The #1 Complaint of Women

I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT IT!

Last night we went to the grocery store. I’d already spent the last two hours planning meals for the week, making the grocery list and praying that the grocery stores had stocked what I needed for this week. That winter storm straight up took Houston OUT! Remember the toilet paper shortage in 2020? Yeah, that’s coffee creamer right now. You cannot find good coffee creamer An-y-where! #FirstWorldProblems

Before leaving, I’d grabbed a bottle, made sure the diaper bag was stocked, grabbed a Yeti of Hot water to heat the bottle and could’ve bet my life on the fact that I grabbed the diaper bag too. Two hours later when I needed said bottle, I had the hot water and a fussy baby but….no diaper bag or bottle. I was so irritated that I couldn’t find it! After going all the way back home, my husband found it on the chair, right where I’d left it. How could I have forgotten the most important item for my baby? HELLO!

After a short shame spiral, I remembered a post I’d read on Facebook earlier in the week asking what the number one complaint of all women was in their marriages. Mental overload. 

I realized that it’s not only women who are married and not only pertaining to married life. It’s mental overload in general. More people than ever are coming to me for coaching. Lost, lonely, questioning their career choice, their abilities as a parent, their abilities as a spouse, and completely bogged down with decision overload. 

Where do we go for Spring Break that won’t break the bank? Where do we go that’s actually open because of Covid? Do I want to quit my job? Do I want a different career path? Do I start a business? Do I want a nap or to clean the house? Is my headache because of dehydration or something else? What do we make for dinner? When was the last time my kid had a well check? What’s due for my job? How many times have I run this load through the washer? Is this chicken in the fridge from three days ago or three weeks ago? My kid has what form due for middle school class selection? That expiration date is 2021, that’s a ways a way. Oh wait, we’re in 2021. What the….? 

Mental Overload. It’s a very real thing and I’m just going to say, if you’re not experiencing it, you are either a unicorn or a liar. 

I’m not sure there is one right answer to overcoming the mental overload but what I can say is that GRACE is the most important help right now. Grace for yourself and grace for others. Communication is second. Send the friendly reminders for dates and commitments others are involved in. Set alarms for yourself. Write the lists. If someone forgets something, understand that it’s probably not intentional. It’s probably because they’re just as mentally overloaded as you are. If you receive a friendly reminder and didn’t need it, that’s fine. Accept it with grace and thank them for sending it anyway. There may come a time when you do need it. Third, ask not how you can help. I’m finding that people’s response of “oh, nothing. It’s ok” or “I’ve got it” is just as canned as “I’m fine” when you ask how they’re doing. Ask your spouse if you can meal plan this week or what chore is at the top of their list. Ask what decisions need to be made that are weighing them down and how you can be a part of that process. Ask what meal your friend who just had surgery would like. Ask specifics. Can you take your niece and nephew for the day to help your sister in law out? Can you come sit with your new mom friend and do her dishes or fold her laundry or can you drop a coffee at her doorstep because she’s not in the mood for company but really just needs a pick me up? 

When someone says they forgot something or they sound like they’re really down on themselves, simply offer grace. A sincere “it’s really ok. Don’t worry about it.”

When that someone is you, look in the mirror and say that same response out loud. 

XOXO,
Kameran

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How much stress can you take?

Do you hit snooze every morning? Is coffee a MUST in order to thrive each day? Are you irritable, snappy with your spouse/kids? You might be burnt out. 

Ever heard of microstressors? A microstressor is something that happens in your day that gives you a small jolt of cortisol. It stresses your body but comes across cognitively as an annoyance, irritation or inconvenience. Examples would be: your alarm clock going off when you’re in the middle of a REM cycle, your spouse asking you to do something for them when you’re already running late, a child telling you at 7 PM they have a science experiment due that night or they need a certain shirt, brownies or something else for the next day, a car pulling out in front of you on the way to work, spilling your coffee, etc. Anything that makes you have to pivot or utter curse words under your breath. 

Your body is only equipped to handle 40 microstressors per day. 40. If you hit snooze each morning, that’s another microstressor for each time your alarm goes off. That being said, think of how many times you experience a microstressor each day. Is it more than 40? Anything more than 40 causes your body to release extra cortisol (public enemy number 1) into your system causing belly fat, exhaustion in emotional, physical and mental form, and a taxation on your adrenal glands. Tired, cranky and out of energy and patience all the time? Now you know why. All of these extra microstressors lead to burn out and chronic stress. Chronic stress then leads to chronic health problems. 

So how do you overcome them? 

1. Get 7-9 hours of sleep. The recommended amount is 6-8 but 7-9 are needed to thrive, not just function. Turn off electronics at least 1 hour before bed. Get a diffuser or sound machine. STOP hitting SNOOZE!
2. Meet your other physiological needs- food, air, water, homeostasis. If those needs aren’t filled, you can’t concentrate on anything. Kids are the same way by the way. My 10 year old didn’t go to sleep until late last night and this morning, I think I heard at least 10 times in 2 hours how tired he was while he was trying to concentrate on school work. Kids need between 11-13 hours of sleep every night to thrive too. Ever tried to have a serious conversation when you’re hungry? Doesn’t work so well, does it? 
3. Eat healthy, enough and often. When your brain is depleted from nutrients, you can’t concentrate and everything is more intense. 
4. Exercise but if you’re exhausted, don’t try to do a HIIT or something strenuous. Do yoga or go for a nature walk. 
5. Socialize with friends. 2 hours a week with friends can increase happiness by 40%! Encourage your spouse to go on that guys/girls weekend! They’ll come back refreshed and be a better spouse/parent. 
6. Progress over perfection. There’s a difference in being a perfectionist and just living in fear and “perfect” doesn’t actually exist anyway! 
7. Deep breaths. Search cosmic yoga for a fun resource for your kids to calm down. For you, 5 deep breaths every 3 hours, indulging in a hobby, journaling, meditation. All of these are fantastic! 
8. Time management. Prioritize, let go of the small stuff (does it really matter if your spouse didn’t fold the towels right? They fit in the cupboard, they’re folded and you didn’t have to do it. Let it go), delegate, partner up, share the resources you have, stop trying to reinvent the wheel…see number 6 on the perfectionist thing. 
9. When you or your child are having a meltdown, ask “what need isn’t being met here”? What do you need?
10. Set expectations clearly, early and often. Talk to your kids about your expectations for the day during breakfast. Talk to your spouse about your expectations for budgeting at the beginning of the month, for the job you’re requesting they do before they start it, etc. 

If you need more information on microstressors or expectations, I’ve done a video on both in the facebook group. Feel free to join and check them out! I do free coaching in that group 2-3x a week every week! 
Otherwise, I hope this has helped and I wish you a weekend filled with less stress! 

XOXO,

Kameran