Jenna Z Hermans Chaos to Calm Blog Reframe Responsibility to Lower Stress

Ugh…Do I Have To?

How to reframe your responsibilities from burdens to choices to lower stress and start enjoying life again

Most people I know, especially moms, need to lower stress. They feel the burden of the world on their shoulders. While we’re kicking ass at work, we’re also tracking the time before kid pick-up, figuring out food for dinner, arranging a playdate, planning a birthday, and sending thank-you notes from the last birthday party.

Even with supportive partners, most moms utter or think, pretty much daily: “Do I have to do everything around here?” With this thought, resentment builds. Chaos and overwhelm brew and swirl. Patience levels snap. You feel out of control of your life and like everything is being dictated to you in the form of demands – none of which feel optional. 

Hold up, wait a minute, let me put the chaos to calm spin on it. There’s actually something you can do to lower stress and release the burden of how these “have tos” feel. 

Reframe for relief

If you reframe responsibility as a choice as opposed to a burden, you will feel relief (there’s even scientific backup that has shown perceived control leads to positive outcomes). 

When a “have to” pops into your head and you start feeling your anger rise about having to make the seventh lunch this week when you have a million other things to do, reframe the responsibility as a choice. 

You have a choice to make lunches versus let your kids fend for themself or pay for pre-made hot lunches. You have a choice to nurture your children, and it is a gift you have the food to feed them so they can grow. 

Let’s practice with another stressful task.

Read this with your most annoyed voice:

“Ugh, it’s preschool pickup time already? I’ll barely meet my deadline. I guess I have to drop everything and go.”

Your resentment is thinking: I have no control of my schedule and resent my child for being so, frankly, dependent! 

Your reframe to choice and calm: It’s a busy day today, but I’m grateful to be able to afford preschool for my child for her education and socialization, and to give me time to work. I love her hugs when I pick her up. Picking her up myself is a choice I gladly make. 

And if picking up your child is causing you more stress than calm, you have a choice to start a carpool or hire a sitter, or arrange after school playdates instead. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you can change it, and own that choice without guilt. 

Bottom line

When you reframe your responsibility as a choice, it grants you ownership and joy. In any situation, we always have a choice. We can choose to see every situation as an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve. In this way, we stop being victims to circumstances. 

Stop being a victim; take ownership and become the creator of your life.

Meet the world with choice, love and empowerment, and you’ll tap into the calm within you. 

For more tips on how to own your calm, sign up for the Chaos to Calm newsletter! 

Reach out, I’m here for you.

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