Are you stressed? If you are, you’re not alone. Moms naturally play the role of therapist, referee, bus driver, nurse, cook and teacher at the same time, making it easy to feel overwhelmed!
Unfortunately, too much stress can result in a variety of health-related problems including anxiety, gastrointestinal issues and even heart disease. Thankfully, there are a variety of things you can do today that will help combat the anxiety and improve your relationship with the family and yourself.
Below are simple stress buster suggestions to help you go from feeling frazzled to fantastic and ready to take on whatever family life throws your way.
Practice Self Care
While you’re busy tending to everyone else’s needs, it’s easy to forget about your own. But neglecting yourself can lead to anxiety. And anxiety can quickly affect your mood, which can easily rub off on other family members, including the dog and baby. It’s, therefore, necessary to take some time out for yourself every now and then. Some self-care activities could include:
- Taking a bath – Studies have proven that a warm bath filled with Epsom salts help to produce the mood-elevating chemical serotonin which will help you feel relaxed and soothed.
- Getting enough sleep – It’s inevitable; moms, especially new moms, don’t get much sleep. But because lack of sleep leads to anxiety, memory loss and even weight gain, it’s important to fit it in. Take a nap in the middle of the day with your baby, go to bed when the kids do at night and enlist the help of your partner to get up during the night, so you can catch up on your slumber.
- Exercising – Exercise increases serotonin and norepinephrine levels and releases feel-good hormones like endorphins. In other words, exercise is a fantastic way to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Meditating – Mediation is the act of quieting the mind and focusing on the present moment. Meditation has been proven to reduce blood pressure and improve overall health.
- Eating Healthy – Maintaining a healthy diet will help keep stress levels down. Drink plenty of water, eat a diet rich in protein, vegetables and fiber and avoid alcohol and high levels of caffeine.
Less mess equals less stress. Find things when you need them and avoid missing appointments by getting organized. Make to-do lists, keep a calendar and de-clutter your office and home.
Ask for Help
Don’t ever hesitate to ask for help. Call on your partner to take over while you go for a walk, head to the mall or visit the spa on your own. And maintain a contact list of trusted childcare providers for when you and your partner need a night out or an emergency arises.
Things change often with kids, so it’s necessary to be as flexible as you can. Pencil, not pen, in appointments and always pack a change of clothes and extra diapers in the diaper bag in case of accidents. Also, because kids are always growing physically and emotionally, it’s best to be flexible with your parenting style. Discipline tactics that worked a year ago won’t necessarily work now. And activities your kids enjoyed last month may no longer be “cool” to them today.
Motherhood is immensely rewarding. But it can also be demanding. Taking care of yourself and reducing everyday stress will not only allow you to think a little clearer and breathe a little deeper, but will teach your kids fundamental values that will last for the rest of their lives.