Hey, Mom: Take These Simple Steps for Stress Relief

Being a mom is tough. Anyone who suggests otherwise is likely clinically insane. Whether you’re the stay-at-home type or a working one, whether you have a partner at home or yours is a solo gig, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is learning how to prevent and manage your stress.

Prevent It

A good chunk of the stress we experience as mothers we put on ourselves. We set too-high expectations: perfectly made beds every morning, kids in wrinkle-free and color-coordinated outfits, too many extra-curriculars to get to on time, nutritious yet savory meals every night. Unless you’re Wonder Woman, it’s practically impossible to accomplish all of these day-in and day-out. Every family has different expectations for themselves, and upon close inspection, many of them are superficial. Identify what you can let slide without long-term consequences and train yourself to let them go when other things are more important.

Taking time out to relax and reflect keeps stress at bay, too. You might do something creative, or you might go to iWin.com to download games you can play while you wait for practice to end or school to let out. Don’t forget to spend time with grown-ups from time to time, too schedule a ladies night or date night, hit the gym or see a movie. Just make sure whatever you do lets you just be you for a little while.

Manage It

Stress is inevitable. The good news is, there are many things you can do to minimize your stress. Pick and choose the ones that work for you. Here are some options:

Breathe. Pausing to take a deep breath is the simplest way to reduce stress. You can do it just about any time and anywhere. A few good, deep breaths will help you put things in perspective so you can react to them appropriately.

Drink. Try a soothing cup of tea. There are a wide variety of low- or no-caffeine teas (think chamomile) that taste great and help you relax. Not only is the beverage itself calming, but so is the ritual of preparing and enjoying it.

Black out. Turn the lights down and turn off the television or gaming system. Put down your phone. Reduce your sensory input, and you’ll feel less like the world is attacking you. A shift in perception can trigger a shift in perspective.

Listen in. According to Webmd.com, 30 minutes of classical music can have calming effects similar to a 10-milligram dose of Valium. Classical music can be enjoyed by the whole family, is easily accessible and doesn’t require a prescription. Give it a try; you can buy a CD or log on to Pandora or Spotify.

Think positive. Instead of focusing on all that’s wrong, remember what is right in your life. It’s easy to focus on negative things when you’re stressed. If you need some empowerment, redirect your mind to the good things you’ve done, how much you have and all you’re capable of doing. Tell yourself you can overcome this rut and that you will take on the challenges of life successfully.

What’s worked for you when you’re stressed? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Paula Eastmann

Though she misses her husband, Paula is happy to help other military wives to keep orderly homes that are inviting and easy to keep. She loves sharing military mom tips with other wives and moms.

Comments

  1. Those are all great tips to help from getting too stressed! It’s so easy to get stressed out in my household!

  2. Bernice Mattila Garcia says:

    I’ve learned to let a lot of things go and to be okay with it. As long as everyone is safe, well fed and happy.. the dusty places can stay that way! When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I had to learn to let go of the perfect house, the perfect menu plan, the perfect mom/wife/daughter/sister/aunt/friend and learn to take care of me first.

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