Today, I'm going to share some honest things with you regarding stress.
It doesn't matter if I am talking to a life-coaching or a fertility client, 99% of the women I talk with are ambitious, driven women who are ready to work hard, live with passion, and create amazing lives, partnerships, babies, families, and careers.
Does that sound familiar?
But here is the thing:
As a by-product of ambition, drive and a pulsating desire for a beautiful life, there is also perfectionism, type-A behavior, anxiety, trouble sleeping, overanalyzing, fear of failure and not doing enough, using coffee to wake up and wine to wind down, and so forth... you get the picture.
What that means for me as a coach is that my job often times revolves around helping my clients become more grounded, calm, and settled in their own bodies, minds, and lives, so that action can be taken deliberately and with focus rather than in a confetti-like fashion that spreads your energy too thin and looks fun only for a few bright moments before you hit the ground hard, wondering what the heck you are doing and why on earth you are so freaking tired all the time.
Here is a short list of what an overly stressful life (and over-taxed adrenals) can lead to:
- hormonal imbalances (period problems, acne, infertility, PMS, thyroid issues, you name it)
- sleep problems or insomnia
- infertility, trouble getting or staying pregnant
- a slowed postpartum healing experience
- weight gain, especially around your belly
- jeopardized digestive function, bloatedness, constipation
- a feeling of being out of control
- uncomfortable physical sensations that feel like something is stuck (like a knot in your throat)
- tension and other difficulties in your romantic relationships and friendships
- taking things personal that actually aren't
- loss of interest in things that used to bring you joy
- guilt if you are not "productive"
- feeling scattered and procrastination
- irrational fears and overthinking
- and, of course, all the common diseases you hear about (that I'm not going to go into since I am not an MD)
Now, I am guessing you know most of these things and yet, even though you are educated, smart, savy, and knowledgable, you are still not doing what you know you should do (and maybe even tell others you want to do... FINALLY RELAX MORE!)
There are 3 main reasons why the women I know cannot slow down:
1. They believe that unless their calendars are filled to the brim and they are busy all the time, whatever they have been building (relationship, friend circles, career, their body) will fall apart or disappear.
2. They are actually a bit scared of having more time and space, because that is when loneliness creeps in. Being still and just with yourself only leads to dark thoughts and cookies or chips.
3. They cannot say no to other people, obligations, requests, and even optional events. The guilt for these women is so real that it's leading them to sacrifice their own wellbeing.
If you are serious about making changes in your life that will give you more time, calm your body and mind, and create the space for you to breathe and just be, you have to do some inner work (yes, it goes beyond just getting a pedicure ;)).
***And for those of you who want to get pregnant, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to make space in your life for the baby you want to invite into your life BFEORE you even get pregnant. Not only is this so important in order to conceive healthfully, but it will make your transition into motherhood so much easier.
First, you need to figure out where your personal patterns of stress are coming from.
Usually this stems back to our family systems, so start by asking yourself what the patterns of stress in your family looked like? Where people overly busy and big doers and achievers, so that your worthiness unspokenly depends on how busy you are. Or, perhaps, you had a mom who was an immense giver who also didn't have boundaries and sacrificed herself for others? Has this become the role of women in your family?
Play with this and see what comes up for you. Only if you identity what caused your relationship with stress, can you move away from it and build a new patterns that actually suits you.
For all you wanna-be moms and new moms, getting to the root of your own relationship with stress and relaxation will serve your kiddos a million fold. Don't pass down an unhealthy family pattern of stress to the next generation. Make it stop with you.
Second, you need to figure out what level of busyness feels like a positive rhythm to you and where busyness actually turns into stress.
This is a personal question because we are all unique and different and what might be stressful for one person, may not be stressful for another. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY if your capacity to handle a lot of different things, people, and situations at once isn't crazy high. You have other wonderful qualities instead and you need to focus your energy on cultivating those.
Hint: for many people the difference in being positively busy versus stressed, lies in the people who they are with. For ex. a supportive, appreciative boss versus a condescending, rude one.
Third, take the power back.
You are your own boss, love. In order to feel your best, you have to learn how to implement boundaries in your life with others and with yourself. Especially for those of you who want to be moms or are moms, boundaries are so incredibly important to have so that you have the space to be your own best self and create a life for you and your family that is nourishing, respectful, and intentional. You are not serving anyone if you are running on low.
Create time and space for you to be with yourself (& I don't mean running errands or working out). If it feels uncomfortable, practice being with your thoughts and listening to what is coming up. Use this time with yourself to tell yourself nice things about yourself. Express pride and gratitude and love.
Nothing will help you go from stressed to relaxed more than a kind, loving relationship with yourself. A relationship in which you are actually allowed to relax without guilt or shame. A relationship that encourages you to set boundaries with others because you know and feel your own worth. A relationship that you look forward to being in every day.
In the comments below, let me know what came up for you reading this post: Is there an unhealthy pattern of stress in your family history? What do you actually want in your life in terms of relaxation? I know you got this beauty ;)