Successfully raising two infants, managing a household, going back to work, and nurturing important relationships with friends, family, and one's husband is a pretty spectacular feat. It's also pretty stressful.
I don't want to lie here—never would. As a twin mom, things get stressful. Some nights I fall into bed feeling utterly exhausted and defeated. Other days I may kick butt in one aspect of my life while another aspect slides a bit.
It's important, particularly after having twins, to find balance and follow your desired path. But there will be bumps in the road. Remember that those bumps are just bumps—your journey will continue. And if your pace slows a bit, that's okay.
Here are 10 ways to deal with and manage stress that work for me:
- Give yourself a moment. If a bout with stress is coming on, realize it and take a few moments to calm yourself.
- Take care of you. Exercise and eat right. Exercise is the best stress reliever.
- Wake up before your kids. This way, you can start your day on your terms and have a few minutes of adult time each morning.
- Get a maid. If you are having trouble managing the household, it's okay to get a bit of help. Hiring someone to come even just once a month can make a difference.
- Plan meals for the week. Try your best to make one big list and head to the grocery store once on the weekend, ideally early in the morning before it gets crowded.
- Communicate with your partner. Talk about what is causing stress, and try to determine if there are ways you can support each other. Remember that the two of you are a team!
- Make time for friends. Other moms know exactly what you are going through. Make time to nurture your female friendships, as that support is simply extraordinary. (Twin Mom Maritza has some great tips for finding time for friends.)
- Make your bed every morning. It may seem silly, but it's a proven fact that accomplishing the simple task starts the mind moving in a positive direction each morning.
- Use lists. You can't keep everything in your head. Use lists at work and home, and take advantage of technology such as the voice recorder on your cell phone for dictating things you need to do and recalling reminders.
- Stay organized. When you know exactly where things are, it will help you manage your time and create efficiency.
Last but not least, whenever possible—but particularly when you are feeling stressed—try to remember to live in the present. By that I mean, don't get overwhelmed by future anxiety or past perceived failures. Appreciate what is around you, and take action to manage the moment. Little wins add up and make a huge difference. Remember all the gifts and amazing things life has given you.
It's humbling to think about.
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