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Moms: Give yourself a break this Mother's Day

What mom really needs for Mother's Day is a day off! According to the American Psychological Association survey, "Stress in America: Our Health at Risk," women are experiencing high levels of stress due to family responsibilities and health concerns over family members.

For Mother’s Day, the Georgia Psychological Association offers these healthy lifestyle strategies for busy women:

Take care of yourself: Set aside time for hobbies and activities that help you relax. Making time for yourself helps you better manage stressful situations and better care for the whole family. Also, find something that makes you laugh – humor is important, and laughter can really make life a whole lot easier.

Recognize how you deal with family stress: Some people deal with stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, comfort eating, or yelling and becoming irritable. Remember that stress is inevitable. What makes the biggest difference is how you manage that stress.

Reach out to others: Enlist and accept help from others including friends and family. Identify ways your family can help such as making a meal or babysitting so you can find time to take a break. Take time to connect with friends when you're feeling overwhelmed. Having strong female friendships can be very helpful.

Keep things in perspective: Remember that each morning offers a new start. Take things one step at a time. Stay optimistic; it lowers stress.

Prioritize: You can only do one thing at a time. Don't feel bad about saying no to the least important tasks. Make appointments for the most important tasks, such as spending quality time with a spouse or child.

Be organized: Put family health information in separate and easy-to-find folders; get family members to keep laundry in color coded baskets; keep book bags in assigned bins. Harried searching for things adds to mom’s stress. Enlist the kids' help in developing an organization plan. If they are involved in the planning, they will be more likely to follow through.

If you feel overwhelmed by stress or you've developed unhealthy coping mechanisms, seek professional help.

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