Being a woman has its perks, like a pedicure and crying at sappy movies without judgment, but for the most part, it’s an endless barrage of demands, commitments and stress. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single or married, wealthy or budget-conscious, a parent or childless, there is always an ever-mounting pile of responsibilities sitting on your shoulder playing the “I’m not touching you” game with your sanity.

 We all get overwhelmed from time to time; that’s just the nature of being a human. There’s no shame in it, because it’s a common denominator that unites our species. Stress happens.

So, what’s a girl to do?

When the stress whammy starts to act up, you have two choices: Plan A) Let it bog you down until you break, or Plan B) Smack it around and show it who is boss by taking a little time to clear out the muckity muck.

If you’re a “Plan A” girl: Stop reading and close your eyes for a minute. Think about what it would be like to take action, conquer the madness and live without the perpetual panic and worry. Then, become a “Plan B” kind of mama.

If you’re a “Plan B” girl: Taking charge and kicking stress to the curb is uplifting in itself. Here are some tips to shake off the blech and get your groove back.

  • Shorten your list: Write down all the things you need to do and then choose the top three priorities. List that “Top 3” on a sticky note and put it where you’ll see it. Put the long list in a safe place, and when you’ve completed the first three, replace them with the next few. Your original list might be overwhelming, but when you’re only looking at three things at a time, the things you have to accomplish seem more manageable.
  • Conquer clutter: Whether it’s at your desk or around your house, clutter is maddening. Taking a morning…or day…to organize piles of papers, put away stacks of laundry or tidy up your space will ultimately reduce your stress big time. Looking around and not liking what you see can add to that overwhelming feeling of panic or melancholy. Clutter is distracting and makes everything seem less manageable. The sense of accomplishment when you get things straightened out will lift your spirits, and you’ll feel ready to take on a new challenge.
  • Treat yourself: Whether you’ve been dying to try the newest flavor of cappuccino at the corner cafe or you love a great at-home facial, take the time out to treat yourself well. It may seem like there’s not enough hours in the day to make yourself happy, but just setting aside 10 minutes a day to do something special will help you feel more taken care of and connected with your needs. If you feel like you’re constantly under pressure with nothing to show for it, your mojo will leave the building, and you’ll feel like your efforts aren’t worthwhile.
  • Give yourself a tune up: If you’re a music lover, play something that sings to you while you’re working…as long as it’s not distracting. When it comes to instrumental music, there are millions of choices to suit your style, from soothing classical to beat-pumping techno. Choose something in your preferred genre that perks you up, and let it soothe or stoke you.
  • Eat something healthy: While a candy bar is a quick, delicious treat, you’re going to get a quick sugar high and then a slow and steady crash. Instead, choose a healthier snack to give you energy. Not only will your body thank you, but you won’t be adding the stress of feeling guilty about the extra calories. In fact, you’ll feel proud of yourself for choosing something that’s good for you.
  • Get comfortable: If your hair looks rad when you leave it down, but you can’t stand it falling in your face…pin those locks up. When your blouse looks great on you, but the fabric makes you squirm, leave it on the hanger and switch to something you can move and feel good in. Sacrificing comfort in the name of beauty will add to your stress levels. It’s those seemingly trivial things that irritate you little by little all day long that amp up the likelihood that you’re going to hit your stress limit and turn from diva to dragon lady. No matter how cute your hair looks or sexy that blouse is, nobody looks good when she’s breathing fire.

Stress happens to all of us, because life is all about the snowball effect. Instead of giving in and letting it wear you out, take charge and eliminate it, one stressor at a time.

©Jessi Arias-Cooper

Author Bio: Jessi Arias-Cooper is a 30-something wife, mother and blogger from the American Midwest. The thing she takes most seriously is not taking much too seriously. She loves to laugh, shop and watch spooky movies. You can visit her on her blog, Mama’s Got Flair , follow her on Twitter @JessAriasCooper and check out her Facebook Fan Page