Those The first, most important step towards stress management

  Those who think that beinga homebody is a lot better than having to deal with the stresses of the officecouldn’t be more wrong.

Research done in 2012 by Sarah Dmaske and AdrianneFrech of the University of Akron, indicated that office-going mothers whoworked full-time enjoyed better mental and physical health than part-timeworking mothers and those tied to the home, 24 x 7. What causes stress? If you’re a stay-at-home mom,you’ve probably experienced stress or boredom quite often. Studies show thathome-bound mothers get stressed when: ·        They wear themselves out by handling an unfair amount of workloadinstead of delegating tasks to their partners.·        They don’t get timely assurances from their partners that they’re doinga good job.·        Their children don’t live up to their expectations, and they begin toquestion their ability as parents. ·        The constant demands of their children grate on their nerves and makethem lose their temper.

·        They are unable to retreat into a private space to take a breather, orfind time to pursue personal interests.·        They try to measure up to the friendly neighbourhood supermom. ·        They experience a sense of isolation and yearn for a socially activelife.

·        They believe they’re losing out on opportunities by not working at theoffice. What can you do about it? The first, most importantstep towards stress management is admitting to yourself that you suffer fromthe condition, and then going all out to deal with the problem. Given below aresteps you can take to reduce tensions and anxieties and be a happier,home-loving mom.

 Identify stressful times in the day: When is it that you’re stretched to the limit? In themorning, when you have to send the kids to school? Evenings when there’s dinnerto be prepared? Weekends, when you usually add the week’s laundry to yourchores? Once you’ve identified the high-pressure times of the day, you can makeadjustments to ease the workload. For example, you could rise earlier on anytwo weekdays to do the laundry and thus eliminate that chore on the weekend. Asfor cooking, how about preparing twice the quantity of a dish that featuresregularly on the dining table, so you can serve it at another meal withouthaving to prepare it again?Prepare a weekly timetable: People often get stressed when they’re faced with work they haven’t preparedfor. If you often find yourself in such a situation, then you need to plan for theweek in advance, spacing out household chores and setting aside time forleisure. A timetable gives you an overview of tasks to be completed, allowingyou to prepare for events that require planning—for example, a barbeque bashfor friends on the terrace. Workout to music: Music can lift your spirits and exercise will improve your health, sowhy not get the benefit of both in one neat package? Buy an exercise video (itusually comes with catchy music) and set aside fifteen minutes a day—yes, that’sall it takes—for a quick workout. You’ll feel good about yourself, lessstressed, and better equipped to take on the challenges of the day.

Do a stress-busting course: Find out if yoga sessions are being conducted in yourneighbourhood and get enrolled. Yoga is a proven destresser; besides, it wouldbe a change to get out of the home and make new friends.Put the kids to work! Assign tasks to the kids according to each one’s capacity. Yourteenaged daughter could be sent to the supermarket to do the bazaar, whileyounger children could be given lighter chores like dusting and tidying up orhelping out with food preparation.

Getting your kids involved with running thehouse will help them develop life skills and a sense of responsibility whileeasing work pressures for you.Pursue a hobby: Are there hobbies you had to shelve just because you didn’t have enoughtime for them? Well, if you set aside a few hours a week to work on a watercolour,an ambitious embroidery project, or a short story collection, you’ll get somerespite from the daily grind and experience a sense of achievement.Join a course: Would you like to learn a musical instrument? Or a ballroom dance? Orthe art of public speaking? You may not have a career in mind, but who knows wherea new skill will take you?   Get a club going: If you live in a gated community that owns a clubhouse, take part in planningand organising activities for its members. But even if you don’t reside in ahousing society or a colony, you can still begin a club of sorts withhomebodies that share your interests. Once you have it going (just a dozenmembers should suffice), there’s a lot you can do to add new dimensions to yourlife. For example:   ·        Plan a cooking fest for the families of the club members, making ittheme-based to arouse interest.

It could be a monthly do, with differentcuisines explored each time. ·        Organise book reading sessions for the literary minded, where a readingfrom a chosen book selected by the group is followed by a discussion of thesame. Book reading sessions for little kids could also be organised, with clubmembers taking turns to offer their houses as venues, space permitting.  ·        Play a board game that a group can participate in: Dumb Charade,Monopoly, Bottom Line, Twenty Questions, Scrabble, and any multiplayer cardgame, for example.

·        Organise games for the neighbourhood kids in the common garden of thecolony, if there is one. Children’s Day would be appropriate for such an event,which could include sack races, lime-and-spoon races, treasure hunts, cricketmatches, etc.   ·        Organise a kiddie party and get the kids involved with planning the gamesand the menu. You could get the older children to help with food preparationand decorations.·        Organise a picnic on Women’s Day. Get all your fellow stay-at-homemothers to tell their hubbies that they’re taking the day off!·        Get authorities in various fields to make presentations on issuesconcerning women, such as self-defense, health and nutrition, child rearing,etc.

      Yes, there’s a lot ahomebody can do that an office-bound person can’t. So why not explore thesepossibilities and make the most of life? Doubtless, you’ll be busier thanbefore, but with more variety in your life, stress levels will drop. You’lldiscover that being a house-bound mother can be fun, after all.