• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Balancing act: Strategies for managing stress in the modern woman

How to motivate your partner to become better

Stress has a profound impact on mental health, as it can trigger or exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. Prolonged exposure to stress, also known as chronic stress, can impair cognitive function, disrupt sleep patterns, and weaken the immune system, contributing to the development or worsening of mental health disorders. Managing stress effectively is thus crucial to protecting mental wellbeing and fostering resilience in the face of life challenges.

Read also: Nigerian-born sailor lost at Red Sea, was mental health advocate

In today’s fast-paced world, the modern woman often finds herself juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, from career demands to family obligations and personal aspirations. In this article, we delve into the complexities of managing stress in a modern woman’s life and offer practical strategies for creating balance, fostering resilience, and nurturing well-being.

Disclaimer: I haven’t been able to create that balance; I’m struggling, to be honest; perhaps you can.

Understanding stress in the modern woman

The demands of the modern world can take a toll on women’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being, leading to chronic stress and burnout. As you know, we are supposed to be superhumans, right? Culture, societal norms, and expectations have been put on the table; we can take it all. We can do it all. I am not at this table with you. I can’t take it all, and I definitely can’t do it all. It’s been a while since I received a sensation. I have nothing to prove to anyone.

Balancing work, family, social commitments, and personal pursuits can feel like an endless juggling act, leaving little time for self-care and relaxation. The pressure to excel in every aspect of life, coupled with societal expectations and cultural norms, can further exacerbate stress levels, impacting the overall quality of life.

I haven’t been able to create a healthy balance between my roles as a wife, mother, coach, and businesswoman. The last time I looked at my life wheel, I realised the truth: I’m no superhuman; I’m a woman struggling to keep it together in almost every area of my life: marriage, family, career, business, physical and mental health, finances, spirituality, fun and adventure, personal growth and development—that is my strongest area. I seem more committed to my personal growth than to parenting right now. I know that my youngest daughter, then 9 years old, made a complaint about how I was busy helping other people’s children and ignoring mine. (Ouch, it hurt, but it was feedback.) We came up with a plan on how to spend quality time; it is still work in progress.

Show the wheel of life

Balance is not something found, but rather created. As a 47-year-old woman with numerous issues, achieving balance involves being intentional about who I am, representing my role in my life, and prioritising my own well-being. This includes relationships, finances, mental health, and self-care. As a result, I have become selfish and enjoy being my own self. I believe it’s time to take care of myself and focus on growth and happiness.

Modern women can achieve balance by prioritising self-care, setting boundaries, and effectively managing responsibilities. This balance fosters physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing, allowing them to navigate work, family, and personal responsibilities with greater resilience, promoting overall well-being and quality of life.

Read also: How to manage work-related stress

Strategies for stress management:

Prioritise self-care:

Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Whether it is setting aside time for exercise, meditation, hobbies, spa treatments, relaxation, or even picking a day out to date yourself like I do once a month, carving out moments for replenishing energy and reducing stress levels.

“Balancing work, family, social commitments, and personal pursuits can feel like an endless juggling act, leaving little time for self-care and relaxation.”

Set realistic expectations:

Recognise that you can’t do it all, nor should you expect perfection in every aspect of life. Set realistic expectations of yourself, learn to delegate tasks or ask for help when needed, and leave people where they are in their lives. You cannot change anyone; you can only influence them, and they have to allow it. Embrace the concept of “good enough” rather than thriving for unattainable perfection.

Practice mindfulness:

Cultivate present-moment awareness through mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply paying attention to your thoughts and sensations without judgement. Mindfulness can help reduce stress levels, increase resilience, and improve overall well-being.

Establish boundaries:

Learn to say no to commitments or activities that drain your energy or overwhelm you. Set boundaries with work, family, and social obligations to protect your time and prioritise self-care.

Seek social support:

Connect with family, friends, and support groups that understand and empathise with your experiences. Sharing your feelings and experiences with others can provide validation, perspective, and emotional support during challenging times.

Read also: Mental health experts urge action against rising suicide rate in Nigeria

Maintain work-life balance:

Strive to strike a balance between work and personal life by setting clear boundaries, establishing designated work hours, and unplugging from technology during non-work hours. Prioritise activities that bring you joy and fulfilment outside of work.

Engage in stress-relieving activities:

Identify activities that help you unwind and relax, whether it’s spending time in nature, engaging in creative pursuits, or practising yoga or tai chi. Engaging in stress-relieving activities regularly can help mitigate the negative effects of chronic stress on physical and mental health.

Practice time management:

Develop effective time management skills to prioritise tasks,set goals, and allocate time for important activities. Break large tasks into smaller, manageable steps and avoid procrastination to reduce feelings of overwhelm and stress.

Nourish your body:

Pay attention to your nutritional needs, stay hydrated, and prioritise healthy eating habits. Fueling your body with nutritious foods can support overall well-being and provide the energy needed to cope with stress.

Seek professional help when needed:

If stress becomes overwhelming or begins to interfere with your daily functioning, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a therapist, counsellor, or mental health professional. Therapy can provide valuable support, coping strategies, and resources for managing stress effectively.

There is no shame in needing help, and there is certainly no shame in seeing one. I see one too. Like I have always said, I’m not well in my mind. I’m just hanging in there and living each day as it comes.

Read also: Mental health advocacy takes center stage at University of Lagos

Dear readers, managing stress in a modern woman’s life is a multifaceted endeavour that requires intention, self-awareness, and proactive self-care. By implementing these strategies for balance and resilience, you can navigate life’s challenges with greater ease, I hope, reclaiming your mind and your well-being and embracing a more fulfilling and harmonious existence.

Every day is a second chance to create the life you dream of and deserve. Here’s to creating balance, fostering resilience, and prioritising self-care in every aspect of your life.

 

Your growth buddy,

Coach Diddi; Mental Health Coach: NLP Master Practitioner.