The month of April has probably been one of THE most stressful months ever… in the history of mankind. I think we can all agree that stress has reared its ugly head on the daily. Did you know it also happens to be Stress Awareness Month?

Before this pandemic created new normals, I was working from home while the kids were at school and my husband was at work. My house was quiet which made it easier to concentrate on the craziness of work. For the exception of my dog barking at Amazon delivery knocks, you could hear a pin drop from 7 am to 3 pm. My role was supported by a fully functional team of the best people I’ve ever met. We relied on each other to remain sane on a daily basis. I even enrolled in school to finally complete college courses and was knocking out assignments on time. For the most part, my daily schedule was organized and kept my anxiety at bay. I was comfortable. Sounds pretty good, right? Keep reading.

Sadly, a few of my team members were laid off at work and my entire team is heartbroken for them. Most of them have children but all of them have bills, needs, goals, and dreams. As a result of the layoffs, our workload is now heavier. Juggling meetings, deadlines, 8th grade Math, an inquisitive 2nd grader and a toddler who has the PJ Mask intro song on repeat has been challenging for me. My husband’s job requires him to physically show up to work so he’s fighting COVID-19 possibilities every day. Thankfully, my professors are allowing students to submit assignments late without penalty. However, falling behind on an assignment makes me anxious. I’m so mentally drained that I find myself an unorganized mess. My mental focus and emotions have been all over the place. I’m uncomfortable. Sounds familiar? Take a deep breath.

Frankly, I enjoy being at home with my family and not having much to do outside of here right now. I also love having my kids here with me because they take my mind off of work sometimes. But I have to get this stress under control. I know I’m not the only mom who feels overwhelmed. No matter the cause or triggers, someone else is experiencing bouts of anxiety and an unsettling rush of tension throughout their body. It’s not healthy and we have to combat it.

I love the word combat because it means we have to be ready to fight. Be ready to fight for our health, our families and our lives. Today I made the decision to fight and I’m going to be here fighting with you. In order to win this fight though, we need a game plan. What’s your game plan for combatting stress? Here’s mine.

  • I am waking up every morning to start my day off with gratitude. We have to look around us and learn to appreciate the “little” things that really aren’t so little. Our biggest blessings are right in front of us.
  • I am writing everything down in my journal. I don’t need a fancy journal with quotes, although I’m a quote junky. I just need paper and a pen, pencil or crayon. We should take some time to release what’s been trapped inside by putting it all on paper. It’s so therapeutic.
  • Walking is a form of exercise and it can also be relaxing. You’re relieving mental and physical stress at the same time. While social distancing, get outside and walk around to feel the sun and wind on your face.
  • I am intentional about what and who I listen to. We face enough uncertainty and negativity on Facebook, in the news and in conversations in regards to COVID-19. Take a break from this pandemic and engage in conversations with people who love to laugh.  Turn on some tunes, an audiobook or a motivating podcast. Feed your inner self with things that bring you peace and joy.
  • I don’t care if my quiet time happens in my car or in the bathroom. I have to get some time alone. Find time to unwind alone. Even if you can only squeeze out 10 minutes, use it to catch your breath and gather your thoughts.

We’re in this fight against stress together. You can do this! We can do this!

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K. LaFleur-Anders is a wife, mom, foodie and fitness enthusiast who moved from Baton Rouge, LA to Round Rock, TX with her family in 2007. She has been married to her best friend, TJ, for 15 years and they have 5 children (Malik, Jadan, Elijah, Isaiah and Hannah) together. After 10 years of juggling football practices, volunteering, operating family businesses, pursuing professional careers and working in corporate America, she decided to return to her first love. She believes that her gift of writing is to be used to extend love, offer encouragement and provide motivation to women who just need to breathe and hit their wellness reset button. K. is honored to be a part of Austin Moms Blog and looks forward to sharing inspiration with moms everywhere. Follow her blog, Reset with K., for opportunities to join like-minded women as they invest in self-care and in each other.

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