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How To Turn Stress On It’s Head And Embrace Wellness

How to turn stress on it’s head and embrace wellness
How to turn stress on it's head and embrace wellness


Welcome to The Wholehearted Mom Podcast! It’s our launch season and I am so honoured to have you here. You’ll be glad you joined. 

In this episode: 

  • What does wellness really mean and how can we achieve it.  
  • 3 Important Facts About Stress  
  • 7 Ways to Cope with Stress 
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I appreciate you so much for showing up and joining this amazing working mom community we are starting. Thanks for listening and for your support. 


Sarah Reckman

Episode #8: How To Turn Stress On It’s Head & Embrace Wellness

Dear stressed out mom,

You are looking tired, flustered and overwhelmed. I am guessing you are feeling like you just can’t take anymore. And maybe you even feel alone. Like the other moms have it all together. You are desperate for some stress relief – for things to feel different.  

  • Do you find yourself regularly hiding in the bathroom just to get a moment of peace and quiet?
  • Have you found yourself often counting down the minutes until bedtime?
  • Are the demands of work, family and home just too much?


I have definitely been there – you are not alone. I think what you may be experiencing is mother-overload aka too much stress. 

When I was experiencing mother-overload I wouldn’t have said I am stressed, I would have just laughed it off and said #momlife.

But motherhood doesn't have to be this way...

I have done quite a bit of research on stress and I am passionate about sharing what I have learned with you. This way you can do things differently and life doesn’t have to feel so hard.

But first, let’s look at the goal – wellness 

Nagoski – Wellness is not a state of mind, but a state of action. It is the freedom to move through the innate cycles and oscillations of being human – from effort to rest and back, from connection to autonomy and back, from adventure to homecoming and back. But we have been lied to our whole lives about what wellness “should” look like, and rejecting that lie, all those myths about “having it all” and “finally achieving lasting peace” is how we create space in our lives.

“To be “well” is not to live in a state of perpetual safety and calm, but to move fluidly from a state of adversity, risk, adventure, or excitement, back to safety and calm, and out again. Stress is not bad for you; being stuck is bad for you.”

Wellness happens when your body is a place of safety for you, even when your body is not necessarily in a safe place. Wellness is not a state of being, but a state of action.

This is amazing news… Do you fully understand what this means?

This means that #1 life doesn’t have to be perfect and stressor free to achieve  wellness and #2 wellness is a state of action that encourages us to move back and forth between human states such as from adventure and work to rest and play. And #3 our bodies carry peace and calm inside of it which can be accessed anytime we need it and it isn’t affected by the chaos of the world around us.

3 Important Facts About Stress

  1. Stress is normal and serve a good purpose in our survival. 
  2. Our mindset towards stress actually dictates how much of a negative impact stress has on our bodies. When you change your mindset (what you believe about stress), you also change how your body is affected by stress. Kelly discusses a study in which they discovered that those who have a high level of stress in their lives have a higher risk of serious health conditions and/or dying prematurely. (to me that’s a no brainer) However only for those who also believed that stress is harmful   
  3. Stress and Stressors are different: Stressors are things that cause us stress and are sometimes not in our control such as finances, work stress, deadlines, political climate, etc. Stress on the other hand is the neurological and physiological shift that happens in your body when you encounter one of these threats. Its an evolutionarily adaptive response that helps us cope with things like being chased by a lion. Just because you’ve dealt with a stressor, that doesn’t mean you have dealt with these stress itself. You have to deal with the stress to complete the circle.

So, we’ve established that the goal of wellness is not about a life that is completely stress free and perfect but instead it is about being able to move in and out of stress well. 

How do we do that?

In order for you to release the stress within your body you need to find a way to complete the stress cycle. (As I said before this is more than just getting rid of the stressors).

If you don’t experience stress relief and release the stress hormones 2 things may happen.

First, your body will store that negative energy in an organ and stress hormones will wreak havoc on your physical systems (IBS anyone?)

And secondly, a build up of stress can lead to chronic stress – aka burnout and trauma. 

According to Emily & Amelia Nagoski’s research (found in their book, Burnout), here are the 7 ways to complete the stress cycle and signal to your body that you are safe.

One - Connection:

Our stress response system is designed to make you social, as it releases oxytocin. I think this is so cool as your stress response system pumps out oxytocin as part of the response to motivate you to seek support.

What?! Yes, your body wants you to be around people who care about you and love you when you are stressed.

Two - A 20 Sec. Hug or 6 Sec Kiss

Now that may feel like an abnormally long time to be physically affectionate with someone you don’t know well and trust. But when done in a relationship it can work wonders. My husband and I try to do this when we get home from work and give each other a 20 sec hug to help release any stress we are holding onto from our days. Thanks oxytocin!

Three - Move Your Body:

This may be yoga, going for a walk, exercise, dancing, progressive muscle relaxation techniques…. Just move your body!

Four - Deep Breathing:

Deep breathing is the simplest and quickest way to trick our body into thinking it is calm and slowing down our stress response. Importantly, deep breathing comes from the belly and involves long, slow exhales.

Five - Laughter:

I mean gut wrenching, going to pee our pants laughter. Ok it doesn’t have to be that intense. But it does have to be genuine.

Six - A Good Cry:

You can never underestimate the power of a good cry. There is no shame in crying.

Seven - Creative Expression:

Creative expression can be as simple as using imagery to as complex as painting, drawing, sketching, recording a masterpiece. In the book the sisters give a fun example in which one of them imagines herself as a large being stomping on all of her stressors while she walks on the treadmill. You can just imagine how freeing that would feel.

the catch...

Since you have probably experienced stress for a number of years without completing the stress cycle regularly, you may have a build up of stress stored in the body.

This means that doing one of these 7 actions 1 time isn’t going to solve all your stress problems. You need to incorporate your favourite of these 7 actions into your daily life and be an action-taking mama. 

Changing your mindset about stress, learning all the right stress management tools, and taking sustained action can be really challenging to do all on your own. 

Next steps...

If you want to dive a little deeper into how you can reclaim your energy and time and be less affected by stress then I want to invite you to book a free 30min call with me so we can create a plan to help get you back on track. 

Here is what I need from you today. I need you to decide right now that you no longer want to struggle in your motherhood and choose to become an action-taking Wholehearted Mom!

Sending you a calming blanket of peaceful energy. May you feel relaxed, serene, and content. Let your troubles go, and be at ease. Might you appreciate the things that make you smile, accept the challenges that lay ahead, and acknowledge the blessings you experienced today. #inthistogether

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