Stress is a tricky experience. It can be positive (like buying a new house) or negative (like from an onerous daily commute). Both forms can wear you down physically and mentally, but the negative form can be pernicious. It can lead to negative thoughts and rumination, sometimes even poor habits and physical reactions.
How do you know when you are stressed? What are your signs?
Some signs that may resonate with you are: quick temper, tired, general feeling of unease, less interest in usual fun activities (you may not feel like you have time for them), difficulty concentrating, more clumsy, getting a cold after a particularly tough event, craving more sweets or comfort foods, etc.
The signs are myriad. When you've identified yours you can put yourself in a better position to 1) recognize that you are feeling the effects of stress and 2) be kinder to your mental state and body during that time.
For example, if you can't focus enough to finish that report for work you may react by getting annoyed with your lack of productivity or taking it out on a colleague or family member; however, if you know the lack of focus is due to the stress from no childcare, then you are in a better position to effectively deal with the stress and it's effects.
Once you realize the lack of focus is due to stress and not your work abilities, you can go easier on yourself. Maybe the best use of your time is trying to find a friend or family member to temporarily cover childcare while you seek a more permanent solution. With that stress neutralized you can get back to your report.
For stressors that aren't so easily solved, then you might need to force yourself to take a step back from the situation. It can make a tremendous difference to give yourself permission to take it a little easier because your are going through something stressful. You might just need a day or even just one fewer meeting.
If you learn to recognize the signs of your stress, you can become more effective at managing it, which will free up your mental and physical energy for more inspiring pursuits like Pilates.