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How can mothers overcome stress?

Motherhood begins when a woman gives birth to her first offspring and comes with the huge responsibility of raising a child. At this point, the life of a woman undergoes a 360 degrees change, irrespective of whether she is a working professional or not. This process also changes the way in which she is perceived in society: she is a mother first, along with a wife, a daughter and potentially a working professional.

Nowadays, a significant portion of women in many countries are working professionals, who perform the dual role of a mother at home and an employee at their respective organisations. An important question often arises: ‘What is the difference between a working and non-working mother’?

Working and non-working mothers

The majority of working class women work full time and manage their homes too. It might seem easy, but it is not, especially when the kids are young. No doubt, they enjoy their professional life but it becomes increasingly difficult for women to leave kids at home, or in day care, due to the cost. At the same time, work is important as it provides financial stability and assistance to the family. In today’s world, when it is necessary for both parents to work and contribute to the welfare and development of their children, it can be a challenge to balance personal and professional life .

What about non-working mothers? It is often perceived that non-working mothers have a relaxed life, as they spend a significant time at home managing housework and family. But this is totally wrong! Women who are full-time housewives also find it difficult to manage home and kids. In fact, they have an equally vigorous routine like any other working woman. Not to mention the fact that some of them have had to sacrifice their careers to raise their children.

Although both the categories have their own set of challenges, I feel that non-working mothers face more stress than working ones. It may happen that, in spite of being well qualified, a woman has to leave her job to raise her offspring after becoming a mother. This might be a depressing situation and at times, it may even lead to stress. A woman might feel stuck in a kind of dilemma: she is often thorn between her career aspirations and the knowledge that her offspring needs her full attention, especially in the initial years of life, so she feels that it is sensible for a her to spend quality time with them. Therefore, motherhood is a crucial time and women need the support of her family and friends.

Keeping a positive outlook

A woman plays a multiplicity of roles within the family – she is often the cook, the cleaner, the primary educator and much more – all of which affects the wellbeing of its members. Therefore, it is important for women to have a positive state of mind as it has a direct impact on the behaviour and stability of her children. If a mother is stressed, it becomes hard for her to keep her children happy, thereby creating an unfavourable impact on mother-child relationship.

Children learn a lot from their mother. She is their first play mate and moral guide. If the mother is dissatisfied with her role, the children will pick up on the negative vibe at home. This can have detrimental consequences on their future. A mother’s positive attitude towards life is a building block for her children: her behaviour has an impact on the physical and mental development of her offspring.

Motherhood definitely changes a woman’s life, but she can become a winner if she dominates all her fears, anger and other emotions. It is true that life changes drastically with motherhood, but it is important to bear in mind that life does not end when motherhood starts. It is important to embrace this change sportingly. She can always resume her career after her children start going to school, so she has to exercise perseverance, patience and self-control, till all things fall in place.

How mothers can overcome stress

  1. Create solutions for peak times: Mornings are generally stressful for mothers as the husband is getting ready for work and kids needs to be at school in time. A mother needs to identify the times when she is more likely to get more irritable and find a solution to curb the friction during that time. She must plan everything in advance such as kids uniforms and packed lunch. This will help reduce the pressure in the morning.
  2. Take a break: Getting stressed is unavoidable at times, but one can get away for a few minutes by taking a break. It helps the person to view the same situation from a new or positive perspective.
  3. Meditation: Deep breathing, meditation and prayer are the most powerful tools to overcome stress. Mental relaxation helps create peace from within.
  4. Exercise together: Exercise keeps one fit and helps reduce stress. Therefore, mothers should take some time out her busy routine to exercise preferably with her kids, which will also instil healthy living habits in them.
  5. Laugh together: If you are stressed, your face becomes tense. Laughing, smiling and giggling can help relieve some tension. Therefore, the mother should create situations for all the family to laugh together. She could organise an outing, such as dinner out, a picnic or may be on a trip together.
  6. Form a social circle: It is quite true that non-working mothers are devoted to their families to such an extent that they hardly have time for social activities. A social circle is very important for a healthy lifestyle as it allows you to vent your thoughts. Make sure you set time aside to catch up some friends. This generates positive energy and helps in shifting your focus from stressful things, at least for some time.

To sum up, I would say that being optimistic and patient is the key to avoid stress and depression in a mother’s life. With the support of her family and belief in herself, she can successfully raise her children. She shouldn’t put herself under pressure but take out time for herself from her busy schedule to pursue those activities that she enjoys doing. It will not only create a positive environment but also improve her family life.

About Rachna Khanna Singh

Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh is a mental health professional with a medical background focused on providing individual, group and corporate counselling. She is currently Head of Department of Holistic Medicine & Psychology at Artemis Hospital and has worked with other leading hospitals such as Fortis Escorts, Dharamshila Cancer Hospital. Her areas of speciality include Lifestyle & Stress Management. She is the founder and director of The Mind and Wellness Studio which aims at creating positive changes in the lives, in order to ensure holistic health for a better tomorrow. Her specialities include stress management, lifestyle management for heart diseases, supportive care for chronically ill patients, work-life balance, parent-child bonding, cancer support care, ante/postnatal care, relationship counselling, pre-marital & marital counselling, adolescent counselling, psychiatric & psychological illnesses like depression, anxiety, insomnia. Having achieved proficiency as a corporate health care consultant, she has conducted various workshops for over 250 leading corporate houses of the country focusing on stress management and soft skills training. A few of the major corporate houses that have demanded her expertise include - Coca-Cola, Airtel, Oberoi Hotels Delhi, Bata India Ltd, Infosys, Ericsson Hero Honda, Genpact, PepsiCo, WNS, Nokia, Exl, HDFC, Maruti etc. Dr. Rachna Singh is the Founder and Director of a non-governmental organization named SWAPN. Swapn is a non-governmental organization that works with underprivileged children and women, equipping them to better deal with the future. The vision of Swapn goes beyond providing basic food and shelter and aims at following a holistic approach for total personality development of the future generation of our country, addressing health from a physical, mental, nutritional, social and creative perspective. She is also consultant with important NGOs and is an executive board member with Swashrit & ServeSamman, where she is working with under privileged women and children for various medical and psychological ailments. She is also the founder and director of NGO SWAPN, which aims at helping underprivileged children and women via holistic approach for total personality development of the future generation of our country, addressing health from a physical, mental, nutritional, social and creative perspective. She has worked with students from over 300 schools in Delhi & NCR region like Salwan, Mount Carmel, Springdales , DPS etc., and also in educational institutions nationally on modules like Growing Up Right', 'Personality Development', 'Parenting', 'Substance abuse', 'Smoking Cessation' ,'Sex Education', etc. 'I Lead India' is an initiative by the Times group, driven towards bringing about a change in the country by the people themselves. Its an initiative that is currently active in 27 cities of India. The I Lead India Youth Brigade is an activist programme which seeks to mobilize the youth, between 18-24 years of age, to make them agents of change. In everycity 5 members are selected as Youth Brigade who then bring about a change under the able guidance of an experienced mentor. Dr.Rachna K Singh has been selected as the official mentor for the Delhi chapter of Ilead, guiding and directing the Youth Brigade in ways that a change can be brought about in the city. Was a Visiting Lecturer & Faculty Member - Amity Institute of Behavioral Health & Allied Sciences, Noida, Dr. B R Sur Medical College, Delhi. Media Related Work Her writings are regularly featured in the print media that includes columns & articles in famous medical journals , magazines & newspapers such as,-Femina, India Today, MensHealth,The Week, Economic Times, HT City, HT Brunch, Delhi Times, Mail Today,Dainik Bhaskar,Amar Ujala. She is a frequent guest speaker for lifestyle management in many popular TV channels like the national Doordarshan, CNN-IBN, India TV, Aaj Tak and ZEE. She is currently an expert answering queries on relationship and parenting on radio on MY FM 94.3 daily. She is also the official psychologist for the 5 year old Gurgaon Rape Victim and has been acknowledged by the Police and Media for the same. Dr. Rachna also has an internship programme for psychology students under her guidance, and has conducted many workshops for students. Important Lectures Lecture on Stress Management - University of Exeter, UK, 2009. Lecture on Stress Management in Modern Lifestyle - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 2009. Lecture on Lifestyle Management - Thames Valley University, UK, 2008. Lecture on Hypertension -Royal College of Physicians, London,UK, 2007. Honors and Awards Was presented the prestigious Dr. B. R. AmbedkarRatnaAward 2012 for excellence in the field of "Mental Health, Stress and Relationship Counselling". Received an award for extra-ordinary support towards the self-development of Delhi Police by Special Commissioner Delhi Police 'Deepak Mishra' and "VirenderSehwag". Awarded the MRCH in 2010 by the Honourable Lord Aaron Kenneth Ward-Atherton - Lord of Whitley &Hurcott- Worcestershire (House of Lords,Westminster Abbey ,London , Parliament of UK).

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  1. Great post,It is helpful to every one..Thank you for sharing!!

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