Stressed out mom

How to Stop Being A Stressed-Out Mom, with Lynn Durham – RFL028

How to Stop Being a Stressed-Out Mom – Episode Overview

Does your world have you constantly running? Do you feel stressed out as you bring your kids to this activity and that, go to work, manage your house, stay in touch with friends, fix things that break and deal with the cuts, scrapes and bruises and emotional traumas of your kids’ lives? It’s enough to make your head explode.

Life is indeed complicated; we have so much to manage. And the more that gets added to our parenting pile, the more stressed out we can become. That is until we realize that we are just one thought away from feeling better, saner, calmer and steadier in our lives. We have this amazing capacity to be our own pharmacy – we have what we need to handle what live sends us and to live happily and calmly. Our guest Lynn Durham shows us how.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on the stressed-out mom or parent. And my intention is to share ways to help you reframe how you show up to your moments – even the ones that can drive you crazy – so that you learn to move from stressed to sane – to manage and really love your life as a parent.

Meet our guest Lynn Durham

Lynn Durham - no longer a stressed out momLynn Durham is a mother of 3 boys, a registered nurse, speaker, wellbeing coach and author of Frazzled to Fantastic and over 100 articles and columns; her audio book is called Dancing Gracefully With Life. She has always been interested in and passionate about helping others feel better through her writing, retreat facilitation and speaking. She tries to live a frazzle-free life in woods of New Hampshire.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Stop and notice what gets you stressed out and frazzled. You can change and improve if you don’t see it or know it. Start a list of what gets you stressed.
  2. To manage your stressful situations, focus on resilience – to find the inner strength to deal with what life sends you. Do this through the 3 Rs – relax, reflect and respond). When we do this we shift out of reacting into a more intentional way of being.
    • R#1 – Relax. Take a deep belly breath (create a pause). This helps you move from your habit (default) brain to access your thinking brain. This moment or minute you take when you take that cleansing breath instantly starts to calm you and shifts your perspective to be open to considering other options – it shifts you out of react and moves you to respond. And choices from “respond” are so much greater and more meaningful.
    • R#2 – Reflect. You can’t reflect if you first haven’t relaxed. Reflecting means in a moment of clarity, consider what else can happen here. What is another way of looking at this? What could make this better? What other options can I consider here? And in the process you shift from stressed out to being able to solve calmly and sanely.
    • R#3 – Respond. With the ability to reflect, you now have the ability to respond wisely. Much of why we are frazzled and stressed out is we don’t know how to calm things down, think about them differently then choose a response wisely and carefully. We react instead of respond. We default into our decisions instead of choosing them intentionally.
  3. If you can’t get out of it, then choose to get into it. If you have to do something, then choose to show up big to it.
  4. Feeling good book cover for stressed out moms and parentsCheck out this great book referred by Lynn Durham, written by David Burns – Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapy. A national bestseller, this book offers the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life.
  5. Habits are built little by little. Give yourself time to start new things – just remember to keep moving forward. Break things down into smaller pieces.

Some question for parents:

  1. What events get you stressed or frazzled?
  2. When you feel stressed or frazzled, what is your go-to behavior? Does it serve you?
  3. How might you use a deep breath to relax when you are feeling stressed?
  4. How might your deep breath give you the space to reflect calmly and sanely?
  5. How might your reflection help you respond more wisely, creatively and successfully?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice what gets you frazzled. Why? What are your triggers?
  2. Stop and Notice what you do when you get frazzled – and if it serves you. How open are you to learning new habits to not be so stressed out?
  3. Stop and Notice how taking a deep breath when you feel stressed gives you room and space to think differently, saner and calmer.
  4. Stop and Notice that the better solutions that arise when you respond instead of react. How might you approach all challenges with responses – taking the time to relax, reflect then respond, instead of defaulting to your reactions.

Parenting can get you stressed out. That doesn’t change that your kids still need you to be their guide, support and coach – to find their way in life. They are works in process – and that means there is a lot of learning going on. The more aware you are of what stresses you out, the more successful you will be to work intentionally to relax, reflect and respond, to improve the impact you will have in helping your kids get ready for life.

Suggested Resource:

From Frazzled to Fantastic- You’re One Thought Aware from Feeling Better By Lynn Durham

Frazzled book cover, from former stressed out mom Lynn DurhamDid you know that 5 minutes of remembered anger can depress your immune function for up to 6 hours? That your platelets get sticky with stress? That the telomeres on your DNA shorten and you age faster? This book is filled with stories, comments, suggestions, quotes and references to medical research rich in proving the psychological and physical benefits in healthy thinking and feeling good. You can look over the “new thoughts” at the end of each segment with an open mind and see if there are any you want to “test drive” in your life to change your heart variability pattern from jagged and erratic to a more coherent rhythm as you move From Frazzled To Fantastic.