We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. At least it seems that way. Because the little people in our little world depend on us and we try our hardest to not let them down. It’s an all-consuming role, being a mother, and one that comes with a bevy of rewards and challenges on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t feeling well or if we didn’t get a full night’s sleep, babies need to be changed, toddlers need lunch, and teenagers need rides to practice. And with a never-ending list of chores and responsibilities, it’s easy to feel depleted and stressed.
But if the old adage is true, that we can’t fill from an empty cup, how is today’s mom supposed to manage stress while managing a household? Here are three ways busy moms can recharge, replenish, and reconnect:
Recharge with Movement
It sounds counterintuitive to get up and get moving when you’re feeling tired and stressed out (wouldn’t a nap feel so much better?). However, movement is proven to boost endorphins, improve mood, reduce cortisol levels, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. You don’t have to train for a marathon to feel the benefits of regular movement, virtually any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever. Put the baby in a stroller and go for a walk around the neighborhood or join a few other moms for a yoga class. If you can’t find time to dedicate to exercise, find a way to fit it into your existing routine. Drop the kids off at baseball practice and take a few laps around the block while they’re taking batting practice. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. Find 20 minutes of your day to incororporate movement and protect your body from the harmful effects of stress.
Replenish with Relaxation
If you have an empty cup, how can you fill it back up? Rest is just as important as movement, and your body needs both to fire on all cylinders. Depending on your season of life, relaxation may take different forms. Perhaps you can only squeeze in a quiet cup of coffee in the morning before the rest of the house wakes up. Or maybe you find your relaxation wrapped up in a warm comforter and a good book, stealing away quiet moments as they come available. Relaxation can be a solitary soak in the tub while Dad tackles bathtime upstairs or a solo trip to the corner store and a few extra minutes in the driveway to finish your favorite song. And if the only time you have for relaxation is a five minute meditation while waiting in the car line at school pick-up, resist the urge to mindlessly scroll social media and seize the opportunity to quiet your world with mindfulness.
Reconnect with Community
We are made to do life in community, and often the best stress relief can be found in the comfort and companionship of friends. It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones dealing with busy schedules, endless emails, and rushed dinners. So when the demands of managing a small army leave you feeling surrounded on all sides, grab a girlfriend and head to the local coffee shop for a cappuccino and connection. Share a few laughs and feel the stress melt away as you remind each other to enjoy this wild ride called life. And if an in-person meet-up isn’t feasible, a group chat with your closest friends can do wonders for your mood and your meme game.
You may not always be able to mitigate the causes of stress in your life, but you do have control over how you manage it. Through exercise, relaxation, and connection, you’ll experience an improvement in mood, productivity, and joy. LIfe is made up of little moments, so find a few today to recharge, replenish, and reconnect. Your cortisol levels will thank you for it.
About the Writer: Loretta Holmes, M.A. is a Life Coach + NLP Practitioner at Bella Coaching and Fitness Coach at Stella Gets Fit with a passion for supporting little humans, teens and their parents with ADHD, anxiety, screen addiction or their fitness journey. She is the creator of 51 Questions To Ask Your Kiddo instead of ‘How Was Your Day?’ and Let’s Get Moving! An 8-Week Walking Plan.