of Stress (AIS))
As pillars of our homes and as multi-talented women, we know how demanding and challenging modern life can be. Between juggling family responsibilities, work demands, and other day-to-day obligations, the stress can feel overwhelming at times. Not trivial, stress, that unwanted guest that creeps into our busy lives, can have detrimental effects on our body, mind and head. We all feel it at some point, but did you know that chronic stress can lead to serious consequences for our overall health? Take a deep breath and discover how stress management can transform your life as a working mom.
The Harmful Effects of Stress
Stress may seem harmless, but it can cause real chaos in our body. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases in response to stressful situations. In the short term, it helps us cope with challenges, but in the long term, high cortisol can lead to a cascade of health issues, such as trouble sleeping, digestive issues, lowered immunity and even heart problems (1). Did you know that fibroids, a disease with which 25% of black women are affected and 6% in Caucasian women very often misdiagnosed, is the result of various factors including stress, suggested by several studies. Our minds are not spared either. Chronic stress can lead to persistent anxiety, decreased concentration, and feelings of emotional exhaustion. And let’s not forget our heads, where stress can cause headaches, muscle strains and migraines. All of these effects considerably reduce our quality of life and, by extension, that of our family.
We share with you ladies 5 little-known points on stress management in order to play down all stressful situations!
5 Unknown Points About Managing Stress
- The Power of Laughter: A healthy dose of laughter can be an effective stress reliever. Studies have shown that laughter releases endorphins, the happiness hormones, thereby reducing cortisol levels and improving mood (2). So, watch a comedy, a 5min video on Youtube, share funny moments with your loved ones, and don’t forget to laugh at yourself once in a while!
- Nature, a Valuable Ally: Spending time in nature is a great way to reduce stress. A simple walk in the fresh air can quiet the mind and calm swirling thoughts. Research has shown that exposure to nature reduces activity in the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain linked to stress (3). So take your children for a hike in the forest or relax in a park, nature is there to welcome you.
- Deep Breathing: Deep breathing is a simple yet powerful technique for calming the nervous system and reducing stress. When you feel overwhelmed, take a few moments to inhale deeply, filling your abdomen with air, then exhale slowly. You will be amazed at the soothing effect of this practice.
- Meditation for the Quiet Mind: Meditation is an ancient practice that is gaining popularity for its stress management benefits. Studies have shown that regular meditation reduces activity in the amygdala, the brain region associated with stress responses (4). Try devoting a few minutes each day to meditation to cultivate a calm and serene mind.
- Engage your senses: One of the fastest ways to relieve stress is to engage your senses of touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing in positive ways. Experts recommend trying to identify five things you can hear, touch, taste, see and smell. Then describe them in detail for yourself. Whether it’s enjoying a piece of dark chocolate, listening to a song that puts you in a good mood, or enjoying a hot cup of tea, those little moments of joy can make a big difference.
- Exercise: Nothing beats exercise when it comes to relieving stress. Maintaining your physical well-being by staying active keeps your body and mind in top shape. Plus, physical activity gives your body an endorphin boost, so even take 5 minutes to move your body and release your stress.
You deserve to live a fulfilled and balanced life. Take the time to relax, refocus and take care of your well-being. And to help you in this quest, let us introduce you to KnowMediQ, this digital health platform, a real treasure for moms like you. You can find all the health and wellness providers you need in one place, without having to waste valuable time searching, plus… the services are given to you from the comfort of your home! Save energy and time and focus on what really matters: you and your family.
So, dear moms, make stress management a priority in your life. Try these relaxation techniques and find out how you can create a fulfilling and peaceful life. You have the power to shine in all aspects of your life, and stress management is your ally in this quest for harmonious balance.
Remember, dear moms, you are the stars that light up your family’s sky. Take care of yourself and radiate happiness and serenity.
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Stress Management. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress/faq-20454786
- Berk, L. S., Tan, S. A., Fry, W. F., Napier, B. J., Lee, J. W., Hubbard, R. W., … & Eby, W. C. (1989). Neuroendocrine and stress hormone changes during mirthful laughter. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 298(6), 390-396.
- Bratman, G. N., Hamilton, J. P., Hahn, K. S., Daily, G. C., & Gross, J. J. (2015). Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal
- Fibroids: Greater in African-American Women than White. Why? https://www.mcleodhealth.org/blog/fibroids-greater-in-african-american-women-than-white-but-why/
- Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on March 16, 2023. Why Are Uterine Fibroids Particularly Common in Black Women? www.webmed.com
- Michigan Medicine, (2020). Understanding Racial Disparities for Women with Uterine Fibroids. https://www.michiganmedicine.org/health-lab/understanding-racial-disparities-women-uterine-fibroids