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Work At Home Moms And Stress

By Nicole Dean

How stressed are you really? Take this quiz to find out. Mark as many of the items below that you identify with.

_ Calgon! Take me away!

What would you give for a vacation right now? If you named a body part, then you're feeling too stressed.

_ I've fallen and I can't get up.

Is this how you feel in the morning when the alarm goes off?

_ Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz"oh what a relief it is.

Are you experiencing stomach aches, headaches, or other physical signs of stress?

_ Take my kids, please!

Are you enjoying your children, or are you ready to sell them on eBay?

_ To the Moon, Alice!

Is your love life giving you warm fuzzies or cold pricklies?

_ I can't believe I ate the whole thing!

Are you overeating to try to feel better about yourself?

How"d you score?

1-2 - Not too bad. You're feeling kind of overwhelmed, but it looks like you're handling things fairly well. Take some extra time for yourself during the holidays to stay in balance.

3-4 - You're walking a fine line right now. Add another stressor to your life and you risk heading toward big time stress. It's time to tackle it now.

5 - 6 - Uhhh". You'd better keep reading.

Stress Reeks Havoc

Even low levels of stress can exacerbate or possibly cause these physical illnesses: Heart Disease, Stroke, Susceptibility to Infections, Gastrointestinal Problems, Diabetes, Muscular and Joint Pain, Headaches and Migraines

As well as these psychological conditions: Memory and Concentration Difficulties, Sleep Disturbances and Depression

And, yes, some days I feel like I'm suffering from all of those! That's when my body is trying to tell me, "Nicole - you're way out of balance!"

So, if you're just not feeling as well as you should, then really reassess your stress levels and visualize what that stress is doing to your health.

Spending Time on Yourself is NOT Selfish. Working Yourself Sick Is.

I know, I know. You"ve heard it 100 times before and you'll hear it another 100 times. You know why? Because it's true. You need to have balance in your life. And, believe me, I battle this on this a daily basis, so I know it's hard to find balance when you are driven to succeed at being a WAHM. But, even when your "to do list seems insurmountable, you still need to take care of your health (both physical and emotional).

But, you know what? You can do it. Start by choosing a hobby. Scrapbooking, guitar playing, belly dancing, reading, pampering, wood working, gardening, poker. Just find something outside your work that makes you happy.

Yadda yadda. I can hear you brushing me off. Hang on a second and keep reading".

Think of the example you are setting for your children. If you have little interests outside of being a WAHM and are feeling stressed and unhappy, your children will follow in your footsteps.

Strive to treat yourself as you'd hope your children would treat themselves. You're teaching them every day how to grow up to be happy adults, but the words will mean nothing if the example isn't there. Try to have a night out with your sweetie or with some girlfriends every few weeks. They deserve a happy Mommy.

Meds: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Doctor-prescribed medication and self-medication are two methods of stress management.

Neither of these options is good or bad. Just like everything in life - take it in moderation. If you enjoy an glass of wine after a long stressful day, then enjoy it guilt free. (cheers!)

If your doctor prescribes a medication that you need to get through a difficult time, then by all means you do what is best for you.

Or, if you enjoy herbal remedies, teas and aromatherapy for relaxation, then go for it!

However, one of the common effects of stress is over-medicating or self-medicating. So, if you find yourself relying heavily on alcohol or medication (either doctor prescribed or self-prescribed) or you begin taking illegal drugs, then talk to your doctor about it as soon as possible. You deserve to enjoy your life - not miss out on it.

Sometimes we have to be Sneaky

Sometimes the best thing for your business is to get away from it for a bit. Seriously, I have my best inspiration when I'm NOT at my computer - which is a little scary since my businesses are online.

Treat yourself to 15 minutes to yourself - even if you have to tell your husband you're having "bathroom issues in order to get undisturbed time. (shhhh I've done this.) I wonder how surprised my husband would be to find me sitting on the floor of the bathroom wrapped in a blanket, reading a book? I know, it's too much information, but I'm trying to show just how important it is to have that time to yourself. I'm not promoting deception in marriage, but if you have to stretch your time in the bathroom, don't feel guilty about enjoying the freedom.

So, make an effort today to start stealing moments of happiness. Life is not a dress rehearsal, enjoy every second that you can!

About The Author
Nicole Dean is the mostly-sane mom behind - a fun and informative resource for Work at Home Moms. She invites you to sign up for her free ShowMomtheMoney 101 Tutorial at * This article was originally published in the WC *

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