Do you feel run down at the end of the day, with no energy for prepping dinner and taking care of the kids? You’re not alone — millions of working moms struggle to juggle too many roles, and they suffer the effects of having too much stress.
Dr. David Larson at SourceMD: Integrated Wellness Solutions in Encinitas, California, sees the devastating effects of stress on many patients, but particularly working moms.
Specializing in functional medicine — a unique approach to health care that focuses on finding the root cause of medical conditions rather than merely treating symptoms — Dr. Larson often identifies stress as the underlying culprit in common health problems.
Here’s what you need to know about the link between stress and your overall health, and what you can do to reduce it while keeping your job, your relationships, and your sanity.
It doesn’t take an extreme situation, like a charging bear or a bank robbery, to trigger stress hormones. Everyday stress from traffic, overscheduling, confrontations, relationship problems, financial trouble, or a crying baby can keep your stress hormones flowing all day long.
In large, continuous doses, these hormones can affect your body. Here are some of the common consequences of sustained stress:
Today’s fast-paced lifestyle has most people living and working at warp speed, so you may not be able to avoid stress altogether, but if you don’t learn to keep it under control, you’ll likely pay the price in declining health.
You want to be the best mom you can be and still succeed in your job, and we’re here to help you achieve that. Here are some ways you can combat stress as a working mom:
When you know what to expect, you have one less thing to worry about. Regular routines are a great way to eliminate concern over what to do next. For example, set specific days for laundry and meal prep, and set regular bath and bedtimes.
The best way to deal with the stress of maintaining your lifestyle and achieving the next level is to keep setting the goals that helped you succeed your whole life — just make smaller ones. Baby steps is the name of the game now.
When you have a million things on your to-do list, it’s easy to get distracted. You may start folding laundry then remember about an email you need to send, only to get sidetracked by the sink full of dishes. Make it a point to finish one task before moving on to another. It may mean that the dishes wait until morning, and that’s okay.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t strive to be the best mom and worker you can be, but if perfectionism is stressing you out, then you should switch gears and shoot for progress instead of perfection. Crossing tasks off your list feels great and reduces stress.
Working and parenting aren’t sports, yet so many working moms compete against one another as if there are winners and losers. The sooner you embrace the fact that every mom, every job, and every home life is different, the sooner you’ll realize that comparing yourself to other moms is an apples-to-oranges situation.
It’s easy to buy into the lie that the best parents are those who sacrifice themselves for their children.
You may be one of them — running yourself ragged trying to make sure they have everything they want and need. But make no mistake; they're watching you and learning how to be an adult by your example.
Teach them that self-care is essential to their overall health and the health of the entire family. Bottom line: take some well-deserved, unapologetic “me time.”
You’ve heard the old adage “it takes a village to raise a child,” and it’s true. There’s nothing heroic in ruining your health when there’s help available.
When the stress starts building up, call a friend or family member to watch the kids while you take a break. If your lifestyle is so stressful it’s causing physical and emotional symptoms, Dr. Larson can help you deal with the stress and balance your work and home life through integrative psychiatry.
If you’re noticing the negative effects of too much stress, contact us at 760-230-1317 today to address the stress and the problems it’s causing.