It’s easy to see why moms in the U.S. are overwhelmingly stressed. They have a lot on their plates, from planning healthy meals to figuring out childcare, helping with homework, and playing chauffeur to get the kids to and from all their extracurriculars.
However, as important as caring for your family is, it’s also critical that you take some time out to care for yourself.
Try These 9 Quick Stressbusters
If we could, we would wave a magic wand and make all your stress disappear. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works. Instead, try these ideas to reduce stress now and in the busy days ahead.
- Take a deep breath
People tend to take shallow breaths from the shoulders instead of the diaphragm when they get stressed. As experts explain, shallow breathing can make you feel more anxious and stressed. Instead, take a minute to close your eyes and breathe deeply from your abdomen.
- Get some exercise
Finding time to exercise might feel impossible but moving your body can quickly relieve stress. A brisk five-minute walk can do wonders to clear your mind and get your blood flowing.
- Find a creative outlet
Having some sort of creative outlet can help manage stress and improve your mental wellness. Get an adult coloring book, start a journal, or get creative in the kitchen.
- Drink water
On days when you’re running on fumes, you might be tempted to refuel with an iced coffee. However, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water will keep you energized and focused throughout the day. It also has been shown to lower the levels of cortisol (aka, the stress hormone) that your brain releases.
Laughing increases endorphins, which make you feel happier. It also activates then relieves your stress response, leaving you feeling relaxed and calm. Listen to a funny podcast, turn on your favorite sitcom, or call up a friend when you’re feeling stressed.
- Eat healthy foods
When we’re stressed, we tend to gravitate towards fattening, sugary foods. Instead, opt for whole foods that will keep you energized and nourished, especially for breakfast. Some good choices include gluten-free oatmeal and oranges. Drink green tea instead of coffee.
- Say no
The world won’t end if you don’t participate in the school bake sale or chaperone the next field trip. When you have too much on your plate already, it’s OK (and healthy) to say no.
- Schedule alone time
Nobody’s going to suddenly give you time to yourself. You need to make time. Let your family know about it and treat it like a necessary appointment.
- Organize with other parents
Talk to the parents around you to see how you can help each other out. It could be arranging a carpool or hosting playdates once a week. Maybe there are parents in your neighborhood with older kids who would be happy to babysit. Remember, we’re all in this together!
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