Find me a mother who can claim (with a straight face) that she has never felt stressed by the length of her to-do list, the mountain of laundry waiting to be done, or the fact that she can't seem to find a moment of silence during the day, and I'll be truly amazed. Their reasons may differ, but the result is the same: mothers' stress levels are oftentimes too high to be healthy. There are tried and true methods to bringing these levels down—and they don't require a new line-item on the budget!
It sounds so simple, but truthfully—how slowly and deeply do you breathe when you're in the midst of a stressful situation? I bet if you pay attention the next time you're shoulder-deep in such a circumstance, you'll realize your breathing pattern is more akin to panting away the contractions that got your children here in the first place! Dr. Melissa Stoppler, Stress Management Guide for About.com recommends, "Before reacting to the next stressful occurrence, take three deep breaths and release them slowly." If you have time, sit and breathe this way for three to five minutes or more. Imagine that you are breathing the stress right out of your body.