Last week’s visit from my sister and her two kids has turned me ‘un-chilled’. In fact I was stressed out. My family and friends have always seen me as a chill and calm person; my sister was surprised to see this other side of me. I was feeling tense and easily irritable.
Apparently I am not alone. 70% of moms say mothering is “incredibly stressful.” So what’s triggering all these stress in mommies? It’s everything from lack of support, stringent parenting styles to lack of time, financial concerns and relationship demands.
Warning: This picture will make you stress in an instant
We can’t take care of our families unless we take time for ourselves, and moms are notorious at putting ourselves last. Take time for yourself. After all, chill moms, chill kids. So I’ve done some research and found these 6 mom de-stressors you can do right now.
1. Taking a mommy time out
You may not be able to avoid all the stress, but you can get away for just a few minutes to feel less overwhelmed. Giving yourself 5 minutes to take a brief “stress break” is often enough to decompress. Let everyone in your family know it’s OK to walk away until they can get back in control.
2. Learn deep breathing or meditation Deep abdominal breathing, meditation, and prayer are proven to help moderate stress and help the body relax. Use slow, deep breaths. Inhale slowly to a count of five, pause for two counts, and then slowly breathe out the same way, again counting to five. Repeating the sequence creates maximum relaxation.
3. Dance the stress away
A ten-minute spontaneous dance session with your kids is a great tension reliever whether the music is a nursery rhyme or Coldplay. Or any light exercises will do. The trick is finding what you enjoy. Best yet, find a strategy to do with your kids so everyone benefits.
4. Schedule date nights
The date doesn’t have to be fancy; be it a walk, a drive, watching a DVD, or just sharing a slice of cake at the local cafe. It’s just time alone with your significant other.
5. Find a support group
I am totally lacking support group. My immediate families are in Malaysia and Australia. Most of my friends here are either not married, no children or their children are well into their teens. (Note to self: Make new mommy friends). The truth is we devote so much time to our families, we forget to take time for our social needs, whether it’s our significant other or our girlfriends. Relationships help reduce our stress and restore balance. Don’t stress alone about your kids. Share your concerns with another mom and return the favour. Talking about your stress with someone who cares can reduce anxieties. Or join a social network with a mom chat room. You are welcome to join me on my facebook page and share your mommy experience 🙂
6. Unwind at the end of the day
After I put Lauren to bed, I often like to enjoy some chocolate to unwind. You can have a glass of wine too if you want. If Nick is home, we watch a movie together. If he’s working late, I’ll turn on a chick flick and get some writing done. This ‘me’ time really helps me relax, gather my thoughts and decompress.
What are your secrets for de-stressing? I can always use new ideas.