Motherhood can be crazy-beautiful, but it can also be just plain ole' crazy. Even the most saintly parents have their moments, and stress is just part of the job description. While our favorite way to relax is a rubdown with our stretch mark scrub, sometimes it takes a little more effort to decompress. Here are our favorite tips & help for stressed out Moms -- try 'em today!
Effects of stress on pregnancy
While a little stress in normal, being under constant duress may have long-lasting effects on you & baby. According to Susan Andrews, PhD, the author of "Stress Solutions for Pregnant Moms: How Breaking Free From Stress Can Boost Your Baby’s Potential," stress can alter your body's stress management system and trigger an inflammatory response. This may lead to poor pregnancy health and developmental issues for your baby, including lower birth weight and early delivery.
Help for stressed out Moms
Here are some strategies to chill out when you're feeling overwhelmed or frazzled. If you're pregnant, please consult with your doctor if you have further questions.
1) Unplug. Our lives are increasingly managed by electronics, which can be useful...but also add to our daily stress. The pressure of always being connected to our phones, computers or TV can produce unnecessary background noise in your life. Try unplugging for a few hours each night, especially around sleep time.
2) Be your own coach. Our inner voice (or "self talk") affects our perspective, and how we deal with less-than-ideal situations. By changing the way you speak to yourself, you may find the "emergency" you're dealing with is only a mere inconvenience
3) Find "me-time"...every day. Unless you schedule your "me-time," it will never, ever happen. Even as a mom, you deserve to take care of yourself a little bit each day. Whether it's grabbing your favorite Starbucks drink every morning, or putting on your tummy butter every night, give yourself down-time to relax and reflect.
4) Find nature. There's nothing like a walk in the park or a run on the beach to clear the mind and restore your sense of peace. Even if you can't get to the forest, enjoying a cup of hot cocoa in the backyard might be just what you need.
5) Wake up early. For busy moms, try waking up before the kids and hubby. Even if it's 15 minutes, it's a whole 15 minutes all to yourself. Make your coffee, do some morning stretches or put on your favorite lipstick to greet the day. It's the perfect time to focus productive energy for anything that lies ahead.
6) Exercise regularly. Whether you're into yoga or weight lifting, regular physical exercise produces endorphins in your body, which kills stress and leads to improved sleep.
7) Take ten. If a situation becomes escalated, give yourself (and your other family members) permission to "take ten" to walk away and cool off. This is not only valuable for the person taking the time-out, it gives all parties opportunity to decompress and gather their thoughts.
8) Focus on your breath. In heated situations, you may find yourself unconsciously huffing and puffing. To quickly calm yourself, learn deep breathing or meditation breaths. Slow, deliberate breathing from your abdominals is a wonderful way to defuse yourself in just a matter of minutes.
How do you handle stressful situations? Will you try any of these techniques? Share below!