I decided to be a full-time mother when I was pregnant with my first born son Siam. I pave my way through Upwork to get an online job while I am staying at home with my kids. My husband works overseas. I have support like parents and relatives staying in the house but, taking care of kids while the husband is away was not easy. There are just things that a wife could only express to the husband that I couldn’t express to others. My mind and body need to be strong for my kids. If my husband is around it’s a relief though because he tries to carry all, budgeting and take care of the kids most of his time and I have a pretty relaxing moment thinking only a few things like my online job and some chores in the house. My mind is literally relaxing.
I am trying to understand where my stress coming from. Oh, after two years, I get pregnant, then Siam needs to undergo surgery then after a week I labored my second child Philnand. Again, after two years, my second child needs to undergo surgery of the same disease as my eldest – Hirschsprung’s disease. Philnand’s recovery from surgery gave me more worries. I worry every day when he couldn’t poop thinking that when the first surgery wasn’t working well, he needed to undergo another surgery. I need to deal with his shouts and cries when during potty time. He felt pain when pooping and he didn’t want to poop!
I felt like giving up! My kids could not live without seeing me even for a day! There was no way of giving up! One day, I tried to sneak outside where my kids couldn’t see me. I was walking and trying to meditate under the heat of the sun. Imagined that the heat of the sun burns my negative thoughts and God’s holy spirit washes away my busy mind. I was walking and I saw Siam’s carpool, so I decided to stay on the road where the carpool usually passes through out of the village, expecting my son could see me. I waited for almost thirty minutes but I did not see my son’s carpool passes through the road. I decided to go home and asked my mother if Siam has already gone to school: she said yes! I cried and got inside the room, scared what was happening to me? Am I becoming crazy? I believe, what my mind saw was not really happening! I talked to my husband and he told me to lie low of my online job so that my mind would only focus on my kids. I could still feed you even if you have no work, he said! For me, my online job was also very important. But, I decided to follow him and tried to rebuild my emotional strength. I decided to bid less work online to concentrate my thoughts to my kids. Less online task causes the drop of being a 100% top rated freelancer to 78%, I lost my badge. Yet, I know I could still make it up. I just have to put a space of my thoughts of earning more and gave more time to my kids. I started to fetch and dropped Siam in the school (my father does before) with my youngest Philnand. I and my kids sometimes go out, pay the bills and go to playgrounds.
Although I don’t earn more, I was happy spending more time with my kids. Eventually, kids are learning to be independent. Philnand had fewer tantrums, he was already comfortable walking with me as long as we hold hands while walking. He also does things on his own and we don’t spend much time on breastfeeding any longer. Every time he wanted to poop and cried, I tried to practiced not to personalize it, and not to worry about it so that I won’t get angry. Instead, we made song (Philnand is pooping a big poop! Nanay and tatay is happy!). My duty as a mother gets lighter as my kids’ grew. I had time to stay long in the toilet, put some lipstick on and look at the mirror noticing that I already had many gray hairs. I was very happy because finally even if I don’t have me time kids don’t need me all the time because they are learning to be independent. As long as they could see me around they are already happy to do things on their own. And now, I am not ready to deal with more people whose values are different from mine, I am just so tired and I want to relax even just for a while. I cried to the deepest hidden thoughts I had, box the bed to the deepest anger I hide. Then my sister just let me cry and speak out! That was the loudest cry I ever had since my motherhood. Because when I am tired I used to just cry it on my own or hide in the ink of my journal or springs of the shower. Then my sister thought tools to release my stress and when I feel depressed.
Here we go! Read through my six helpful tools and tips to release stress or depression! I have been practicing them and really are helpful!
1. Breathing in and Breathing out.
Seat cross your legs and breath in, breath out! breath out, breath in! Feel the air running through the nose, to the backbone, and into the tummy making it half full. Then, release slowly making your tummy half flattened. This will help clear up your thoughts that cause you to stress accordingly to my sister.
2. Look for someone you can talk to.
Look for someone you can talk to. I just learned the importance of talking to someone is one way of releasing your busy thoughts. My sister explained, if you keep on talking to yourself it’s like you are putting everything back to your own body and senses: worries, stress, loneliness all negative feelings which will accumulate and will stress the mind. Whereas, talking to somebody will help you release thoughts away from your body! Taking away all your worries and releasing each thought which keeps your mind busy.
3. Blue Space
” According to blue health, a synthesis found that people living close to blue spaces report higher levels of physical activity and that interaction with blue spaces can have a positive effect on mental health – particularly in terms of stress reduction and perceived wellbeing.”
Yes, it did really work! After going to the beach I went home with a very fresh mind!Felt renewed strength! Since it was summer every time when my sister visited us we often find these blue space! And because the Philippines has many of these blue spaces! Excited to talk about this too in my blogs 🙂
4. Learn to say no!
Learn to say no to the things that will cause you stress. No, to the obligations that you cannot cater. Learn to say not ok when it is not ok for you. Because it’s a burden to pretend you are ok but the truth you are not. It takes a lot of courage to say no, but when you are able to do it. It’s a big help in managing your stress. Mayo Clinic has a great article about when to say no as stress relief check here.
5. You cannot please everybody.
Don’t try to impress everybody, take it easy and live life not to the expectations of others. Be your own good self without any expectations.
Exercising or jogging with my two boys helps me redirect my positive thoughts and releases negative energy through sweat. While I jog or meditate I also pray. It is my time to connect to our creator and the universe. Feeling the sunset or sunrise then breathing fresh air and looking at the trees and mountains. According to a study published in ncbi “location with the highest level of nature had the greatest effect on reducing levels of stress “. Additionally according to WebMD when we exercise our body releases chemicals called endorphins which reduces perceptions of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body.