Many women feel like life is too stressful. Recently, I asked some women: What is your biggest stressor in life? I chose the most common answers, and I will answer them one by one. I didn’t change the description of the stressors. I hope my recommendations for dealing with stress will inspire you and these insights will help you change your reaction to stress.
Three Recommendations for Dealing with Stress
Biggest Stressor # 1:
I don’t value myself. I don’t put my self-care ahead of everyone else I take care of.
My recommendation for dealing with stress:
Guilt is an unhealthy emotion being expressed by women in many different forms: viewing self-care as being selfish, feeling more comfortable giving than receiving, not accepting help, and thinking about others before thinking about self.
It is vitally important to identify our beliefs around self-care and to challenge those beliefs.
Do you help others when they need it or when you need it?
How does it affect your energy level when you give more than you receive?
It is time for us women to see self-care as an act of sanity rather than an act of selfishness.
Think: How can I value myself for who I am rather than for how much I help others?
Biggest Stressor # 2:
Overscheduling myself, procrastination, and then shaming myself for not following through on commitments.
My recommendation for dealing with stress:
Overdoing, overscheduling, and over-giving are all part of the high-stress world we live in. Many people suffer from addiction to hyperness and adrenaline. In addition, we live in a world of scarcity, where we feel ?not enough.?
Not good enough.
Not smart enough.
Not productive enough.
Not calm enough.
The result is we set unrealistic expectations, we strive for perfection, and we beat ourselves up when we fail. We use procrastination, perfectionism, and overscheduling as protection mechanisms against shame.
Brene Brown?says that people confuse guilt with shame. Guilt gives us opportunity to change our behavior because we feel guilty for something we did. Shame doesn’t tell us that what we did is wrong. It tells us that we are wrong. (Watch Brene’s Ted talk Listening to Shame)
To effectively deal with procrastination, overdoing, perfectionism, and overscheduling you have to look shame in the eye recognize it, own it, and practice courage and vulnerability to release it.
It is time for us women to remember to love ourselves first, to own the shame and then release it. Share your feelings of shame with someone you trust and then let it go. Don’t lose your power over it.
Think: How can I set realistic expectations for myself and then own and release the shame?
Biggest Stressor # 3:
Making time for me with the current stress to meet basic needs right now is primary. There is so much to do and not enough time in the day.
My Recommendation for dealing with stress:
Time is one of the biggest stressors for women. We try to juggle our zillion roles and feel pressured to do more, to work harder, and to get more things done. The reality is that we all have the same amount of hours in a day. What’s different is our attitude towards time. Time is a question of priorities, and how we use our time is a choice. It might be an unconscious choice, but when you become aware of what your true priorities are, you can start making time work for you instead of against you.
When ?making time for me? is not a priority, there’s no wonder it never happens! There is always something more important to do, right? WRONG.
It is time for us women to remember that we are human BEINGS rather than human DOINGS and to manage our time instead of allowing time to manage us.
Think: What can I take off my plate ?to create some time for me?
What projects am I willing to drop to achieve the peace and balance I need?
Biggest Stressor # 4:
I’m always so tired! I simply want to sleep better at night!
I hear this one from women all the time. You go, go, go all day long, and at the end of the day you crash. You are tired, yet you can’t relax.
The amount of stress or balance that you experience when you wake up in the morning depends not only on the quality of your sleep but on how you felt the night before. The most important factor in falling into a good night’s sleep is managing stress during the day. The less stressed you are by the end of the day, the easier it will be for you to unwind.
It is time for us women to see the connection between our stress level throughout the day and our inability to sleep well. Only then we can make changes to help us transition peacefully into a good night’s sleep.
Think: What daily practices am I willing to create to help me sleep better? (read the ideas in the articles above)
Women, there are more than four stressors in life. Not taking care of yourself first, overscheduling yourself, letting time manage you, and feeling tired all the time are just some common ones. On the positive side, there’s always a solution to help you manage stress. If you didn’t see your personal stressor on my list, please share with me your biggest stressor in the comments area. I will reply with some recommendations! And if you have other great ideas for dealing with stress that work for you, please share them!