I think it’s normal for busy moms to get stressed from time to time (or most of the time). We have a lot on our plates: raising kids (and EVERYTHING that comes with that responsibility), job, cleaning, cooking, laundry, exercise, hobbies, social life. It’s exhausting trying to manage everything.
I have always gotten stressed very easily and it can have a negative effect on my personal happiness and well-being. Over the years I have learned a few ways that help me manage my stress. Each person has their own personality and preferences, so what helps me will probably not help everyone, but maybe there are some ideas here that will help you get starting figuring out how to manage your stress.
I’ve learned that doing things that make me happy and relaxed really are the best stress relievers for me, so that list includes: cardio exercise, yoga, reading, listening to my favorite music, diffusing essential oils, and (perhaps my favorite) journalling. Below I go into more details on each of my favorite stress relieving methods.
- Cardio exercise – Nothing beats getting super sweaty in an intense cardio workout to relieve stress for me. I love to push my body to its limits and sweat out all my toxins and negative moods. As a stay-at-home mom, fitting in these workouts can be challenging. I go to Baby Boot Camp where I can bring my kids with me to the workout. I also sometimes jog outdoors with or without (when my husband is home to watch them) the kids. I love going to the gym to workout with my husband and for group fitness classes, but when my kids were very young they didn’t like being left in the child care so I didn’t get to go very often. My husband and I are talking about joining a gym again and I’m hoping the kids will do better in the child care now that they’re a little older.
- Yoga – I find yoga extremely relaxing and also confident building. I gain peace through focusing on breathing, and I love learning how strong my body is through challenging poses. I haven’t been to a yoga studio in years (because #momlife), but I have found a few awesome YouTube yoga channels that challenge me. I make it a priority to squeeze in at home yoga workouts during nap time, especially on days I’m feeling very stressed, because I know it always helps my mood.
- Reading – I love how reading a good book brings me out of my current reality and into a new world. I always allow myself to get completely wrapped up in the stories I’m reading. This is good to take my mind off things that are stressing me out, but can be a problem when I’m too absorbed in a story to stop reading a go to bed at a reasonable hour (like when I stayed up until midnight Saturday night because I couldn’t put my book down, knowing full well the kids will still wake me by 7am).
- Listening to music – I’ve always loved music. I played trumpet from grades 6-12, so I obviously love classical music, but I really love all music. It doesn’t matter the kind of music (country, rock, pop, alternative, R&B, rap…), it’s the sound and message of it. I love songs that I can relate to. And a good voice and melody can hook me for hours. I love how music can bring out almost any emotion in me. When I am stressed I sometimes like music that is calm and can help me chill out, and other times I love loud screaming songs that I can sing along to at the top of my lungs and release all my inner frustrations.
- Diffusing essential oils – I am new to diffusing essential oils, but it’s something that I am hopeful will help with my daily stress. If I’m feeling tense I diffuse lavender, a citrus scent, or a stress away blend. I enjoy smelling the fresh scents in my house, but whether the scents themselves have changed my mood is yet to be determined. I think it never hurts to have pleasant smells around the house. I love how scents can be such a strong memory trigger, so I want to try to associate these nice scents with a relaxing and happy mood so that I will start to always feel that way when I smell them.
- Journalling – Writing is one way I am able to express myself well. Some people are good at talking about their feelings, but I do better writing them down. Writing about how I’m feeling and getting it out of my mind always seems to help me calm down. I write daily in a notebook. It helps me to think about my feelings, get them into words and off my chest. Also, writing for this blog has also helped me because it is another way for me to write about things that are on my mind and I hope that it is helping others in some way too. 🙂
What do you think of these 6 tips? Do you do any of these 6 things to help with your stress? What other things to you do to help relieve stress?