Parenting is not for the faint of heart.
This situation ring any bells? You’re trying to make dinner. There is crying and children clinging to your legs, and something is probably on fire. You’re trying to get an email sent in the three minutes you have before you get interrupted, you need take a child to the bathroom, help your child attend a virtual school meeting, and somehow find time to feed yourself, spend time with your spouse, get exercise, and get a healthy eight hours of sleep. You’re trying to plan your baby’s first year photos, fold a mountain of laundry, clean the bathroom, and drive to and from a million different activities. Making sure everyone’s else’s needs are met often means your own are getting neglected.
It’s chaos that’s likely very common to you. And it’s laughable. This unsustainable lifestyle can get overwhelming. Very quickly. As a parent, it can be hard to truly find time to relax.
What’s more, for busy moms, relaxation and de-stressing are likely on the bottom of the endless list of to-dos.
But, the old adage is true: you cannot pour from an empty cup. If you are not caring for your physical, emotional, and mental needs, you won’t be able to take care of your family the way you want. Burnt out and overwhelm easily create problems for you — and your family].
So, what can you do to reduce your stress levels and embrace your parenting role with peace and joy?
1. Take Care of Your Physical Health
It’s easy to disregard your own health when you have little ones to take care of. (And let’s be real, chasing your children is a work out of its own!) But, taking care of your body is incredibly important for stress relief. Stress, itself, can cause issues like high blood pressure and heart disease. Fighting against those risks by monitoring your health will make a big difference.
The best things you can do for your physical health are to adopt a healthy diet and make sure you’re getting enough exercise. The good news? You can be active every day with your baby. A simple walk around the neighborhood with them will help to get your heart pumping and strengthen your muscles.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep with a baby in the house might sound like an impossible feat. But, you should aim to get between 7-8 hours a night whenever possible. If your child isn’t sleeping through the night, get some rest when they nap throughout the day.
Yes, you might have other things to get done. But, getting enough rest will keep you healthy and give you more energy when you need it. It will also help you to fight one of the most prominent symptoms of stress; fatigue.
3. Take Deep Breaths
Did you know that deep breathing exercises can help to reduce your stress levels almost instantly? It seems too simple to work, but it does.
You don’t have to be a professional at meditation in order to make deep breathing work for you. There is no special ceremony or structure you have to follow. It’s simply about being more mindful with your breathing.
If you’re feeling particularly stressed throughout the day, take a break from whatever you’re doing. Close your eyes, and focus on taking a deep breath in, then letting it out slowly. Think about that breath and how your body feels as you release it. If thoughts or worries start to come, let them go, as if they were nothing more than clouds passing by.
Stress relief starts with taking care of your mind and body so you can do a better job of taking care of your family. Make yourself a priority in your own life, and you’ll be able to be the best busy mom you can be. (Without the burnout.)