Stressed mum? Here’s how to take the pressure off

stressed mum

Are you sick and tired of being a stressed mum? Are you looking for some ways to help you cope with mum life stress? If you are a stressed mum, then you are not alone. With full-time working mothers of two children reportedly 40% more stressed, high stress related to Covid, and let’s not face other stressful situations like starting nursery, starting school, and juggling childcare requirements, being a stressed mum feels like the basic standard of modern-day motherhood.

If you are a stressed mum – which the odds say you most probably are – today I wanted share some tips from Gill Hasson and Eliza Todd’s wonderful new book which has been helping me to stay calm every day – Moments of Comfort: Embracing the Joy in Life’s Simple Pleasures – on how to feel more chill than stressed mum.

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When you’re going through difficulties in your life, you need to take the pressure off; let go of some of your commitments, duties and obligations so that you don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to cope brilliantly and you don’t have to be amazing; you just need to do the minimum to get by, because that’s all you can do and for now, that’s just how it’s going to be.

Give yourself some time to think

…about which of your commitments and obligations are not so important right now.

Ask yourself questions such as…

  • What do I want to do with my time?
  • For now, what do I have to do and not have to do?
  • Where do I want to go and not go?
  • Who do I want to see and not want to see?
  • Who depends on me – who do I have to see or attend to?
  • For now, what can I stop doing and who can I stop seeing?

Cutting back on commitments doesn’t mean that you should remove yourself from everything and everyone, but when you’re experiencing difficulties in your life you do need to be aware of your limits and know that it’s OK to stick to them; saying ‘no thanks’ or ‘not now’ to requests for your time; for your presence, abilities and contributions.

It is OK to say no

It’s not selfish or unkind. When someone asks you to do something, makes a suggestion or extends a well-meaning invitation notice how you immediately feel. Uninterested? Anxious? Pressured? Stressed? Simply say, ‘Thank you for asking me, but I don’t want to / can’t / don’t feel up to it / not this time.’

There’s no need for a long explanation and excuses. Be honest. You only need one valid reason why you can’t or don’t want to do something.

Although you may need to step back from life for a while when you’re going through a difficult period, don’t drop all your connections with others. Your link to family and friends is important for your sense of wellbeing and belonging. You just need to tighten the circle for a bit and limit your time to spending it with those people who support or comfort you in some way.

This is an edited extract from Moments of Comfort: Embracing the Joy in Life’s Simple Pleasures, written by Gill Hasson and illustrated by Eliza Todd (published by Capstone, October 2021)

Gill Hasson has written more than 30 books on the subject of wellbeing for adults and for children; books on emotional intelligence, resilience, mindfulness, overcoming anxiety, happiness and kindness. She also delivers teaching and training for education organisations, voluntary and business organisations and the public sector. Gill’s particular interest and motivation is in helping people to find ways to navigate life’s ups and downs; to manage the downs and to benefit from the ups; to build their confidence and realise their potential. Follow: @gillhasson or visit www.gillhasson.co.uk

Eliza Todd is the artist and illustrator behind the brand A Peace of Werk. She is a mixed media artist who licenses her art to brands for stationery and home decor worldwide. Through her brand A Peace of Werk, Eliza strives to create art that is uplifting and encourages us to remember that through all of life’s ups and downs there is beauty and richness to be found in the journey. Follow @apeaceofwerk or visit www.apeaceofwerk.com

Family photo created by senivpetro – www.freepik.com

5 comments

  1. Great post! I had to learn to say no last year and I feel freaking fantastic! If a mom doesn’t look after herself then the family feels it and it makes more stress for mom. So yeah I didn’t realise how great it would feel to just switch off!

  2. I was not very good at saying ‘no’ when I was younger, but I have become much better at it! I agree that when you are stressed, it’s important to focus on only the essential things you need to do!

  3. I truly needed to read this, today morning. Helped me calm down and introspect. Thanks for sharing this excerpt from Moments of Comfort: Embracing the Joy in Life’s Simple Pleasures, by Gill Hasson and illustrated by Eliza Todd. I look forward to reading the book.

  4. This is exactly what I needed to hear today.

    Thank you for reminding us that it’s okay to say no and yes there is no need for long explanation and excuses. You just made me feel better.

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