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FACE it, mothers are busy beings. From taking care of the children and the home to some mothers juggling full-time jobs while also keeping track of the children's activities and schedules, it can get a little overwhelming for the many moms who seem to be doing it all.
If things remain unchecked, stress will become a factor for busy mothers. When this happens, it does not only make her unhappy, but it could significantly impact her ability to carry out her functions as a good mother.
While stressful events in your personal and professional life are inevitable, clinical psychologist Dr Pearnel Bell and fitness instructor and personal trainer Gisel Harrow said that there are many things mothers can do to reduce the amount of stress they experience.
The two professionals shared the following tips on how moms can quickly relieve themselves of daily stress:
Take a bath
Take a bath, not a shower, with a little spunk. Invest in some aromatherapy oils, such as lavender and fever grass, or bath bombs; sit in your bath and enjoy it — if even for a few peaceful minutes.
Sit in silence
Sometimes when you are a busy mom it can feel like background noise is a constant in your life; there always seems to be something going on. Dr Bell said that the perfect way to counter this and give yourself some relief is to sit in silence. If you so desire, you may play some low tempo music that you like, for stress relief.
Whether you are going to join a yoga class or simply buy a yoga mat and a yoga DVD or take advantage of lessons on Youtube, you will be able to not only relax, but manage stress and anxiety as well.
“Yoga is a mind-body practice and as such it targets both the physical and the mental spaces, which will result in a general state of peacefulness,” Harrow explained.
Laugh a little
Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. It can significantly improve your day.
According to Dr Bell, laughter will relieve tension by relaxing your muscles. So, whether you are going to watch a comedy that guarantees laughter, or hook-up with the jokester in the family, you are guaranteed to feel less stressed, over time, with consistent amounts of healthy humour.
Make a date with yourself
Spend time focusing on self-care as one way of combatting stress, Dr Bell said. So treat yourself to something you like (once you can afford it, because debt can add to your stress). Take a day off, go to the spa or just do it at home; light some citrus-scented candles, spend a day or a couple hours dressed in your favourite pair of pyjamas in your happy place, with a glass of your favourite wine.
Exercising is one of the best activities to fight stress.
“When you exercise, a number of things happen. For one, exercising triggers the release of 'happy' hormones known as endorphins. These are chemicals that naturally improve mood. Exercise also suppresses and, over time, reduces the amount of stress hormones, known as cortisol, that is produced,” Harrow advised.
Generally, exercising regularly can significantly improve your mental health and it is also a natural sleep aid.
Get a massage
Chances are we don't always have the time, especially as mothers, to access professional massage services. So you might have to rely on the magical or not-so-magical hands of your partner or older children. Even if not perfect, a massage can work wonders for busy moms.
Speak to a therapist
Sadly, most people think that they definitely have to have a mental disorder to see a therapist. But Dr Bell said that people couldn't be more wrong.
She said that it is crucial that you consistently take care of your mental health, to keep emotional and mental disorders at bay. This is especially important since stress is a major trigger for anxiety and even depression.
Seeing a professional therapist does not only mean that you have a healthy, protected space to vent, but you will also learn healthy ways/techniques to manage stressful situations when they arise.
Practise deep breathing
Deep breathing is one way of relaxing the body when stress levels make it tense.
“For best result, deep breathing should involve taking slow, deep breaths. So you should first close your mouth then inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your diaphragm as well as your lungs to fill up with air. Once you feel you have reached its capacity, hold the air for about a second, then exhale through your nose to the count of four,” Dr Bell instructed.
Do this repeatedly and you will feel the tension escaping your body.
— Penda Honeyghan