Empty your worry bucket with stress-busting tips for working mums


With National Stress Awareness Day coming up on the 6 November, we thought it was a great opportunity to share some expert advice on reducing worry for busy working mums.

Career coach and founder of Inspired Mums Fiona Clark explains why worrying isn’t always bad, how to tell if you’re worrying too much, and how you can ’empty your worry bucket’ and learn to relax.

It’s easy to worry when you’re a busy working mum

As a working mum you probably spend a good deal of your day worrying. You worry about being late for work again and that the boss will be less than impressed. You’re painfully aware that your children are surviving on chicken nuggets and chocolate lately, and become frazzled at the thought of not securing a place for your toddler in the same school as his or her siblings.

Add to that your bigger concerns about the rising price of petrol, teacher strikes and climate change and your worry bucket is probably reaching tipping point!

Why worrying isn’t always bad

Worrying isn’t all bad, though. Sometimes it’s just the kick you need to spur you into doing something you’ve been putting off like going for a health check or putting your son’s name down on the school’s waiting list.

But too much worrying is a waste of time and energy, which stresses you out, and can often lead you to reach for the biscuit tin or a glass of wine.

How to tell if you worry too much

So, are you worrying too much? If you relate to the questions below, chances are you could be a serial worrier and it’s souring your life:

  • You wake up in the middle of the night with worries pinging around in your head.
  • You’re constantly creating scary ‘what if’ scenarios.
  • You worry about the economy, swine flu and things totally beyond your control.
  • You care way too much about what others think of you.
  • Minor life irritations such as traffic jams, the coffee machine breaking down or someone parking in your spot at work become a BIG deal.

Four effective worry-busting tips for working mums

Luckily there are some practical steps you can take to help you eliminate excess worry, and learn to adopt more healthy, relaxed habits:

  1. Reduce or eliminate risk – work out what you can do in every situation you worry about to reduce the risk or eliminate the worry. Could you visit your GP for a checkup or research other good schools a bit further from your home?
  2. Take action – have goals and take action where you can to reduce the risk so that you feel you’re taking control of your life rather than worrying about things. Let go of worries about things that are beyond your control.
  3. Make time for yourself – take a yoga class, sing in a choir, take a bath, read a book – anything that makes you feel relaxed and takes your mind off your fears.
  4. Write a gratitude list – think about how much you’ve got to be grateful for – your health, job, family, etc. It will put you in a more positive frame of mind, and help to erase unnecessary worries from your mind.

If you’re struggling to stop worrying, don’t worry! Remember it takes time to break any negative habit. Just keep practicing the worry-busting strategies above on a daily basis (think of it like training your muscles in the gym) and you’ll soon feel less worried and have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

Fiona Clark is a qualified career and confidence coach who specialises in helping working mums gain a greater balance and sense of fulfilment in their lives. For help with any aspect of your confidence or career development you can contact Fiona on 07789 597209 or email her at fiona@inspiredmums.co.uk.

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