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2 months ago · · 0 comments

Stress Management – How To Reduce Stress To Avoid & Recover From Illness

Stress and Health

When you push yourself too hard physically and emotionally you can find that you take a lot longer to recover from colds and flu. Modern life does not tend to present you with many opportunities to take time out to fully recover from mild illness. Thus, once your obvious symptoms dissipate, you tend to either feel too guilty to continue to rest and recuperate, or you have too much on your plate to do so.

help for new mums resourcesTo do list

There are a finite number of hours in the day and your list of ‘to-do’s’ can often feel overwhelming, leaving you little time to allow yourself permission to rest. This is particularly true for high level professionals and parents, who are relied upon significantly by others – day in and day out. In addition to external pressures, it’s very common to feel guilty about resting, when there is still so much more to be undertaken and achieved.

So, how do you fully recover from illness in order to function at your optimum – most of the time?

In order to recuperate fully and feel your best, there are the ‘usual’ things to do, such a sleep well/enough and eat well. However, in reality recent research shows that in order to achieve our ever growing list of tasks, we find it easiest to skimp on sleep. Shaving a few hours here and there can add a significant number hours to your year, so it’s no wonder it’s so tempting to give it up and thus to maintain the recommended 8 hours of good quality sleep a night.

Instead of trying to change your sleeping habits, a quick and easy way to improve your health (before, during and after illness) is through slowing down. Most people tend to make the misguided assumption that in order to achieve, one must move with speed. The problem with this theory is the body’s reaction to being placed under pressure on a regular basis – STRESS. Regular, ongoing stress has been shown to cause a short-term reduction in IQ. This is why, it can be very difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions with your stressed – and thus increase the chance of making mistakes and having to end up working harder. Rushing around tying to achieve a million things in a day/week/month/year usually ends up resulting in a lot of wasted time and energy.

In contrast, if you were to start your day with a few deep breaths, 5 minute relaxation exercises and made a conscious effort to slow down, you would be able to think more clearly and rationally and thus be much more productive during the day.

Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

For instance, most people arrive at work and feel anxious as soon as they begin to look at emails, to-do lists and speak to other stressed co-workers. They tend to spend the day frantically trying to spot multiple fires, feeling overwhelmed, stressed and unproductive. If instead of this strategy, they walked into the office, took out a notepad and began to scan through emails, to-do lists and verbal requests from staff first thing in the morning and then developed a daily priority list, they would be able to tick off the most important jobs they had achieved that day. This would in turn provide both a feeling of achievement and a sense of control.

Undertaking such a morning task would take between 15-30 minutes per day, but would give back many more hours of productive work in return. The act of slowing down and gaining control is vital for health and wellbeing, particularly in this busy world we live in.

Your mind significantly impacts your physical health and emotional state, so if you’re feeling run down or overwhelmed, try to simply slow down. Try it for 1 week and see how much it improves your life.

Lizzie O’Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac

Founder of Help For Mums

3 months ago · · 0 comments

How Mothers Can Deal With Stress and Learn How To Be Confident

Motherhood is a prime source of anxiety and stress

Before becoming a new mum, you would never have believed the amount of stress that could come from expecting yourself to be perfect. Not only do mothers expect themselves to be the perfect parent, but there is added internal and external pressure to be the perfect partner, friend, employee, family member and so on… So it’s no wonder so many mothers report feeling stressed about not being able to get enough done in their day, or feel anxious about regularly falling behind. These feelings often lead to further stress and a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.

The best cure of stress is to take control

When you are feeling anxious or stressed, it can be very debilitating and can lead to procrastination or inefficiency as your mind is not is an efficient state to cope with all the demands on your plate.

However, one of the keys to feeling calmer and more composed is to take stock of what you can and can’t control. For instance, as a busy mother, you may have a huge list of tasks to get through in your day. You have made the assumption that you can achieve this ‘monster’ list because you expect that when you place your child down for a nap today you will have 2 hours of ‘free-time’ to get everything done. Unfortunately, something has upset your child today and she has taken much longer to settle and only sleeps for 30 minutes. You normal reaction might be to feel like a failure, to get angry or upset and to even criticise yourself for not being able to control this situation and have your child in a regular sleep routine. But what if you decided to rethink about what you can and can’t control. This scenario is a very common one for mothers with young children. There is an expectation that babies SHOULD just follow and routine. What mothers are often not considering is, like adults, children are not always predictable. How many times have you struggled to get to sleep or to sleep well because you were feeling sick; it was too hot; you were uncomfortable; you were upset; you were too cold and so on? A young child or toddler is unable to explain why he/she is having difficulty sleeping, yet parenting experts claim children just need to be placed in a routine to sleep and everything will work out fine. So it’s no wonder that mothers blame themselves or their child when things don’t go according to the experts’ plans.

If on the contrary, in situations like these, you stopped yourself from feeling upset about the ‘uncontrollable’ situation and you re-evaluated your list of tasks, you would begin to take control of your emotions and amend your routine throughout the day accordingly. For instance, you may decide to play with your child for a while and then engage in the activities you had planned together. Even if you were planning on getting some chores done, you could let your child play next to you whilst your cleaned. You could also make the safe assumption that your child will most likely be extra tired that evening, so you could get those chores completed then. Either way, YOU have taken control and adapted to the ‘uncontrollable’ in a way that has reduced your stress levels and still enables you to complete the things on your list – with much less stress.

Gaining control reduces depression

Depression comes from a feeling of being helpless and hopeless, so it makes sense that when you regain a sense of control, you begin to feel happier and more hopeful about the future.

how to be confident, how to deal with stress

When you take control of your own health and wellbeing, you also reduce stress and boost self confidence

Some good examples of this are taking control of your:

  •  Wellbeing: Committing to reducing salt and sugar intake
  • Self esteem: Being mindful of negative self-talk
  • Relationships: Taking a breathe to think before speaking in a ‘snapping’ tone to your partner or kids
  • Finances: Making an appointment to see a financial planner
  • Career, Taking stock of what will truly make you feel happy and balanced now that you have a family
  • Personal life: Feeling comfortable with your parenting decisions and your personal beliefs and values

All these examples above are ways that you can regain control of your life. It is through this behaviour that you can boost your self confidence in times of stress and provide guidance and support for those you love most.

 Take a few minutes now to think about what you would like to regain control of this week and commit to doing this as soon as possible.
 If you need any additional tips on self esteem, jump on to our Wellness Support Page for great free tips, articles and videos on how to feel confident, healthy and happy in motherhood.



Self esteem tip: How to know it’s time for a break

2 years ago · · 0 comments

Self esteem tip: How to know it’s time for a break

Low self esteem can result from being overworked and feeling burnt out

I am a very driven person. It’s something I learnt from my mother who has an amazing ability to decide she wants something and then go for it. My internal drive pushes me through when I feel like I have nothing left to give. However, the down side is it can be difficult to know when to stop, when to take a break, or when to shift focus.

Over the years I have learnt various ways to identify there is a need to stop and also now ensure I schedule a week off once a year to rest and recuperate.

increase positive thinkingWhy it’s important to take a break for your self confidence and self esteem

One of the things that happens as a result of burn out is poor decision making. The consequence of pore decision making is usually negative feedback. When you think of building your self esteem and self confidence, a great deal is based on your perceptions on yourself and these are based on internal and external validation.

When you feeling burnt out you begin to increase self criticism, have a tendency to judge yourself too harshly and can assume you are being judged negatively by others also. As a result your internal validation is very low and you perceive your external validation to be low also. Both of these things are a recipe for poor Self esteem.

So how do you know it’s time to take a break?

One of the most obvious signs is when you feel like you are pushing against the flow rather than travelling along the flow. In other words things feel like a real struggle. This often happens when you’re feeling burnt out in business. Your ideas don’t flow as easily, you feel like you’re pushing people to buy your products and you’re no longer truly enjoying the process.

When you feel you are working too hard and not enjoying the flow or seeing any real progress, it’s time to take a break. It’s not time to quit. This is not the time to give up, but rather to give yourself headspace to come up with more innovative ideas to grown and succeed in your endeavours.

So protect and manage your self esteem and self confidence regularly and take a break whenever you start to feel the signs of potential burn out.

For assistance to improve your self esteem and gain self confidence visit

Positive Parenting Blog

Positive Parenting Blog