wellness

6 women share the 'micro-stresses' of their days, and how they get past them.

Rescue Remedy
Thanks to our brand partner, Rescue Remedy

If you could symbolise my micro-stress with a noise, it would be the sound of my alarm going off when I have just, finally, fallen asleep.

That realisation that I've just had a bad night's sleep combined with the knowledge that I have to get up and pretend to function with a foggy head, little motivation and the overwhelming desire to just roll over and go back to sleep sees my stress levels rise.

We all have micro-stresses (also called micro-stressors) that affect us in small ways, every day.

A pages-long to-do list that you are constantly trying to get on top of, or losing your car keys, may not seem like 'big' deals by themselves.

But these mild daily stresses, especially when compounded together, can actually  affect your state of mind.

For me, making sure I have a way to combat those little stresses and get past them is key. Unfortunately, what I would like to do - go back to sleep – isn't usually an option, so instead I go outside for a walk at some point during the day, ideally in the morning. The combination of Vitamin D, fresh air and the increase in endorphins from exercise, calms and revitalises me for the day ahead.

I always have a better sleep if I've had a walk earlier. Image: Supplied

I also keep Rescue Remedy  in my handbag or in my car's glove box, so it's are always on hand for me to take in that micro-stressor moment. Rescue Remedy is a traditionally used blend of Bach Flower remedies to relieve symptoms of stress and mild anxiety. The range includes lozenges, pastilles and the classic droppers and sprays (200 doses in 20ml or 100 doses in 10ml), providing natural stress relief when those mini stresses pile up. It's a product that works well alongside my go-to walk.

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So what do other women's micro-stresses look like? I asked five different women to share theirs, and what they do to get past them.

Emily - "My work desk literally touches my couch."

Emily. Image: Supplied.

 Melbourne-based Emily has spent a lot of time working from home, from the first outbreak of COVID-19 to the current lockdown. And while it may have some small perks (hello, comfort clothing), some of the other aspects of the arrangement haven't been so stress-free.

"I spend most of my days on my computer on my work desk which literally touches my couch. My couch, pre-COVID-19 was always, a relaxing zone, but now there is little separation between work and home it is really difficult to switch off," Emily tells Mamamia.

"At the end of the work day I try to leave the house to break up my day. I de-stress by going for a long walk through a nearby park. I also like to get away from screens and do something creative with my hands. Recently that has involved cross-stitch and building LEGO – being a big kid basically!"

Emma - "All hell breaks loose after breakfast."

Emma and her kids. Image: Supplied.

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For Emma, a mother of three, the morning routine of getting her children up and ready and out of the door, especially on the days she has to get to work, is a micro-stress for her.

"One of my children is organised very early, makes his bed and gets dressed all before I even see him in the morning," she tells us. 

"But then all hell breaks loose after breakfast. As well as his two sisters wreaking havoc, my son, without fail 'forgets' where the shoe rack is to get his shoes, puts the dog in the car with him even though every day I say 'no, the dog can’t come'.

"It's exhausting having the same thing every single time I have to go to work, and no matter if I am up at 6am or totally late and rolling out of bed at 7.30, the last half hour of my time home before going to work are relentless and always the same.

"Once the kids are dropped off, to get past my micro-stresses I call my husband to debrief and then listen to some music in the car on the way to work – never actually late and usually wondering what the stress was all about!"

Leanne - "I hate being late for work."

Leanne. Image: Supplied.

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"Due to where I live I actually have to leave the city to go to work, where for most others it's the other way around. The buses are always delayed on their way back from their route in to the city, so it's then late arriving at my stop," Leanne tells Mamamia.

"I hate being late for work. It was ingrained in me from an early age that you be on time, if not early for work. Also, I am the HR Manager- so it's not a good look if I'm rocking up late when people can get disciplined for that kind of thing."

For Leanne, making a cup of tea once in the office is a simple way she gets past her micro-stress.

"I sit at my desk and savour it before I start my day. I also have a mantra on my desk that says 'Slow down, calm down, don't worry, don't hurry. Trust the process'."

Liz – "My boys are too active."

Liz and her boys. Image: Supplied.

Liz, who is a mum of two boys under four, identifies her micro-stress as keeping up with their tireless, energetic and fearless natures.

"I love my kids, but they totally test my stress levels. They are extremely active, which means endless grubby clothes, plus there is the added 'fun' of toilet training, early rises, and their fearless nature - which is great but super scary sometimes and definitely my micro-stressor," Liz tells Mamamia.

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"To help me relax after a usually nonstop day, I like to read because it helps me switch my worries and problems off for a while. Journaling has been a major game changer for me as well. Or a big warm bubble bath while I binge watch trashy TV."

Lauren – "My daughter's not the greatest sleeper."

Lauren and her baby girl. Image: Supplied.

For Lauren, her main micro-stresses revolve around whether her nine-month-old daughter, Mila has had enough solids and milk, and enough sleep.

"She's not the greatest sleeper so I'm often also wondering when I will get all the other things on my to-do list, like housework, done," she shares.

"To deal with these stresses, I make sure I get to a gym class every day. The endorphins I get from cardio and weight training are enough to help me relax. A good gym with a creche is invaluable for a new mum."

What are your micro-stresses? How do you get past those little moments? Share with us below.

For more info on Rescue Remedy's full range of traditionally used in Bach Flower remedies to relieve symptoms of stress and mild anxiety, visit rescueremedy.com.

Want to try? Mamamia readers can get a free sample of the 7ml Rescue Remedy spray right here.

*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

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