Late night feedings. Early morning drop offs. Raising responsible kids. A mother’s work is never done. You’re always on the go–but relax mom, you’ve got this.
“You’ve signed on for a hard job; it’s not supposed to be fun most of the time,” says Daniel Gilbert, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Harvard University and the author of Stumbling on Happiness. “It’s easy to get caught up in the details, but you need to step back and realize how empty your life would be without these people in it.”Relax, mom. You've got this. Click To Tweet
Motherhood can be stressful, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be much help to anyone else. Here are 5 ways moms can relax and get the rest they need.
1. Take a break.
You may not be able to take a tropical vacation, but you can take 5 minutes to decompress. Maternity maven Latham Thomas suggests that moms “Set your phone to give you a reminder to relax, and it will become second nature. Make time to honor yourself daily.” Whether you flip through the latest issue of your favorite magazine, have a cup of tea (or a glass of wine), or simply sit with your eyes closed, take those minutes to de-stress.
2. Work it out.
Head to the gym and hit the treadmill. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Try a new workout class, or stretch with yoga.
“On a physical level, yoga helps improve flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance,” says Linda Schlamadinger McGrath, founder of YogaSource Los Gatos in California. “On an energetic level, yoga teaches you how to cope better with stress by cultivating a sense of ease in both active or passive poses. On a psychological level, yoga helps to cultivate mindfulness by shifting your awareness to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that accompany a given pose or exercise.” Can’t get away? Latham says moms can relax with Viparita Karani, or “legs up the wall”–a simple yoga pose that’s like taking a 2-hour nap. “Raising your legs at a 45 degree angle for 20 minutes allows blood to cycle from legs to heart.”
3. Kick your feet up.
Whether you’re running after a toddler, standing on the sidelines at soccer games, or commuting to client meetings, your feet can be the hardest hit by stress. “You can usually tell when people are subject to chronic stress because of the general presentation of the feet,” says professional Podiatrist and Chiropodist Jenny Kitchen. “There is generally increased redness and swelling.”
Airplus Footcare‘s product line is tailored specifically so women–and moms–can relax. Offering relief for your heel, forefoot or arch, the pioneer in unique, comfortable and fashionable foot care accessories can help you relax through all of your day-to-day activities, even when you have to be on your feet. Airplus’ aloe infused Spa Socks are a great way to relax and soothe tired feet.
4. Take a deep breath.
Meditation, prayer, and deep breathing are all excellent ways to relieve tension. A study by Charles L. Raison, MD, clinical director of the Mind-Body Program at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, found that meditation improves both our physical and emotional responses to stress. In another study, researchers discovered that those who prayed for others were less vulnerable to the negative physical health effects associated with stress.
So give yourself a moment. Close your eyes, breathe deep, and connect with something outside of yourself. Focus on a single word, or a mantra like, “I am peace.” Count the rosary. Let go of your stress.
5. Let go of mom guilt.
Latham says, “As women, we have a legacy of putting to everyone else’s needs first. Get out of that mindset. Embrace self care in order to practice and create boundaries. Practice saying no learn how to say no. Find small things to say no to. And no is a complete sentence!”
Don’t feel guilty for taking a few minutes to center yourself.Relax, mom.
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