It’s Stress Awareness month! If you haven’t seen my post here about Stress Awareness month and the stress awareness takeover, then go and check it out so that you can see what is going on!
I’m Fi, I’m 34 and a Mum of two! I blog over at BeautyBabyandMe.com and write honestly about the highs and lows I go through in this crazy Mum Life! I am a wear your heart on your sleeve kinda gal, and I blog in a way that reassures other Mums it’s not just them who are occasionally losing their shit! I’m very much a womans woman, all about the sisterhood, and love supporting my fellow sleep deprived Mamas.
You can find me at:
1.) Do you suﬀer with stress frequently or occasionally?
Occasionally. It certainly used to be frequently but after a particularly dark period back in 2014, I’ve learnt how to manage it a bit better.
2.) What sort of things cause you stress?
I am a terrible worry wart and often feel like I have ten things going on in my mind. I worry about my family and the kids and making sure I am doing everything I can for them – they are my priority and I worry often I am not doing enough for them (when really I am) I give myself a bit of a rough deal sometimes.
3.) Does anything in particular make stress worse for you?
I am useless because I worry about what others think of me. We’ve recently realised that Josh, my two year old son, has some challenges that point towards autisim and I worry about going out with him and handling potential public meltdowns. These are tough for Mums at the best of times but I now feel I have to explain myself, or Josh’s behaviour to people who love to stare at Mums who are dealing with a tantrum throwing toddler rather than giving a much appreciated “I’ve been there” look and offering to help!
I really hate myself for this because I champion other Mums on my blog and always tell them not to worry about what others think, that they’ve got this motherhood malarkey, but I am pretty shit at not taking my own advice.
4.) Does stress have an impact on your physical health?
It certainly used to. Back in 2014 I slipped into depression and anxiety and started to suffer panic attacks – as anyone who has suffered them will know, these are terrifying. I didn’t speak up about how low I was feeling for a long time and the impact that had on my life was massive; my marriage suffered, friendships were affected and in the end I left my job because I had got so low I had days where I didn’t even want to get out of bed. Leaving the job was the best thing I ever did as that was the source of my stress and by eliminating it, and being brave enough to speak up about the stress and anxiety it was causing me, I was able to face things head on, get support and get better. I found that stress caused me insomnia, headaches, and I often got these horrendous tummy aches; it was like all the anxiety and stress was swirling round inside my stomach wanting to explode out!
5.) What do you do to alleviate stress?
Now, I speak up. I talk to my husband who is the most logical person I know. In fact he created the Worry List which started off as a joke but turned out to be a Godsend. So if I say to him I feel stressed and overwhelmed and have a lot on my mind, he makes me write a list of every single thing that’s worrying me, from the big things such as money, to the little things (I’ve been known to get wound up because I’ve not done stupid little things such as clean the fridge! Ridiculous I know). He then goes through and helps me eliminate those worries from the silly small things (no one cares about your fridge – if it doesn’t smell, you’re fine) to the big things such as money and the kids. We work together as a team and we deal with them head on. I never bottle things up anymore – hence why I blog! Get it all out I say!
6.) Do you think more needs to be done to raise awareness of what causes stress and the impact it has on us and those around us? If yes, what would you do or like to see done?
Yes. I think stress can have such a massive impact and it affects your life in so many ways; you worry, you don’t sleep, you’re tired, you’re grumpy, you lose patience with your kids, you don’t concentrate in the car….. things can escalate and snowball. And I think there is a huge pressure on the whole “Perfect Mum” thing – we are supposed to be seen to be having it all; career, family life, a sense of fashion and the ability to walk in high heels whilst juggling playdates and baking cupcakes. It’s too much and it’s unrealistic. We need to work together to show no one is perfect but that we’re all doing our best and not put so much pressure on ourselves and each other.
7.) Do you have any tips for anyone dealing with stress?
Be kind to yourself. Speak up because you will be astonished at how many others are feeling the way you are and in turn you can help and support each other. You know yourself better than anyone; you know how much you can handle, and how much you can take on. Just take each day at a time – don’t over plan or over think and remind yourself every day of what an amazing job you’re doing. Celebrate the small wins and take things step by step.
If you want to see more about stress awareness then please search ‘stress awareness’ to read all the posts throughout April.