It’s the end of summer and I couldn’t be happier. I am joyfully looking forward having both of my kids back in school in a matter of days. My daughter is 4 and will be starting her 2nd year of special-ed pre-school. My son is starting 1st grade. I keep telling myself that life will be a little less stressful and chaotic once the school year starts. (How many days are left now? I need to have my own count down!)
As with many moms (and dads), taking care of kids full time is a unique type of stress. You love your kids want the best for them, but some days they just know all the right (or wrong) buttons to push to send you near the edge of crazy. It’s those days you want to scream out WHY IS THIS MY LIFE! Then, two minutes later either someone has spilled milk on the floor or has just broken an iPad screen. Deep breaths my friend, deep breaths. You will get through this.
For those stress-filled days, here is my list of how I like to relax. Taking the time to do one or more of these should help relieve some stress and help you make it through at least another couple minutes.
Top Stress Relievers for Busy Moms:
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1. Go for a 10-20 minute walk. There is just something about moving your body and getting fresh air that is good for the sole. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel after going on a walk. If you have little kids, throw them in the stroller and hit the pavement. There are days where having a couple minutes where the kids are strapped into their stroller seat and not climbing all over you is all you need.
2. Take a bubble bath. Believe it or not, but I have actually scheduled bubble baths on my calendar for Sunday nights. I do jump in the tub more often then that, but I make it a point to take a bath at least 1x a week. My favorite bubble bath is Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath Eucalyptus Spearmint. It smells amazing (totally relaxing) and the bubbles stay around for a long time. Soaking in a tub of this lovely bubble bath for 20 minutes is a great way to relax. I suggest waiting until after bedtime to take a bath to fully enjoy the soak. Bonus, grab yourself a glass of wine and dim the lights. Really allow yourself to zone out and enjoy the experience.
3. Call a friend and talk about it. Mom friends are a necessity. They know exactly what you’re feeling and going through because they have been there too. Call one of your trusted friends and vent for 5 minutes. Let them have a chance to vent too. Having a gal-pal to get things off your chest will help you to let it go and move on. Sometimes just having someone listen and validate your bad day is all it takes to help shift your mood.
4. Yoga. I am new to the yoga scene. I have been doing it for about a month now. There are several free apps to download that have 8-30 minute instructional videos on them. There are also countless videos on youtube. Find a couple that work for you and rotate through them. Besides reducing stress, you will be working on your strength, balance, and flexibility. Win, win.
5. Meditate. Again, like yoga, there are several free apps you can download that will guide you through a meditation. There are some like the app “Breathe” that allow you to choose your physical, mental, and emotional mood in order to get a guided meditation that is tailored to you and your mood.
6. Put your legs up on the wall. This is a great stress relief technique that you can do while you are still hanging out with your kids in the play room. Lay down and scooch yourself towards the wall. Prop your feet up on the wall and hang out there for several minutes. Quick and easy. This one is good stress reliever for when you have been running around after kids all day. You spend more time on your feet then you probably realize. Take the couple minutes to put them up and you won’t be sorry.
7. Read a good book. This is one of those that you can do anytime of day. Reading in front of your kids is beneficial for them to see. It shows them that reading is a life-long activity and one that you participate in for your own enjoyment. The last three books are You Are a Badass, The 5 Love Languages, and The Happiness Project. I can honestly say I have enjoyed them all. I tend to go through cycles of books. Currently, I on more of a self-help/ self discovery theme. I get into the fictional series kick too and will probably end up reading The Hunger Games Trilogy for a third time before too long.
8. Diffuse some essential oils. Aromatherapy is great for stress-relief. Try some lavender or a stress-relief blend in a diffuser. Don’t have a diffuser yet? I use this InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser from Amazon. You can change the light setting and adjust whether you want the diffuser to have a continuous or intermittent dispersal.
9.Go to bed early. Getting enough sleep will help keep you energized the next day. Not used to going to bed early? Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it. My bedtime is 10 pm (no joke) on normal nights. If you’re behind on sleep, you can also try to sneak in a quick nap during the day. Sleep when the baby sleeps right? The other day my daughter fell asleep in the car. I didn’t want to chance waking her up, so when we got home, I cracked the windows and parked in the driveway. I put my feet up on the dash and I ended up sleeping for 40 minutes in the car with her.
10. Binge watch your favorite TV show on Netflix or rewatch your favorite movie. I’m currently watching all of the episodes Friends in order (again, second time I’ve watched the series). I’m also a big fan of rewatching classics like Will & Grace, Burn Notice, and Scrubs. Take sometime to just veg out on the couch. Maybe grab yourself an alcoholic beverage and a snack and pretend you’re at the movie theater.
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