If you're a mom, chances are you've uttered the phrase, “I am so stressed!” at some point in your life. Kids, husbands, work, etc. can make your heart pound out of your chest and make your head throb. Mom life can be super overwhelming. Fortunately, there are so many things that can help you learn how to destress. These tips will help you figure out how to handle stress in a positive way.
How to Handle Stress for Moms
Sometimes you've got to figure out how to just get yourself through the day. Handling stress is about taking control and doing what you need to do to be strong enough to take care of mom business.
Take a Deep Breath
It is ok to tell your kids that you need to take a timeout. Take a moment, go into your room and close the door. Take a couple of deep breaths in, hold them, and release the air in your lungs. As you exhale, visualize all your stress leaving your body.
When you breathe in, your stomach should fill with air, not your chest. It takes a minute to figure out how to practice this breathing technique but once you get it you will be able to feel the stress melt away. A good deep breath is something we don't always think about but is so helpful.
Breathing lets your brain know that everything is okay. I took a stress management class in college and we would do an exercise where you would take deep breaths in and working from the top of your head down to your toes, you would tell each body part to relax. It's amazing how much stress we hold in our muscles.
Deep breathing can help you to relax and slow your heart rate if it's racing. This is something that can be done throughout the day. No need to wait until you're about to snap. The great thing about this exercise is that it can be done anywhere. So if you're at the DMV and it's stressing you the eff out, just breathe.
Talk to Someone
You are absolutely not alone. Every mom, who ever lived has felt stressed out at some point in their life. Talking about what's bothering you helps to connect with another person and feel like you have support in your life.
Whether you just need to take your mind off whatever is bringing you down, or you need a little bit of advice that only a good friend can give, talking can be super helpful. If you're like me, you may have a tendency to blow things out of proportion. Chatting with my bestie about what's happening always helps me to put things into perspective.
Take a Walk
Physical activity is a great way to help reduce your stress. I know when I'm stressed out, I can't organize my thoughts or get anything productive done. Stopping to take a 15-minute walk, doing 10 minutes of exercise, a bike ride, whatever, can help you get that pent up energy out and think a little more clearly.
I don't remember what I was even stressed about but I remember last year taking the kids on a walk to the park for half an hour because I was useless at home. They had a great time, they never even knew I was super stressed and I felt so much better when I got home. I'm not an exercise lover so physical activity isn't my first choice, but there are times when it helps get you centered.
How to Release Stress for Moms
Releasing stress is the next piece of the puzzle. While you may have made it through your bad day, residual stress can still cause you to feel down in the dumps. If you aren't good about working in regular self care, chances are, you will need to try several of these ideas. You are wound up, girl.
You don't need to be a monk to master the art of meditation. You just need to find a quiet place where you can listen to some audio guided meditation techniques (check out this article on the best apps, I've tried a few of these). I'll be honest, meditation is not the thing that works best for me. I can't get my brain to quiet down enough to let the guide take over.
But I know people who swear by this as one of their favorite stress reducers. Truly, meditation is about getting out of your own head. And sometimes Target is the best place for that. The mindless wandering of the aisles totally counts as meditation in my book. Also check out the coolest meditation headband that my friend Vera shared. It's supposed to help you calm down and get focused!
Smiling, even when you don't want to, actually tricks your brain into releasing feel-good endorphins. Sometimes it can be so hard to flip a switch and get out of your stressed out mood. But just give it a try. It's easy to go online and find a funny video to watch. My oldest son and I have started watching Blackish every day in the afternoon together. It is one of my favorite ways to deal with stress.
DeClutter Your Brain
We're often feeling stressed over things that simply aren't important. We get fixated on something that did or didn't or could happen and waste precious brain energy on it. It's mentally exhausting to worry and these things don't deserve our attention.
Focus only on stuff that's critical and clear your brain of all the stuff that makes you feel bad. Letting go can be hard but it's important that we don't keep this extra weight around. It's really not good for you!
Also, declutter your physical area. I know when I'm feeling stressed out about work stuff if I take 10 minutes and organize my work area I feel so much more ready to tackle my to-do list. I find when I'm stressed out about mom stuff, if I ask the kids to help me for 15 minutes to straighten up the house, I feel way better about the rest of the day.
Get Some Sleep
Good sleep can be amazing! But you aren't going to get it if you haven't calmed yourself down with some of these other tips for how to handle stress. Bringing your stress into bed will not have you sleeping like a baby.
What I try to do when I'm having a bad day, is put myself to bed early. That may mean that my husband has to get the kids to bed (and not on time, even though they go to bed the same time every night – but I digress…) and that's fine. I put on a favorite TV show and shut my brain off.
I never pick up my phone or iPad before bed because screen time can make you engage too much. But TV helps to relax me. If it doesn't for you, try reading a book, or doing an adult coloring page or something else. Quiet time, for yourself, is sometimes the best medicine.
Once you figure out how to release stress, you'll find yourself feeling less stressed out in the first place! What ways do you release your stress? Leave a comment below!
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