Is motherhood stress ruining your life? Learn how you can easily battle and reduce your stress levels with these 12 simple steps!
Being a mother is one of the most amazing, fulfilling and challenging jobs anyone can have. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve your goals, you need to take care of yourself first.
This blog post will provide 12 simple tips on how you can reduce stress in your life as well as some practical advice for managing it better.
Motherhood Stress Relief in 12 Easy Steps
Regular visualization and meditation can help with the buildup of stress. You do not need to be an expert to start using these techniques either. You can use self-help books, online tutorials, or guided imagery podcasts to get you going.
Meditation takes your mind away from the stresses of everyday life and helps you focus on what’s really important. When you meditate, worries about day-to-day hassles are reduced because they don’t have control over your thoughts.
Meditation can be done at any place and time. Do a short session in the school pick up line, or first thing in the morning before the rest of the house wakes up. You will start to notice the benefits of using meditation rather quickly. This is because your mind will calm down and your body will relax before you are even finished.
Meditation helps you combat stress by changing how you respond to it. When you meditate, your focus shifts from negative or stressful situations. You’ll be able to decrease your blood pressure and feel more positive about your life.
Know Your Stressors
Often people are not aware of what causes them stress, so they don’t know how to manage and eliminate it. When you can start to recognize the triggers, you can then effectively reduce the motherhood stress in your life.
You can keep a journal of the times you feel really stressed out, and the situation that surrounded your feelings. Over time, you can notice patterns in what is causing your stress so that you can better manage it.
Anxiety and fear is a common type of stress that takes place when moms start to worry or play the “what if?” game. What if a major appliance in our home breaks, can we afford to fix it? What if something happens to our income and we can’t pay all the bills? What if one of my children get sick?
Projection thinking is the name for this worrisome game, and it takes you out of the here and now, causing your mind to live in a state of what “might” happen. It’s worrying about something that hasn’t happened and may never happen.
Family conflicts are also a major source of motherhood stress. Maybe you and a family member don’t get along, or maybe there’s extreme negativity in your life that feels like it impacts the whole family.
Changes to your normal way of life can be difficult and have a huge emotional impact on your stress level. This includes things like taking on a new position at work, becoming a stay a home mom, moving to a different home or state, getting divorced, or one child leaving the nest.
Health issues are also a common stressor for moms, whether they are affecting you, your spouse, or your kids. Whether someone isn’t not feeling well due to a simple cold or if you’re suffering from a chronic illness, health issues can cause a lot of stress for moms.
This is especially true when the health problems get into the way of a mom completing her day-to-day activities. Struggling to be there for your family can take a toll on you mentally. You know you are responsible for the home, your children, meals, laundry, and a long list of other tasks – you feel you don’t have time to be sick!
Trying to find that perfect balance between work and home life can definitely add some stress to your days. This stress has the potential to leak into both spheres — work becomes less fulfilling when you’re tired, and chores feel impossible when you’re exhausted.
Track Your Stressors
You can’t fight what you can’t see coming, but when you write down the things that need to get done for the day, it helps manage stress. This is because identifying all of the tasks needed for today in advance makes managing life a little less stressful.
Learn to recognize exactly what it is about the situation/person that causes you so much stress. For example, if you have to attend a parent-teacher conference and you are worried about your child’s performance, think ahead on how you plan to deal with the negative emotions that could present themselves during the meeting.
You can come up with a strategy for minimizing these feelings before the meeting starts. Know ahead of time that when you feel worry, you will practice deep breathing techniques – or ask for a short break if the meeting becomes too overbearing.
Discover the Power of No
It is hard to say no to people. But it is important that you take care of yourself, too. Know what your limits are and don’t go over them. Every day, you will be asked by other people to do things for them.
But it is better to say no. You can’t take time for yourself or what you want if you always say yes to people. It’s not selfish to say no, but most people think it is because they are afraid of what other people will think.
It’s just practicing the art of self-care. As you decline more and more responsibilities, you will open up more time for the things that really matter: you and your family.
You’ll have more time to pursue your hobbies and interests. The kids will love that you can take them to the playground on sunny days or find time to do crafts with them when it’s rainy out.
Our Busy Mom Self Care Tips & Checklist can help you make time for yourself!
Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can be harmful to your body and your life in a number of ways. Feeling tired promotes a delay in reaction times when you are driving, completing chores, or working. It can also contribute to memory problems, increase weight gain, and lead to more serious health conditions.
Getting poor sleep usually creates a terrible cycle. Stress can cause insomnia, which makes it impossible to get enough rest at night. This turns into more stress for you when you are awake and trying to function. Even minor issues can become something big when you are tired and stressed and not coping well with life.
Combat this by going to bed at the same time each night, and waking at the same time each morning. Start with a relaxing bath to unwind. Create a comfortable sleeping environment with cozy bedding, a fan for airflow and noise, and ambient lighting to help you relax before drifting off.
Stop Ignoring Problems
You may be inclined to think that if you just let a problem go, you can protect yourself from the stress that comes with it. The old “ignorance is bliss” idea.
Common issues you may think you can ignore, like repairs to your home or vehicle, financial strains, your children’s behavior, marriage issues, or problems within your family, will only get worse if you believe you can just avoid them.
When a problem happens, deal with it right away. If you leave the problem alone, it will only get worse. And when the problem gets bigger, it will take more time and energy to fix. Face them head on, get them resolved, and then move on with your life with less stress than before.
Lower Your Expectations
Our expectations for ourselves and our family can definitely cause a lot of motherhood stress. You may be simply setting the bar too high, which causes you to feel disappointed when something doesn’t work out the way you think it should have.
You know that your expectations are a stressor for you if you often think about your life and tell yourself it shouldn’t be this way. That you expected better. You expected a child with all A’s on his report card, or a spouse that makes more money.
These expectations, in turn, cause you stress before you didn’t received what you wanted. Thankfully, this stress can be relieved by setting more realistic expectations for yourself and your loved ones.
Learn to love yourself for the person you have become. Work on your biggest faults, and decide to let the less important ones go. Do the same for your spouse and your children. It’s okay that your high schooler doesn’t make straight A’s, especially if his lowest grade is a B! The same is true for your partner’s paycheck, as long as it can pay the bills.
Find a Hobby You Enjoy
Finding joy in your life gives you the outlet you need from the real world. It helps relieve stress because you can focus on something you enjoy without the worry or stress of every day life.
Maybe you really like music. Take time each day to discover new artists and songs in a genre you like. See if any bands are playing locally, and make a date with your partner or your friend to attend the show.
Creative hobbies like painting, drawing, and writing can also work well in helping you reduce stress. Even if you aren’t good, they can help you get your feelings and thoughts out of your mind and on the paper or canvas.
Gardening is another great stress reliever, because it gives you something else to focus on. You have to make sure you tend to your plants properly without the fears and worries going on in your current life. The rewards are beautiful flowers or delicious vegetables, which will make you proud of yourself.
You may choose to take on a hobby as something to do for yourself or include your family in it. Hiking on the weekends can be great for everyone in the house, as it gets you all outside and enjoying the fresh air. It also provides quality time for you, your spouse, and your kids to spend together.
Create a To-Do List
You might wonder why creating a to-do list can help ease your stress levels. The answer is because when you are stressed, it often feels like everything is going wrong and that nothing will ever get better.
People dealing with stress often feel like they have so much to do or overcome that it causes inaction, which only increases their stress.
Creating a to-do list allows you to focus on one thing at a time rather than all the tasks in one sitting. Task completion has been shown to lessen stress and increase mental clarity. As you check things off the list, you will be motivated by the progress to keep moving forward. Before you know it, your tasks are all complete and your stress is lowered.
Find Your Support System
One of the worst things about motherhood stress is that you keep it all inside and it builds up and festers. When your job isn’t good, your partner is not assisting as well as they could be, and kids make you want to pull out your hair; how do you deal?
If you don’t share your feelings, the pressure of the stress builds up. You need to find someone to talk with about what you are going through. They may not be able to change your situation for you but they can listen and help you think of other things that will make you feel better.
By simply having someone who will listen, you can reduce all the buildup feelings you’ve been holding in. Getting the thoughts out of your own head can help you feel relief even if the problems aren’t yet solved.
When you experience any type of stress, it is important to have someone in your life who can be a trusted confidant. With the right support system, you’ll feel more emotionally resilient and will be able to better deal with anxiety and depression that frequently accompanies stress.
Create a Strategy
Every bit of stress that is in your life has a trigger. Cause and effect always happen. Something happens and then you react. There are consequences or changes that led to the stress.
For example, you are given a promotion at work. You now make more money, but along with it comes more responsibilities. Even though it’s exactly what you wanted for your career, there’s more stress added to your daily life.
It could mean longer hours and more time away from the home. This could lead you to worry you don’t have enough time for your kids or spouse. Tackle this trigger by hiring a nanny or housekeeper to help you keep up the home or children.
Another example is your spouse accepts a new position in another state. This means moving your entire family to an unfamiliar city and home. Combat the stress that comes with the move by immediately beginning to familiarize yourself with the new location. Research your children’s new school online. Enlist help in packing up your current home too.
Your stress management strategy should make you proactive and show you what you need to do to help you deal with your stress. The more you face the problem head on, the stronger you will feel!
Let It Go
Some problems are hard to solve. You must become aware of this and stop trying to fix the things that cannot be fixed. If you keep trying it will just cause you stress.
You can’t correct a coworker who wants to be lazy or is just downright rude. It is not possible solely hold your marriage together. Not everything will be as you imagined it, or even as you want it. You simply cannot control things that are outside your ability to solve or fix.
Accept the people or things you cannot change. Find peace in the way things are. Remove things or people from your life if that means you will have less stress over their presence. Wasting energy trying to mold these things into what you want them to be just causes a lot of frustration and stress for yourself.
Motherhood stress is a real thing. All moms feel stressed out by one area of their lives or another – perhaps, multiple areas at the same time! The trick is to learn your stressers and create strategies for dealing with the triggers so you can be happy and enjoy life without too much worry.