Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stress Happens

Stress is such a relatable emotion, especially with mothers of preschoolers. Stress seems to typically occur when life delivers unexpected consequences that we are almost never prepared for and if you are human, that is a frequent reality. For a mom, that spark could be ignited by anything from a milk stain on the couch to an exorcist-type tantrum in Target. Big or small, stress doesn't discriminate.

Leila Todd was gracious enough to visit our last meeting and share great counsel on how to identify stress individually and ways to manage it. I must confess I felt my internal self nod in affirmation more times than I'd like to admit when Leila pointed out the various Stress Signatures. But at least now I feel equipped to recognize those signals and confident in myself to work through it successfully.

2 Basic Premises:
We are created exactly how God wanted us
We have the experiences in life that God wants us to have

Stress Signatures:

4 Levels of Love:
Level 1: I love Me
Level 2: I love you as long as you love me
Level 3: I love You
Level 4: I love Me so that I can love You

Sources of Stress:
Lack of sleep
Lack of alone time
Life's transitions
Uniqueness of each child
Not feeling "good enough" to do the job
Different hats mothers wear

Building Blocks for Self-Resilience:
Take time to define what kind of person you want to be
Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually

For your own personal reflection, answer the following questions:
1. What are the common stressors that mothers of preschoolers experience?
2. If you had to choose one "stress signature" you experience, what would it be?
3. What have you found is a helpful way to create balance in your life or bring a sense of "calm" after a bad day?
4. Can you think of one thing you know you can change that would increase your sense of resilience?

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