How to manage mom stress with 3 simple tips you can start tonight
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I sank deeply into my sofa, having frantically hurried my children into school, and whizzed around the house to do a half hearted tidy up. I listened to the sweet silence filling the air. I watched as my littlest played with her brand new tea set.
It felt like bliss.
And for the first time in a few weeks, I felt a lot of pent up stress melt away from my body. Stress that I didn’t even know was there. My youngest came and nestled under my arm we both drifted off into a restful sleep.
Suddenly my eyes flew open and a quick look at the clock told me my time was up and it would soon be time to pick up the older two from school.
That mental and physical rest revealed something to me. How important rest and relaxation is to the mind, body and spirit. Not only does it feel incredibly sweet, but it is imperative if we want to be as healthy as possible. Stress can lead to feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety. If left unmanaged it will lead to more physical manifestations such as weight gain, low libido, forgetfulness and in extreme cases heart disease.
Although the six weeks school break was largely relaxing and enjoyable, the last two weeks didn’t feel like that. I was displaying all the typical signs of stress including; headaches, the inability to fall asleep and slight anxiety.
Recognising our bodies cues is the first step to addressing the underlying reasons for our stress.
I don’t want to be a victim of stress; mentally or physically. I enjoy slow intentionality . I thrive on that, and I haven’t managed that well over the last couple of weeks, but that’s all about to change!
So here are my 3 tips to manage mom stress that I will be incorporating into my daily routine, with a few extra at the end!
1. No screens after 22:00
Yeah …I love my screen time.
And I definitely have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I am information junkie.
A lot of what I read and watch on both Youtube and Instagram are about observations on the political and social climate, raising kids, budgeting and healthy eating. Those are all HUGE topics. And here’s what I realised. Sometimes having too much knowledge can cripple you. Sometimes having so much information downloaded into your brain can overwhelm you into inaction. There is no possible way you can take action on all of those things in one night, or one week.
Never mind the light emitting from any type of screen tells your brain to stay awake and not produce melatonin. Check out this video by Dr Dan Siegel, professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine who breaks down exactly what happens. Instead I will be reading after this time. This is the book I will be diving in to next. If you’re not a fan of reading, try an audiobook, or podcast that focuses on relaxation. You do not want to be stimulated at this time of night!
2.To Do Lists
Part of being a mom is the NEVER ENDING list of things to do. To be honest I don’t think I’ll ever be on top of absolutely everything, but what really helps me manage my expectations and mindset is list making. I make a list in the morning of the four most important things I want to do that day, with an optional three afterwards. Accomplishing those things and ticking them off the list really helps with my feelings of achievement. Another thing that helps me, is making a list before I go to bed so that anything I’m worried about for the next day will be written out so that it doesn’t weigh on my mind over night.
3. Daily walks.
Walking the children to school affords me some quiet time, and time for reflection, despite the bustling traffic next to me. Not only does it help me reach the reccommended 10,000 steps a day but the calmness of being alone with my thoughts is priceless, and it’s something that I just don’t get once I’m in the house with tasks demanding to be attended to. I would recommend at least 45 minutes if you can squeeze that in.
Drink Calming tea
Camomile tea, it’s so soothing and relaxing. My favourite blend though is this one by Pukka.
Soaking in a bath, sometimes doing nothing, sometimes reading a book feels so luxurious to me. During a particularly busy time in my life I used to have these two to three times a week and it was a revelation. I felt so relaxed and calm, I’m definitely going to incorporate this in the next few days.
Watch sugar intake
If you’re like me, the first thing I want to do when I’m stressed is eat all the cookies,
Or ice cream.
Or bowl of Frosties.
If you’re stressed try not to buy them! I am retraining myself to recognise that the stress I’m feeling are cues to switch things up in my life (more sleep, more nutrient dense vegetable foods), not more sugar! Sometimes this liquorice tea nips my sweet cravings in the bud!
I’m planning on incorporating all of these at some point over the next few weeks to get me back to my normal equilibrium! When I incorporated all of these tips in my life four years ago, it changed my whole mindset. I hope these tips will be just as useful to you.
Let me know what has helped you manage your stress down below. I’m always open to new ideas!