Who is most stressed? Married or single women?
Yep, you guessed it, married women with children are much more likely to be experiencing higher levels of stress than their single childless friends, but there are some simple things you can do about it. This short article by the American Psychological Society gives the following tips: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/supermom.aspx
Strategies to help mothers manage stress:
- Understand how you experience stress — Everyone experiences stress differently. How do you know when you are stressed? How are your thoughts or behaviors different from times when you do not feel stressed?
- Identify stressors — What events or situations trigger stressful feelings? Are they related to your children, family health, financial decisions, work, relationships or something else?
- Recognize how you deal with stress — Determine if you are using unhealthy behaviors to cope with the stress of motherhood. Is this a routine behavior, or is it specific to certain events or situations? Do you make unhealthy choices as a result of feeling rushed and overwhelmed, such as stopping for fast food while running errands or picking up your kids? Put things in perspective — make time for what’s really important. Prioritize and delegate responsibilities. Identify ways your family and friends can lessen your load so that you can take a break. Delay or say no to less important tasks.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress — Consider healthy, stress-reducing activities — taking a short walk, exercising or talking things out with friends or family. Keep in mind that unhealthy behaviors develop over time and can be difficult to change. Don’t take on too much at once. Focus on changing only one behavior at a time.
- Ask for professional support — Accepting help from supportive friends and family can improve your ability to persevere during stressful times. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist who can help you manage stress and change unhealthy behaviors.