Women carry the weight of the world on their backs.

Between family life, professional strains, and a to-do list a mile long, a woman wouldn’t be considered human if she didn’t succumb to the stress on occasion.

If counting to 10 no longer works to relieve your stress or helps you to refocus then consider a new strategy for managing your daily stress. Whether you’re a full-time stay-at-home mom or a multi-tasking wife, mother, and business executive, every woman experiences stress from trying to juggle all of the titles of her day-to-day life.

Think you don’t have time to take a break? You can’t afford not to put these 10 ideas into place. Besides, each of these 10 tips will help you de-stress in 10 minutes or less.

1. Go outside. A crying infant will calm down once she takes a deep breath of fresh air and feels the sunshine on her face, and it can help to bring Mom’s heart rate down too. Step outside for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. Even if you just sit on the front porch, the new perspective will energize you to return to your routine.

2. Exercise. Getting your heart rate up will get those endorphins pumping. It’s a natural stress reducer and energy booster. Can’t sneak away for a workout? Run around the park while your kids play, run up and down the stairs, turn some tunes on and dance around the house, or play a couple of sets of tennis on your kid’s Wii.

3. Get it on paper. Worried you’ll forget one of the zillions of things you’re supposed to do today? Is your mental to-do list overwhelming you? Then take a minute and write down all of the things you need to do. Next put a star next to the three most important items and then get to work on them.

4. Laugh. It really is the best medicine. Use those 10 minutes while you’re kids are brushing their teeth and getting dressed to find something that will make you laugh. Lock yourself in your room after they’re tucked in and watch a few minutes of a “Seinfeld” or ‘Friends” re-run, read funny jokes online, or peruse the cartoons in the paper.

5. Close your eyes for 15 minutes. It’s amazingly refreshing to spend 15 minutes just lying on your back with your eyes closed. You can feel all of your muscles begin to relax and your breathing slows down. Giving yourself a mental and physical break can allow you the chance at a second wind later.

6. Call a friend. Need to vent? Did something upset you and cause your stress level to shoot through the roof? Then call a trusted pal and get it off your chest. Once you’re done ranting, thank them for listening, and then change the subject to a happier note. You’ll feel better and your friend will still want to take your calls.

7. Hop in the shower. Washing away your bad day or a stressful situation can be done literally as well as metaphorically with a quick shower. The steam helps you breathe a little easier and it relaxes your muscles which tense up when you’re under the gun.

8. Pop in the iPod. The kids are playing happily but they’re wound-up and rowdy. The dog is barking at your noisy neighbor. The dishwasher is running and the TV is on and you’re trying to focus on getting a few things done. If the distractions are stressing you out, then pop in your ear buds from your MP3 and tune it all out.

9. Reaching relaxation. Remember those stretches from your yoga or Pilates class? Strike a pose or two and feel yourself slip into a better, more Zen-like state.

10. Let it go. Is it all too much? Is the list a mile long? Does the possibility of bedtime seem like mission impossible? Then free yourself from frustration and decide to not do it all. Remind yourself that if it doesn’t get done, it doesn’t get done. Think about the consequences and decide which objective is more important – getting it done or piling on more stress? If the answer isn’t to add more stress then you’ll have to find another way or time to get the rest of it done.

Categories: Mental Health