They work, they cook, they clean, they juggle, they shuttle, they worry.
It shows up in stress which takes it’s toll on the body, and it’s now showing up more than ever before.
Moms are tired, maxed out, they can’t sleep, they are overweight.
Woman according to a 2008 survey by the American Pysycholigical Association, are more affected by stress than men. Unhealthy behaviors like comfort eating, poor food choices, smoking and inactivity now shows up in their physical health. Stressed woman are at risk for serious health concerns down the road
The stress response, also known as flight or flight is a very automatic function of the nervous system. It’s one thing to have it kick in and give you the ability to run like heck when you need it. Yet if the response becomes chronic it can really goof up our hormonal and physical chemistry. This can show up in your heart rate, your blood pressure and your blood sugar. It can actually effect major systems of the body like the immune system, the digestive system, and our reproductive and growth processes.
Normally the stress response is self regulating. Example: a child gets lost – we go into a full alert panic as we try to find him or her, yet once we find resolve ( and the child ) our bodies become calm again. Balance.
However nowadays everything has become full alert, the body never gets a chance to chill out – it never gets to recharge.
Which are the areas of the body that feel it most?
Digestion - when digestion shuts down it manifests itself physically; a stomach ache, diarrhea, or constipation – if you are stressed and shutting down digestion due to fight or flight responses you are creating a chronic concern. Our digestive system was not meant to be in constant stress. Woman experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome 3 times more than men
Immune Response – suppressed immunity occurs after repeated call to action. The immune system is a very complex balancing act, when it’s in full working order it’s pretty darn miraculous. Yet our full and rigorous lives have us increasing our immunity risk not only to infections but to more serious disorders. Auto-immune diseases are more prevalant in woman.
Cardiovascular Health - if you are constantly stressed you actually raise your heart rate altering your personal chemistry – this chronic acceleration increases risk for heart attack and stroke. Constant fight or flight response can cause an overproduction of cortisol and may have you feeling anxious and depressed
Nervous System - brain cells lose their ability to function and structure when stressed. This shows up in memory function. I thought my classic where is my car parked syndrome was a function of getting older!
Sleep Deprivation – chronic stress and anxiety contributes to sleepless nights, while normally this was thought to be a new mom syndrome, it is now is found in all stages of their lives – woman aren’t getting enough sleep more than ever before. Woman tend to have more insomnia than men. Sleep is what recharges the cortisol connection.
Obesity – the collection of central obesity or the accumulation of abdominal fat is seemingly a direct corrulation to the levels of cortisol in the body, this apple type body shape increases the risk of heart disease dramatically.
SIX Ways to Manage MOM Stress
Being a single mom of two has had it’s moments, however parenting by far has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Some of my very roughest times were managed simply by taking care of me first, being a better me – created me as a much better mom
ONE - Identify the stressors, we can not fix what we haven’t identified. Strive to find solutions. Be determined. Besides creating less stress, strident problem solving is a great example for our families
TWO – Schedule personal relaxation times – simply pausing several times a day to breathe, collect and organize your thoughts can recharge even the busiests of moms. Additionally actually scheduling something, anything outside the home regularly can provide just the right relief valve, don’t have the money? A walk with a friend is free. Just do it.
THREE – Eat right. We all know this. I have personally had success with being mindful, eating a variety of foods, and not buying the junk- if it’s around – I’ll eat it!
FOUR – When is bed time? We establish that routine for our kids perhaps it would benefit us as moms too. If our child doesn’t get their nap are they cranky? fatigued? Why would we think anything less for us as moms – go to bed!
FIVE – Movement stimulates all the systems of the body. 10 minutes each and every day is better than nothing. Start with 10 minutes of anything after a big glass of water each and every day and see what a difference that makes for you
SIX – Oh my goodness — Take your vitamins!!Nutritional gaps are inevitable, a really good multi-vitamin is a great start, yet often we need more. Not sure what you need ? I’d love to help.