Three Weekly Steps to Help Eliminate Stress

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Three Weekly Steps to Help Eliminate StressAs a military spouse, a mom, and full time professional, I am busy. My husband has diagnosed me with ‘RBS’ - restless body syndrome – because in his words, “I don’t know how to sit down and do nothing.”

He is right, to some extent. While my life is dictated by a busy calendar, I always schedule time to rest and recuperate. This enables me to be the best possible mom and wife for our family. With a little extra preparation and planning, I’ve learned to prioritize my time in a way that creates a healthy life balance.

Managing my stress has been the key to staying sane while juggling my husband’s come-and-go schedule with quality family time. After ten years of marriage, I’ve become aware of the things that trigger my stress. For instance, I feel anxiety when things aren’t getting done at home, or if we are not getting enough time together.

Knowing this about myself, I’ve created a routine that fits our busy family schedule. It is a foundation we can all work from. The schedule is not set in stone. It is flexible, just like military life.

Use these three steps to help you eliminate stress:

1. Develop a routine.

Sit down as a family and identify your weekly priorities. Write them down on a calendar and then hang it in a location where everybody can see it. Use the calendar as a guide for the goals you hope to accomplish throughout the week. That way when unexpected events arise -- which they will -- you will have the flexibility to respond without sacrificing your priorities.

Three steps to help beat stress: Here is an example of our weekly family routine

TINA'S FRIDAY NIGHT PIZZA

  • 1 recipe of pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup of pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Any topping of your choice (our favorite sinful pleasure – pepperoni)

Once the dough is made, we lay it out on a greased pizza pan. Then we top the uncooked dough with sauce, cheese and toppings. The tip is not to put too much sauce or topping, otherwise it comes out mushy. We bake it for 17 minutes at 450 degrees. It comes out perfect every time.

2. Plan couples time.

Schedule a lunch date with your spouse when time permits. One hour a week gives you the ability to catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives. Go to a quiet place where you can be together without distraction.

If lunch doesn’t work, schedule a monthly dinner date. No kids allowed! Make sure to schedule this into your calendar, otherwise it’s to easy to forget.

Whether it’s lunch or dinner, this is your chance to enjoy a great meal and conversation alone. Dedicate this time for giving each other your 100 percent attention.

3. Plan personal time.

“Me Time” is an essential part of your weekly routine. Make this a lifestyle priority. Take a bath, exercise, or read a magazine. Schedule at least 30 minutes a week to do something for you.

Incorporating these three steps into our weekly routine, has helped me better enjoy life to it’s fullest. When I’m happy, our entire family is happy. We smile more often and we laugh a lot! 

If you are interested in finding a way to manage stress in your mobile military life, I recommend finding what is important to you. Start by picking your top three priorities and then develop a schedule around each.

Once they are established, share your experience with the InDependent community here. Good luck! 

What “me time” activity are you missing the most right now?