Surveys have shown Australian stress levels keep rising. Anecdotally, most of the people I speak to have said they are stressed and it seems to be the same things are stressing them – finance, family, no ‘me-time’, work stress and in general feeling overwhelmed.
Why are we so stressed?
As a mum, I know I get stressed because I put too much pressure on myself. I was chatting with another mum the other day and made the comment “Pinterest has ruined motherhood!”
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest. Fancy, crafty, great cooking mum I am not! I slapped together my daughters birthday cake and thankfully she has asked for the same cake 3 years in a row. If I didn’t want to, I don’t even have to cook it! It’s her favourite “Rock Cake” aka choc mud cake covered in Nutella with Ferrero Rocher and Malteasers.
I don’t spend hours doing craft projects or science experiments. Mind you when I was a kid, my mum referred to her mistakes/accidents such as leaving a full bottle of Fanta in the freezer and having it explode all over everything or the time she accidentally lifted the mix master while it was still beating as “science experiments”. She was showing us what happens when you do stuff. It was never planned out, it did teach us some interesting things though! So maybe I do do science experiments…
Anyway, my point is we are stressed because we put so much pressure on ourselves. We are supposed to look a certain way (like a fitness model, even after 4 kids, right???). We are supposed to be domestic goddesses, keeping the house perfectly clean, sew, bake, garden, work full time and contribute to the family financially, entertain, do everything everyone asks and have it all.
No one expects that except ourselves. We are putting the pressure on ourselves and it is making us sick. Instead of doing everything you think everyone else wants you to do, step back, work out what you want, what sort of life and lifestyle is what you want, then make it happen!
If family is stressing you, what is it exactly? You don’t have to stay in contact with people simply because they are ‘family’. If it’s a toxic relationship, walk away. If it’s that you need some time alone or a holiday with you and your spouse only, make it happen.
No “me-time” getting you down? Make yourself a priority! Men do it so well. Stop putting everyone else first. If you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of anyone else and when your mood is low, it impacts on the whole house. Don’t know how to find the time? Check out these tips to find an extra 30 hours a month. Don’t know how to afford a massage or something? Check your health insurance and see what you are covered for. Some include massage, reflexology, Bowen therapy, gym memberships etc. If you don’t have extras, do a comparison to see what the price difference is. For me, it was minimal and totally worth it.
Work stressing you out? Look for a different job, find ways to streamline what you do, look at what is stressing you about your job, what changes you need then renegotiate your conditions.
Overwhelmed in general? Ask for help, go to counselling, spend time with friends and family. Learn to switch off and stop putting the pressure on yourself.
What do you think? Why are we so stressed?