Most WAHMs are in need of quick and easy relaxation techniques for those times when stress gets a little out of hand. It is difficult for WAHMs to strike a work-life balance, so you need a few tricks up your sleeve when it comes to stress management. Following are 9 quick and easy relaxation techniques for those times you need a breather:
When that "fight or flight" response kicks in, your breathing becomes shallow and your heart rate speeds up. It's important to slow your body's biological response by taking several mindful deep breaths.
2. Have a Drink
Well, not necessarily a "drink," but taking a moment to sip some water or calming tea is a good way to stop the jitters.
3. Take a Walk
Step away from the situation--literally. Give yourself five minutes to walk around the block and clear your mind. The physical exertion is good for your body and the time away from the office will assist you with stress relief.
4. Get a Hug
Sometimes, the best relief for stress is a good old bear hug from your child or significant other. It helps calm down your body's stress response and being near a loved one helps you keep things in perspective.
Laughter is the best medicine and a quick release for stress when you are upset. Keep funny photos nearby, watch funny videos on YouTube and have a "joke file" on your computer. Keeping a sense of humor is crucial to maintaining a work-life balance.
6. Listen to Music
Music has a remarkable calming effect on your body. Play your favorite music in the background as you work, and you will be amazed at how much peppier you feel at the end of a stressful day. Some WAHMs prefer classical or New Age music to create a stress-free environment; others blast rock or country as they drive around town performing errands.
7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a stress reduction technique you can practice anywhere. You begin by slowly tensing your muscles, from your toes all the way to the top of your head. Then as you exhale, you gently release those muscles, from your head down to your toes. This simple exercise can calm anxiety symptoms.
8. Guided Imagery
"Go into your happy place," the joke goes. Cheesy as it may sound, guided imagery can take you from a negative situation to positive thinking just by using your imagination. Try googling the term "guided imagery" for a series of exercises or scripts you can practice.
9. Think: "What's the Worst That Can Happen?"
Stop and ask yourself, "What's the worst that can happen?" Spend 5 minutes brainstorming every disastrous outcome of your current situation. Then, take a moment to rest. Then, return to your list and ask yourself, "How likely is it that will really happen?" By taking a few minutes to vent, and then realistically assess your situation, you gain perspective and can form a backup plan in case the absolute worst case scenario strikes.
Unfortunately, stress is an inevitable part of modern life, especially for WAHMs. But by having some quick and easy relaxation techniques close at hand, you can better manage your stress and strike a reasonable work-life balance.
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.