Moms do not have superpowers, but most will work like they do. It’s bound to take a toll. As they say, all work and no play makes a lady a dull mom. Even if that’s not how that proverb goes really, you know that stress and overwork will overwhelm you and cause burnout. Use these stress-relieving activities to have you feeling less overwhelmed in no time.
When you get even just a little time for yourself (or try to be creative and make time for yourself), indulge in a stress-relieving activity. It will rejuvenate you and put you in a better position to deal with the challenges of parenthood.
Here is a list of 13 stress-relieving activities, so that you don’t have to waste time thinking about what to do when next you have some free time:
Escape to the magic of faraway lands (even if imaginary). A compelling story can take your mind off stressful things. Even if it is for a short while, read what you love. Keep a bookmark handy, so that if motherhood calls, you can attend to your duties and return easily next time.
It’s called aromatherapy for obvious reasons. Avail of the therapeutic benefits of fragrant essential oils. Let the fragrances take your stress away. You have to try it to understand that it’s not just hype. Aromatherapy is both, an art and a science. Even the medical fraternity is recognizing and admitting the beneficial effects of aromatherapy.
If you have very little time, just go for a simple walk. No previous preparation is required. If you take a walk in natural surroundings, it will boost your physical health and also help clear up your mind.
Bonus, you can collect pinecones and sticks and make something cool with it!
Meditation is nothing but taking control of your mind and thoughts. Focusing your thoughts instead of letting them wander. With meditation, you can calm your mind.
If you do not know how to get started, make use of the abundant audio guides online. All you need to do is play one of those audios and let it guide you towards peace and tranquility. You might want to explore guided imagery, which is also a type of meditation.
When your thoughts overwhelm you, get them out on paper. Although journaling could be done using any device, old-school journaling (with pen and paper) still feels the best. It’s therapeutic. Let all your anguish, your pain, your fears, your exhaustion, your hopes, and your dreams flow through your pen onto the paper.
Cleaning and organizing require just a little planning and a lot of physical activity. Both of these are good for distracting your mind from stressful thoughts. Practice mindfulness as you clean or organize. Additionally, at the end of your cleaning or organizing spree, you’ll be rewarded with a more tidy, welcoming space and a sense of accomplishment.
Coloring and doodling are not just for your little ones. Why do you think there are so many adult coloring books in the market? Doodling and coloring are great for relaxing the mind and decreasing anxiety and depression. Just remember, you are not in a competition, and there’s no right or wrong way of doodling or coloring. Do what feels right to you. You might end up with masterpieces, even though that was not the goal.
Jigsaw puzzles do more than just reduce stress. They engage the left and right hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, they are great for short-term memory (combat that ‘mom brain’) and visual-spatial reasoning. You could involve your little ones in this activity.
Every day, without fail, just take ten minutes out and indulge in a quick skincare routine. You could do this at night when the little ones are asleep. Taking care of yourself like this will work wonders for your self-esteem, and your mental health in general. Occasionally, use a sheet mask, close your eyes, and relax. You could even meditate with the mask on!
One of the simplest ways to refresh yourself is to let warm water wash away the exhaustion, the worries, and the pain. For a few minutes, just enjoy the feeling of warm water on your skin. The only thing better than a warm shower would be a shower after a massage. Why wait for someone else? Give yourself a relaxing massage. If you have more time, visit a spa.
Exercise will not only improve your physical health, it will also improve your body image. Even a single session of exercise can improve your perception of yourself. It does not even have to be strenuous exercise. Opt for any form of physical activity that you like. It could be yoga, kickboxing, HIIT, or even plain old stretching. Even playing with your children counts.
Cooking/baking here does not refer to the everyday activity that you do for providing meals to your family. Cook or bake a special recipe. Practice mindfulness while you do it. Pay attention to every aroma. Admire all the colors of the food. Present it beautifully for your family. For instance, you could grill a whole lobster. Observe how its shell turns a bright hue. Present it on a nice platter with beautiful garnishing and with suitable side dishes.
Sometimes all you need to feel better is to throw your head back and laugh. It has to be genuine laughter with actual mirth, not pretense. Sometimes, as a mom, you might go days without laughing due to being overworked or worried about your children. Just as there needs to be comic relief between drama in movies and soaps, you need comic relief in your life as well. Put a comedy movie on, or read/listen/share a few jokes.
Toward a More Stress-Free Life
You will be able to take more care of your loved ones when you take care of yourself. You deserve to indulge in relaxing activities. It will help you remain calm during the more chaotic times. Keep this list handy, and the next time you feel overwhelmed, try one or more (or a combination) of these activities.