Being a mom is so darn hard. Granted, it is an amazingly fulfilling job, but it comes with a million challenges that quite frankly usually leave us drained, exhausted, burned out and sleep-deprived.
We’ve all been there at some point in this amazing journey. Some of us might even consider it normal. We’ve changed diapers, cleaned up messes, dealt with tantrums, and given up any semblance of our own privacy so many times that our minds and bodies have adjusted to this situation.
I think we can all agree that moms are amazing and strong. But, we are still human. We all need a break sometimes. We all need to relax and unwind and reconnect with ourselves once in a while.
If this is how you feel, I’d wager that’s probably why you stumbled upon this post. You’re probably looking for ways for moms to relax and have some me-time.
Let me start off by saying that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. So do not feel guilty. Do not feel like you are letting people down. Believe me, you totally deserve it, momma! Because if you are not okay, baby will not be okay. You have to be in the right mindset to take care of kids.
This is the main reason why taking care of yourself is very important. If you do not take care of yourself, you’ll end up constantly exhausted and stressed. And this is not normal.
Stress has worse and worse effects over time if we do not take proper measures to curb it. It leads to a multitude of health issues and eventually, it also affects the people we love around us.
So How Will You Know That The Stress Is Getting To You?
If it’s short term stress, then you might start experiencing headaches, stomach cramps or even weight gain if you happen to be a stress eater. Chronic stress, on the other hand, has a bit more adverse effects like depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Yes, scary, I know. This should show you how important stress management actually is, whether chronic or not. Do you find yourself shouting at everybody, especially your kids? Do you have a reputation as that angry mom? Are you very irritable and get frustrated over little things?
All these things are possible pointers that you could be a stressed mommy. That’s your signal that it’s time to take measures to curb it before it is too late.
So what can you do to deal with stress? Well, for one thing, relaxing and unwinding a little bit and getting away from your stressful life for a while can make a huge difference. Today, I am going to give you a comprehensive list of ways for moms to relax and unwind during stressful days. I hope this post will be of great help to stressed moms. Let’s begin!
Why is this number one on my list? Well, meditation totally works for me whenever I feel like my world is crumbling. Whenever I feel like I need a minute to breathe, I take a couple of minutes to meditate.
Being a mommy is no walk in the park. I have no idea how I would have made it this far without my husband’s support. Sometimes my boy’s tantrums really get to me. The kicking and screaming and even the biting for no reason, haha. So whenever I need a minute or when I’m on edge, meditation works wonders for me.
Here is something interesting about stress: sometimes we stress over very trivial things, while other times we stress over things that actually matter. So how can you know the difference? How can you tell that you are stressing over nothing? Personally, I think this is where meditation comes in.
Meditation usually helps us clear our minds. It helps us figure out what matters and what doesn’t. It helps us separate important matters from unimportant ones, giving us that much-needed clarity. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten stressed over things and after meditating and clearing my head, I end up discovering that I was stressing over nothing.
Most meditation teachers suggest that you should meditate at least twice a day to relieve stress. All you need is to find a quiet spot and to focus on your breathing. You’ll then feel the tension slowly leave your body.
There are very many meditation programs these days. I have tried several programs and eventually found something that works for me. I am a great fan of the Sounds True meditation program.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. Keeping both your mind and body active really helps in alleviating stress.
Whenever I feel like I need a little break, I usually do some yoga or stretches. I sometimes go for runs or walks just to clear my head.
This applies to all moms, whether you are at home or at work. If you are at work and can’t afford to go out for a walk, then just take a few minutes to stretch. Stretching helps relieve muscle tension which then helps us relax.
If you can manage to take a walk, the better. Walks are really great stress relievers. You get some fresh air and some time alone to think and figure things out.
If you are more into running or jogging, queue your favorite playlist and run. Sometimes listening to your favorite song is all the therapy you need.
You can also dance if you have space. If you have time, you can enroll in a dance class to help keep fit and relieve stress.
All these exercises are not just great for the mind, but for the body as well. They also help you sleep better at night.
3. Read a book
The thing about reading a good book is that it takes you to this whole other world. It lets you be part of the author’s imagination and forget your own troubles at least for a moment. You become part of a world that has no relation to whatever you are dealing with. Doesn’t that sound relaxing?
As the cherry on top, reading also helps your body relax by easing the tension in your muscles. It also lowers your heart rate.
I read books to relax and to indulge in the escapism. The beauty of reading a book is that you don’t have to read many pages to relax. All you need are a few pages from your favorite book and you will feel the stress ooze out of your body.
Writing also works for me. If you love writing, then you must know that penning something down goes a long way in helping you relax. Actually, you do not even have to love writing to do it. Sometimes just writing down how you feel in a journal helps alleviate stress. If you write for a living like me then you are in luck because that means you get free therapy every day! And boy do us moms need that! 🙂
4. Eat your favorite snack
Sometimes enjoying your favourite snack can make all the difference in stress management.
An occasional bite of your favorite dark chocolate can help calm your nerves. It helps regulate levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Green tea, or any warm drink for that matter, is also amazing at relieving stress, anger or anxiety. If you are having a rough day, settle down and slowly sip on your warm cup of herbal tea.
It is also important to note here that this should not be an excuse to overindulge in unhealthy food. If not done cautiously, some of these foods can lead to weight gain and affect our overall health.
So always remember to keep your stress eating as healthy as possible. There’s no need to solve one problem by creating a whole other one. If you are unhealthy, you will only end up being even more stressed.
5. Have a bath time escape
Every mommy deserves some alone time. That’s because most of the time we usually take care of everyone BUT ourselves. I guess that’s just how selfless we are, which is a good thing. But…we need to set aside some time for ourselves to reenergize. We need space to escape and recollect our thoughts.
One great way is by taking a nice long bath. Taking a few minutes off our busy mommy schedules to relax will do us a lot of good. I recommend taking a bubble bath to relax and rejuvenate. You can even kick things up a notch by treating yourself to aromatherapy candles and oils. And you can add a glass of wine in the mix once and make yourself feel extra special.
A relaxing bath is a great stress reliever. It’s a great way to ease the body and mind. Add your favorite essential oils and you’ll have yourself an amazing staycation.
These oils have natural properties that reduce stress. Plus the smells are just amazing. Lavender, peppermint, geranium and frankincense oils smell great besides being stress relievers and muscle relaxers. You will feel the stress and stiffness slowly melting away as you enjoy your bath.
Making your bathroom your safe haven is a simple yet great idea. If possible, do it every day. Or at least several days in a week. Just take a break from the rushed one minute shower and enjoy a few minutes or hours of relaxing bath time.
6. Take a trip down memory lane
Sometimes what we need to calm our nerves is a trip down memory lane. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, take a moment to go through old photos and videos.
Look at how cuuute they were when they were really tiny. Remember the day they were born? How you fell in love with them the moment you set eyes on them? You’ll find yourself smiling. Now, do you realize how blessed you are?
Also, make sure to look at that hideous outfit you wore back in the day in college. Cringy, huh? Yea, go ahead and laugh your lungs out. It’s relaxing.
7. Take a hot cup of tea
What you drink can affect your mood. Sometimes taking a lot of caffeine can increase our heart rates, making us more anxious. So switch that cup of coffee or diet coke with a nice warm cup of tea. You can try peppermint, chamomile, green or rose tea.
Research shows that herbal teas reduce stress and anxiety. Some of them, like chamomile and rose tea, help treat insomnia by calming the body and helping us sleep well.
Research also shows that the mere act of drinking tea can be relaxing. When you sit down quietly as you sip that tea, your body relaxes and slows down. This then makes you less stressed.
8. Take a lot of water
So I read somewhere that taking plenty of water can be stress relieving, and I was just as shocked as you probably are right now.
How does drinking water relieve stress, you ask? Well here’s how. You know how whenever you take a lot of water you end up peeing lots of times? Well, turns out getting up and pulling yourself away from people to go pee helps you clear your head.
Plus, when you go to the bathroom, you will get a few seconds or a minute to yourself. This gives you the chance to breathe and at least hear your own thoughts. Those thirty seconds can be quite refreshing.
Whenever I manage to go the bathroom without someone tailing me (if you are a mom you definitely know what I mean here: there comes a time when they’ll follow you everywhere, including the bathroom, so bye-bye privacy!), I found that I left the bathroom feeling refreshed and re-energized. It doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, it works.
9. Always plan ahead
In case you haven’t noticed, one great way to avoid unnecessary stress is by being organized and planning ahead. Taking care of the kids and doing chores can be really tough if you don’t plan ahead.
So for instance, if dinner every day involves washing and chopping veggies, instead of doing this on a daily basis for every dinner, why not do that on a weekend and store them up in the fridge so that all your dinners that week will have one preparation step less?
You can also organize your house in such a way that the things you need and use most are easiest to access. Diapers and wipes should always be accessible because you know how messy kids can be. Having to look for diapers whenever the baby needs to be changed can drive you crazy.
You should also strive to plan your time so that you don’t keep rushing to do things. Struggling to remember things and rushing to complete tasks can be quite stressful. Besides, all that running around like a maniac will just get you exhausted. So to avoid all that, have a to-do list that will help you know what to do and when to do it.
Daily planners are great for planning your daily activities. I use the Day Designer Planner to help me focus on my daily priorities. I love it because each day has a designated space for my daily top three priorities. It makes it easy to focus on my highest priorities that day. It also comes in different cover styles.
10. Enjoy playtime with the kids
If you can’t beat them, join them, right?
Instead of sitting and feeling sorry for yourself because you didn’t sleep well the previous night because your 5-month-old kept waking up every two hours or so, and you still had to wake up early to prepare your older kids for school, why don’t you sit down and enjoy playtime with the kids?
Do a puzzle with them, play with legos, just do something with them and you’ll be surprised how fun it will be. Time will pass really quickly. You’ll also get to hang out with your kids and know them better. All that bonding is good for everyone.
11. Try Aromatherapy
While it can sometimes be hard to get an hour to soak yourself in the bathtub or get a massage with essential oils, rubbing oils on your skin is very simple.
Studies show that aromatherapy can help balance your body, mind, and soul. A simple scent can evoke memories and emotions and impact your body through your nervous system.
You can choose to rub essential oils into acupressure points of your body or diffuse the oils into the air. These scents can help relieve stress and relax the body. They also promote better sleep. Lavender oil, for example, is great for aromatherapy. It helps calm the nervous system, which then leads to the lowering of blood pressure, skin temperature, and heart rate. It also helps in changing the brain waves to a more relaxed state.
Lavender aromatherapy has also been found to reduce depression in women suffering from postpartum depression. Jasmine and rosemary also work great.
Sometimes those few quiet minutes are really hard to come by. That’s why you should always ask for help. Ask for a break. There’s nothing wrong with doing that. Ask your partner, ask a relative, ask a friend, hell even ask that good neighbor. You can even get a baby sitter to hold the baby for you as you enjoy your short bath-time escape.
And if help is offered, please accept it. Don’t overthink it. Whoever is offering that help has probably seen you struggle and feels your pain. It takes a village, remember? So let your village help you.
If you have older kids, talk to them and let them know that mommy needs a few minutes to herself once in a while. They’ll probably not understand, and will still wait for you outside the bathroom, but hey, you take what you get, right? Make it known that mommy is also human and she gets tired too. Sometimes your kids might surprise you.
I should also mention that if you feel like the stress is affecting your quality of life, your health, and the lives of the people around you, it is wise to consider getting some professional advice. Talk to your doctor or consult a therapist. Sometimes, specialty medication or therapy really is the best way to go.
Self-care is important. And part of making sure that your little one is well taken care of is by taking care of yourself. So don’t feel guilty. Don’t apologize. You deserve it. After all, when mommy is okay, everyone is okay.
I hope this post has been of some help to a stressed mommy somewhere.