Mother & child

As a supermom, I know what I’m talking about!  A single mother of two, working 40 to 50 hours per week and going to law school at night – so I think you’ll agree, I KNOW WHAT MOTHERHOOD STRESS IS!! My friends and family would tell me – do this or do that, but frankly, none of them were in my shoes and had no idea what I was going through. Were my kids safe? Was I spending too little quality time with them? Were they eating healthy? Or was I bribing them with sweets just to get a few hours of rest and relaxation? Were they doing OK in school? Had I hired a good, compassionate babysitter? And did I have any idea what they were actually doing when I wasn’t around? Generally, I felt guilty 24/7.

Mothers know how to juggle – family, work, and money. But all that responsibility leaves moms overextended and stressed out.

According to an American Psychological Association (APA) 2010 survey, women report physical and emotional symptoms of stress more than men, such as having had a headache, feeling like they could cry, having had an upset stomach, or having indigestion. The survey also reported that women are more likely than men to report that they eat as a way of managing stress (boy, do I know that!!).

“How a mother manages stress is often a model for the rest of the family,” says APA psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “Other family members will imitate her unhealthy behavior.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make 80% of family health care decisions, which burdens mothers with the additional role of family health manager. “It’s particularly stressful to be the healthcare decision-maker for yourself, your children, and possibly aging parents,” says Bufka. “People who handle stress in unhealthy ways may alleviate symptoms of stress in the short term, but end up creating significant health problems over time, and, ironically, more stress.”

Further, your children (and the rest of your family) will imitate your unhealthy behavior, so they’ll end up with stress and stressful eating.

“Mothers often put their family needs first and neglect their own,” says Bufka. “It’s okay to relax your standards – don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to have the ‘perfect’ house or be the ‘perfect’ mother.  No one expects you to be Superwoman (except yourself)!!”

8 of 10 Americans are affected by stress. To put this into perspective, that’s 79% of 327.16 million people.

Chances are, you’re one of those people. Whether it’s your children, your significant other, an unthankful boss, or an angry mother-in-law, stress affects us all in different ways.

Chronic stress can affect more than just your mental stability, it causes symptoms from headaches and high blood pressure to chest pain and heart palpitations. Sure, you can take anti-anxiety medications like Xanax or Prozac. But why not try to relieve your symptoms with natural remedies?

Emotions are part of human life. As our lives progress, we go through the entire spectrum of feelings. There are some emotions that are directly related to events such as post-traumatic stress disorder and others that seem to pop up from nowhere. Anger and stress are two of the most powerful feelings that we can experience and if one is present, the other usually is as well.

Stress and anger are often accompanied by some type of underlying anxiety and this is why it is so difficult to figure out the best treatment. When these three emotions are all present at the same time, things can get out of control quickly and your quality of life is in danger, especially if you don’t seek treatment. It’s easy to overlook the fact that your anger could be a side effect of stress, especially if you haven’t been eating or sleeping properly and you may find that even the smallest issue will suddenly seem like the end of the world.

Stress shouldn’t be taken lightly because, believe it or not, in severe cases, it can kill you. It causes hypertension, affects your nervous system, and can lead to depression.  In addition, there is still shame attached to people who seek medical treatment for seemingly minor emotional issues (especially mothers!!). (Remember how misogynistic doctors use to tell us that menstrual cramps were all in our “heads”?) Many of these people decide to ignore the symptoms of stress and anger and hope that they will just go away on their own.  I was one of the thousands who chose cigarettes to “cure” my stress. Of course, that didn’t work and it made all my other symptoms much worse.

Here are a few strategies to help mothers manage stress:

  1. Understand how you experience stress. Everyone experiences stress differently. What actions and thoughts do you choose when you’re stressed out? How do you know when you’re stressed?
  2. Identify stressors. What events or situations trigger your stress? Are they related to your children, significant other, health, finances, work, or something else?
  3. Recognize how you deal with stress. Determine if you are using unhealthy behaviors to cope with the stress of motherhood. Do you make unhealthy choices as a result of feeling rushed and overwhelmed, such as stopping for fast food while running errands or picking up your kids? Try to put things into perspective – make time for what’s really important, if you can. Try to relax – breathing techniques can help, as can yoga. Are there any ways that your family and friends can lessen your load so that you can take a break? Unhealthy behaviors can be difficult to change, so be careful. Don’t take on too much at once. Focus on addressing only one stressor at a time.

When we feel like we are under a high level of stress or anxiety, there will likely come a time when a friend or colleague will point you in the direction of a physician to help you address your issues. It could be caused by a social anxiety disorder, increased stress levels through work, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or even because of chronic pain. And one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for anxiety and stress is a benzodiazepine like Xanax. These pills will treat your symptoms right away, but they are accompanied by a long list of harmful side effects – especially when used for long periods of time. Benzodiazepines are highly addictive, and they can cause the following symptoms:

·       Nausea

·       Depression

·       Dry Mouth

·       Incontinence

·       Headaches

·       Shaking

·       Paranoia

·       Loss of appetite

·       Acne

 

 

What have I found to help me manage stress?

You’ve probably heard of CBD, but you might not know how effective it can be in managing stress. CBD doesn’t cause any feelings of intoxication or the “high” you may associate with cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)).  “It’s promising in a lot of different therapeutic avenues because it’s relatively safe,” said James MacKillop, co-director of the Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Canada.

A recent study by the National Cancer Institute – a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – states that overdosing on CBD is virtually impossible, and the same is true of THC and marijuana. Per the report: “Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.”

More than 60% of CBD users were taking it for anxiety and stress, according to a survey of 5,000 people conducted by the Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm.

Research from 2021 in the Innovare Journal of Medical Sciences analyzed 76 studies on the effects of CBD. The study concluded that CBD is a promising treatment for stress. Taken in the correct dose, CBD offers sedative-like properties that can help calm nerves so it’s also effective for anxiety and sleeplessness.

CBD can reduce stress when taken on a regular basis.  It has a wonderful calming effect without being overwhelming.

You may want to talk to someone that knew about CBD to get an idea of the dosage that will be right for you, or you can try it and increase slowly as you start feeling better.  Why don’t you check out DYNAPUREcbd.com – or email them at support@dynapurecbd.com or call them at 602-887-9330 and set up a time to go over your needs with a Certified CBD Adviser.  DYNAPURE is a great resource for all things CBD and they’re having a “Gift Baskets” for Stressed Out Moms special for a last minute Mother’s Day, Birthday or ANYDAY gift. They provide classes for their clients in their store located at 9812 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020 and on their website online. They’re dedicated to helping each and every person who seeks information and providing the best certified organic CBD products available today.