You know it’s essential to take care of yourself, but, as a mom, it can be nearly impossible to find the time. I mean, how are you supposed to get your own peace when there are more items on your to-do list than hours in a day?
The best way to begin caring for yourself is to adopt small, simple habits and integrate them into your daily routine. Although tiny, these routines can help you manage anxiety and be a better mom — and who doesn’t want that?
Manage Anxiety with these simple Routines
Clutter has a way of making us anxious. From piles of mail in the doorway to toys covering the living room floor, all of this extra stuff sucks your brainpower and energy. It can even steal your time, contributing to procrastination.
If you’ve spent more than five minutes searching through the clutter for your keys, you know what I mean. Organize your life and ease stress by donating or tossing some items.
I can physically feel the stress reduce when I get rid of clutter in my home. Try just filling one box or bag a month. Another idea is that when you buy anything new you take something out so that you are keeping a balance in your home.
- Jam Out
Who said cleaning had to be boring? While you declutter, crank up the radio and jam out to some tunes. Listening to music, dancing around and having some fun can do wonders for your anxiety levels.
Scientists have compared listening to music to taking sedative medications. Thus, if you’re looking for a natural mood booster and stress reliever, try incorporating more tunes into your daily life.
Technology — and smartphones, in particular — may increase your anxiety without you even realizing it. While most people find it rewarding to check their apps and inboxes, others become compulsive about looking for updates.
This obsessive behavior could become stressful, leading to more severe bouts of anxiety and depression. Therefore, if you find yourself habitually checking your phone every 10 minutes, give it a break and unplug.
- Get Outside
Once you’ve shut off your phone, step outside for a breath of fresh air. Take the kids with you to the park or playground and enjoy a bit of nature. Spending even a few minutes in the great outdoors can give you a boost of vitamin D, fight depression and anxiety and reduce mental fatigue. Plus, your kids will release pent up energy, likely making bedtime a bit easier in the evening.
- Take Care of What Matters Most
As a mom, it’s natural to worry over your kids. However, worry can quickly turn into an anxiety attack, especially when you begin imagining them growing up without you. As much as you’d like to avoid the subject, death is inevitable.
Fortunately, you can choose to support your children, even after you pass. With a life insurance policy, you can rest easy knowing that, if anything were to happen, your children would receive a sum of money to help them.
- Breathe Deep
When you’re stressed or anxious, your heart rate and breath tend to quicken. Inhales and exhales become short and uneven, limiting the diaphragm’s range of motion and triggering anxiety. When you sense this shortness of breath, take a few moments to breathe deep. You can practice this at a stoplight, in line at the grocery store or in the shower. Doing so will aid in progressive muscle relaxation and allow you to destress.
You may not have time to go to a masseuse, but you do have the time — and the tools — to give yourself a massage. All you need are your own two hands and a few minutes before bed each night. Press and rub all the sore spots in your feet, neck, shoulders, calves and wrists. Use lotion to make the experience a bit more luxurious or swap massage duty with your partner each night.
- Revisit a Hobby
How long has it been since you dug around in the garden or had a little fun scrapbooking? While your kids take up most of your time, it’s still important to engage in your favorite hobbies for the sake of your sanity. While the kids are painting or coloring, get a little crafty too. Alternatively, when you put them down for naps, pick up a book. Doing so can help relieve anxiety and rekindle creativity.
As a mom, you may completely dismiss the thought of keeping a journal. When will you ever have time to sit down and write? Journaling doesn’t have to be an hour-long affair, however. In fact, keeping a journal can be as simple as scribbling down a sentence about your day.
Keep it simple and allow your feelings to flow through your pen and down onto the page, thus releasing anxiety and stress. With just five minutes a day, you can start to see the benefits.
- Give Thanks
In your journal, you might opt to make a small list of things you’re grateful for each day. Whether it be your dog’s silly grin or your baby’s laugh, jot these moments down. Consciously practicing gratitude in this way will allow you to see and appreciate all that you have. Moreover, it will help you see the good in everything, even on the most challenging days.
Moms Matter, Too
Society tends to overemphasize the amount of time and attention you should give to your child. From posting photos of their babies on social media to never leaving their children alone, some moms lose themselves in trying to be the perfect parent. Of course, perfection isn’t attainable, just as attending to your child’s every fleeting desire is unsustainable. Striving to do these things will only increase your anxiety and lead to complete burnout.
Getting out is so important for you and the health of your family. When you invest time in yourself EVERYONE benefits.
Therefore, you must take care of yourself. Finding ways to manage and reduce anxiety will help you do that. While these habits won’t make you a perfect mother, they can support you in becoming a better one.
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