Meditate: Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep and increase focus. Digital mindfulness programs available through many apps, websites and audio streaming services can walk you through the steps of meditation.
Spend time in nature: Two hours spent in a green space each week is associated with better overall health and psychological wellbeing. This can include a brisk walk through your local park, a hike on a trail, time spent tending your garden, or walking the dog.
Move your booty: Exercise boosts the production of your body’s feel-good neurotransmitters, known as endorphins, which have a positive impact on your mood and stress. Though you might not always have time to hit the gym, a brisk walk, yoga at home or putting on some music for a quick boogie can be an excellent way to unwind.
Treat yourself: Some mums find the only opportunity for solitude is a bathroom break, while others get interrupted by little knuckles knocking on the door. Plan some alone time by waiting until your child naps or calling in a babysitting favour, and recharge your batteries by reading a book, soaking in a bath, or scheduling some kid-free to pamper time. You may grapple with feelings of guilt around taking time out, however, prioritising time to yourself can prevent you from experiencing burn-out.
Hang out with friends or family: Maintaining your social connections is an integral part of fostering a support network. Good adult conversation over a cuppa can help you blow off steam and give you a break from talking in baby talk.
Take a break from electronics: Scrolling through social media can add to your stress. Not only does it reduce the time you spend conversing with actual people, but it can also leave you feeling self-conscious when comparing your life to embellished, picture-perfect Instagram grids. In fact, high exposure to social media has been associated with poor mood and depression in adults.
Click here to discover how you can disconnect from social media.
Eat well: It is tempting to comfort eat when you are stressed, but this can leave you feeling lethargic, making mum life more difficult. Instead, opt for meals that nourish your body, including fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, good quality fats, and whole-grains.
Cut down your caffeine: While caffeine can enhance your mood and alertness, it can also stimulate your body’s production of stress hormones at times when you don’t need them,4 making it more difficult for you to relax.
Seek out support: If daily pressures are becoming overwhelming, speak to a health professional or an organisation such as Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia, also known as PANDA, which provides support to mums experiencing anxiety and depression.
Support your stress response with key nutrients: Your body’s production of stress hormones and neurotransmitters relies on specific nutrients, including B complex vitamins and magnesium. As previously mentioned, a balanced amount of stress hormones and neurotransmitters can be beneficial and help you turbo through mum life. So, for healthy stress response, make sure you are getting enough of these important nutrients. Increasing your intake of whole-grains, nuts and seeds will help, however, the quickest way to significantly boost your levels is with a supplement.
Mums Everywhere, You’ve Got This!
Motherhood can provide you with lifelong happiness, however it can also create a fair amount of chaos. While you spend the better part of your life-giving to others, it is important to nurture your own needs and prevent the stresses of mum life overwhelming you completely.
If symptoms persist, consult your holistic health practitioner.