Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stop, Take a Deep Breath, and Relax

Although motherhood is considered to be the most rewarding gift in life, it can also be one of the most stressful. Most women tend to neglect their own needs upon becoming mothers. While caring for another’s life, we tend to ignore the little warning signs our bodies give us until it too late. As a mother, I feel that it is important to not forget my own needs. I will be the first to admit it took me a long time to understand this, and even a longer time to implement it. However, now that I do remember to take care of myself from time to time, I am a calmer and more patient mother and wife.

Writing in a journal every day is an easy way to relax. By allowing yourself 10-15 minutes of alone time to write will do more than you think. Not only does this give you a moment to sit and breathe, but it also allows you to address your frustrations or joys of the day. I usually tend to write in that order because I finish on a good note and go back to my kids in a better mood.

I also find that daily exercise helps my stress level tremendously. The days I can’t manage to fit in a full workout, I run races with my kids or have an in-house dance party. Just getting your blood moving will help calm your body and decrease muscle tension. The days where my “old” body can’t get moving, the sluggish feeling really weighs me down. Singing is also a great way to release stress. Sing alone or even with your kids. When we sing together, it usually ends in laughter. And as the old saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine”.

The foods you eat can also have an effect on your stress level. I am always hearing mom’s say that they didn’t have time to eat or they just grabbed the quickest thing from the pantry. Not eating or eating too much sugary and fatty food can lower our energy level and add to our stress. I find that it is more beneficial for me to make a meal plan for a week at a time. Not only does this make daily life easier, but it also eliminates unnecessary trips to the grocery stores (which are stressful with kids).

There are so many little ways that we can make our lives less stressful. Go for a walk, get some sun, play a game, take a nap, go out with the girls, etc…. What do you do to keep your stress level in check? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!


Sarah said...

I like this post a lot. I don't have any kiddos yet, but we're nearing that time so I try to take as many notes as I can from moms out there in how to do it well. I'm sure there's a lot of trial and error involved but these are great ideas. I like taking time out to journal and exercise, but I love the ideas of having dance parties with your kids- how fun and what bonding that must help develop!

♥Cari♥ said...

After my husband gets home from work, I usually take 30 minutes or so for myself. I go on walks or sometimes just chill by myself in my bed with the laptop so that I catch up on some reading without any interruptions. It is definitely an essential part of my day.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Well-written and timely post. I find that when I have a quiet time of study and prayer early in the morning, the whole day goes more smoothly, with more patience and peace. Did you know that prayer/meditation lowers blood pressure?

Kel said...

Sarah - from I've read from your blog, you are going to make a great mother. I hope you get a chance to have some dance parties! :) Cari and Rosemary - I'm so glad you all take time to unwind and thanks for sharing your ideas.

addicted2shius said...

I definitely need to pray more. And I definitely need more breaks :) motherhood is hard and it's not just about parenting but being a wife as well. Sometimes my husband is just as stressful as my kids, if not more! I've failed to take care of myself this week and am currently nursing a huge migraine! Ay yay yay!

Barbie said...

Honestly, I am really struggling to bring balance to my life. Unlike many moms here, I work full-time, have four children, very involved in ministry, etc. Life is a constant rush. For now, I drink coffee to de-stress. It's something that I can enjoy and don't have to share with anyone. Not healthy, no, but it works for me!