Being a mother is strenuous and stressful and can cause you to get a little hot under the collar. However, understanding how to chill out and take a break when things get too much is important. Here are some good tips.
- Learn Your Signs of Stress
Identify the ways you react to stress. Common signs of stress include an elevated heart rate and raised blood pressure. These two signs can make you feel a little dizzy. When you feel stressed you may yell or speak louder than normal. You may experience a lapse in judgment, impatience or irritability. Just imagine how those behaviors can affect your children and family. Tune into your body, so that you can learn to identify the warning signs of stress.
- Take a Break
It’s not always possible to avoid stressful situations, but you can get away from them for just a few minutes. Even a small break from a stressful situation can reduce your feelings of overwhelm. Give yourself permission to take “stress breaks” whenever you need to decompress or if you need a new perspective. These breaks can include:
A Mommy “Time-Out” – Put a “do not disturb” sign on your door. Get comfortable and plant a picture in your mind of a soothing place, while listening to relaxing music. All you need is a five-minute “time-out” and you’ll be ready to tackle the problem.
Give Yourself Permission to “Take Ten” – Let your family know that it’s OK to walk away in order to regain control of yourself. Some families have a signal that can be used to tell the others that then need to “take ten” and decompress. This signal can be the same one used by an umpire to call a “Time-Out”.
- Create Solutions for Your “Hot” Times
For moms, stress often comes at predictable times, such as in the morning when everyone is trying to get out of the house or at dinner time. Identify when you are most irritable, because of stress, and finds a way to reduce the friction.
For instance, if mornings are a “hot time” because your children can’t figure out what they want to wear, you can reduce the tension and stress by laying out their clothes the evening before. If your “hot” time is caused by your constantly losing your keys, then make an extra set.
- Learn Meditation and Deep Breathing
Meditation, prayer, and deep abdominal breathing are known to help relieve moderate stress and can help you relax. This is a technique that you can teach to your children in order to help them relieve tension.
Use slow and deep breaths. Inhale to a count of five, pause for a count of two and slowly breathe out to a count of five. Repeat this sequence until you feel relaxed. You can help children learn to take a slow breath using pinwheels or bubble blowers.
You can also try to do elevator breathing. Shut your eyes and take three deep breaths, then imagine you’re standing in an elevator in a very tall building. The elevator is on the top floor and you’re pressing the button for the first floor. Watch the buttons for each level as they light up during your descent. As the elevator goes down, your stress will fade away.
A lot of people find setting up such a space can make a big difference. They often choose to use some natural additions such as the fire, scents or even water. In the garden, water features such as these fountains from Outdoor Fountain Pros will be well received, being both relaxing and also attractive. However, the right fountain will be the one you like and the one that fits your space.
- Exercise Together
Recent research is showing that exercise can be a great stress reliever, whether it’s bike riding, walking, playing basketball or swimming. The trick is to find an exercise that gets your heart pumping and that you enjoy. Better yet, find one that your children also enjoy, so everyone in the family can reap the benefits.
Just Walk – Walk by yourself, with your children or find another mom who wants to join you for a daily walk.
Ride Off Your Tension – There is nothing as fun as riding bikes with your children.
Dance The Stress Away – A ten-minute dance session with your children is a great way to relieve stress. Just turn on your favorite tunes or your children’s favorite nursery rhymes.
Photo source: Silvia Sala