Posted by: Modern Mom | January 6, 2013

I Resolve…

I’m normally not a New Year’s Resolutions type of gal, but this year I have a good reason to make some changes. On December 30th I went to the emergency room with chest pains. We waited almost 2 hours and, because kids were restless, my pains had subsided, and the wait was still hours, I checked myself out and went home. (Seriously? I can see now why people die of heart attacks in the waiting room.) The next day, it happened again and hubby drove me to the ER once again. This time I was seen right away. They did a battery of tests that, thankfully, all came back normal.

We still don’t have any real answers as to what is going on with me, but it was obvious to me that some changes needed to be made. I talked to the ER doc about stress and it’s more severe symptoms. It’s possible that the pains were brought on simply by stress. Yikes.

So my resolution this year is dedicated solely to relieving and removing stress from my life. I’m sharing this with you mostly so I feel some accountability to those of you out there in internet land. But in an easy-going, non-stressful kind of way. (See, I’m already trying) Here is my plan.

1. Cook meals ahead. Meal planning is a major source of stress for me, especially when I haven’t even considered dinner until about 4:30 and everything is still in the freezer. Planning meals ahead has always helped my stress level, so I intend to get back to that. Even more, I intend to actually cook portions of meals ahead of time. I have friends that do this and I’ve always admired their forward thinking. It totally blows my mind to think of the time and stress this would save me. It’s time I jumped on the band wagon.

2. Find an outlet. I don’t do anything for myself right now. Probably a common mom trait. I need something that I can get away to do just for me. The doc says exercise is a great stress relief. I’m not big into running, treadmilling, stair stepping, aerobics or anything like that so the word “exercise” is kind of a four-letter one to me. Dance, however, has always been something I enjoy, with a side benefit of being exercise. So I am hoping to find a Zumba class or something like that to squeeze into my schedule.

3. Play more. I want to set aside time to play each day with my kids. Time that is just for them and me. Sometimes this stresses me out. They stress me out. My thought here is that paying that attention to them exclusively will satiate their need for me and my time and allow me more time to myself. I’m hoping. Stop laughing.

4. Sit with my cat more. It has been scientifically proven that sitting with a cat on your lap relieves stress. Done. I will sit with my cat more often.

5. Ask for help. This has always been a hard thing for me to do. I don’t like to ask for help. I guess that’s a pride thing. What I really want is for my husband to recognize when I need help and just offer it. This doesn’t happen. Am I right, girls? So I have to get better at asking. And not just from him. I have a great support network of friends and family that I can ask as well. Even though that’s hard.

6. Learn to say “No.” This is an important skill that I often have a hard time with. I’m a helper. I want to help people. I want to be involved in things. Everything. My health is obviously suffering for it. So it’s time I got better at saying no. That means recognizing my personal limits. This could possibly be the hardest one for me.

These, among other things still undecided, are the steps I’m intending to take to help relieve my stress and hopefully improve my health in the process. It’s going to take more examining of the things in my life that I’m currently doing and my current commitments to see if there are other areas I can make changes. Baby steps for now.

What are your resolutions? How do you relieve or avoid stress?

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Responses

  1. Seems to be a common theme when families are young, and everyone is so busy. All good resolutions, especially taking time for yourself, and giving dedicated time to the boys. If you can’t find a Zumba class, please consider yoga. Good exercise, and very meditative. I alway feel relaxed after yoga class. Remember those breathing exercises you learned for birth…they will serve you well now, too. It’s hard to be everything to everyone. Take good care of yourself, so you can take care of them. Love to you.

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    • Thank you Joan. Yes, it’s hard to be everything to everyone. It’s easy to forget to take the time to refresh and relax. I’m learning how vital that is to everything; my health, my sanity, my marriage, my relationships with my kids…

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  2. Hi Amy — These are all good resolutions! If I may suggest one more … let yourself off the hook. For the times the kids don’t get a “healthy” meal, or go to bed without a bath for the third day in a row, so what. It will not hurt them. You order pizza in twice in one week? You are still having dinner together! Laundry is piling up? Well, it’s not going anywhere, and it will be there when you get to it tomorrow. Take that walk around the walk before putting the dishes away; they will wait.

    One suggestion for the kids: when you need to get a few things done but they are clamoring for your attention, set a timer for 20 minutes. Tell them you can play until the timer goes off, and then give them your undivided attention. I found my kids understood this really well, and were happy with the “bursts” of time on busy days.

    Take care of you!

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    • Thanks Jodi! I like that timer idea. I’m going to have to use that one.

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  3. Hi Amy, I had no idea you were going through all this! I had two mental breakdowns in 2012 for the same thing. Mildly suicidal in the last one. I went to counseling and saw a naturopath (my hormones were completely imbalanced). My counselor asked if I could just “let the laundry or dishes go,” and honestly, no, I can’t. That stresses me out more. So her next suggestion was a housekeeper. Best money I’ve ever spent. I don’t stress about the home front details anymore cuz they’re not my responsibility. Now, I focus on my work, my kids, and spending the evenings with my hubby.

    Anyways, we’re all here for you! Please let us know what we can do. The biggest thing is, you’re not alone, you should feel completely validated, and this doesn’t make you any less of a woman 🙂

    Elizabeth 😉

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    • Elizabeth,
      Love you, friend. Thank you.

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  4. Hmmm… I am not a resolution kind of gal, either. I resolve everyday to quit eating chips… and fail. So I’m not gonna set myself up for failure with something seemingly impossible. Hooooowwweever, I like the “remove stressful things” challenge… specifically by adding in a faith-inclusive or faith-based yoga. I used to be flexible, athletic, and able. I find myself looking for excuses to have someone else ‘grab the laundry’ or ‘let the dog out’ so i don’t have to exert myself (?!). Anyway, just today I was thinking that yoga (not any kind of high-impact motion) might be a great addition to my homeschooling-kind-of-mom stress! Keep us posted, and I’ll peek in and let you know how I’m doing as well! ❤ So glad to see you plugged in at Grace, btw!

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    • Thank you Shelley. Yes, you should try to fit in some yoga. Make the kids do it with you! ha! You need a stress release from your home schooling mama duties. Hugs to you. Hope you’re well in the big state.

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