Little Things Moms Can Do To De-Stress

As a mother, it’s extremely easy to get caught up in the everyday chaos of life with kids. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be stressed out as you deal with the daily struggles this life brings. While it might sound impossible, you can find was to de-stress. Below are just a few of the many ways to do this.

Have Quiet Time: One of the easiest ways to calm your nerves and dissolve your stress is to set aside some time each day where you can just sit and relax. Many women find that the best time to do this is early in the morning before they wake their children up for school. However, there are others who do this mid-morning/afternoon when their kids are at school…even right before bed has been found to work too. Regardless of when you do this, it may help you clear your mind and calm your nerves – so, give it a try. It doesn’t have to be much time – as little as 20 minutes!

Pamper Yourself: For most mothers, pampering isn’t feasible. However, this isn’t the normal kind of “spa-treatment” most associate pampering with. The kind of pampering I’m suggesting can be done at home. To help yourself de-stress consider purchasing a few nicely scented candles, bath salts and new lotion. Then, after the kids are in bed, lock yourself in the bathroom and light the candles while you fill the tub with steaming water and watch the bath salts dissolve. Take a long (minimum of 30 minutes) bath and then apply the lotion once you’re out and dry. You’ll be surprised at how relaxed you will feel when you emerge from the bathroom.

Call a Friend: Sometimes, life can seem unbearable and it’s just too much for us to take by ourselves. This is when you need to pick up the phone and call a friend. We all have days when we just need to vent. However, it isn’t good to vent to our children and, sometimes, we should refrain from venting to our husbands as well – they just don’t always understand and make things worse by trying to “fix it.” So, pick up the phone and call a friend. Tell her what’s going on and that you’re just venting. You’ll feel much better once you’re done and your stress level will be lower too.

Listen to Music: When you’re in the car driving to and from work or taking the kids to the various places they need to be, try listening to music. Music has a way of unlocking the worries we have been carrying with us throughout the day and releasing them. Make a CD containing a collection of your favorite “feel good” songs and keep in your car so you will always have some uplifting music waiting for you. You’ll find that this CD will help your spirits on the days when everything seems to be going wrong.

Be Selfish: That’s right – be selfish. I know this goes against everything mothers are “supposed” to be, but every now and then it’s okay to be selfish. There are days when we, as mothers, get extremely overwhelmed because we are being pulled in so many different directions. This is when you need to take 30 minutes to an hour and just do whatever you want. It doesn’t matter if it’s writing in your journal, reading or taking a nap – do whatever you want. You will feel relaxed, de-stressed and able to focus after your mini-break.

Everyone Needs A Little Me Time, Including Mothers

For some reason, when many women become mothers they feel as if they don’t have any time to themselves. Not only do they feel like they don’t have any time to themselves, they also feel like they don’t have the right to ask for this time because they are a mother. However, what these women fail to see is that not only do they have the right to have “me time,” but that this time extremely important. Perhaps you are one of these women, if so, keep reading. You’ll learn why you need to set aside your own “me time.”

The first reason that every mother needs her own “me time” is because none of us are Super Woman. It is impossible for us to deal with all of the daily demands placed on us as a wife, mother and woman without giving somewhere. After doing this day in and day out, it’s only natural that we begin to feel burned out. This is generally when we get a little “cranky.” I know you all know what I’m talking about. Therefore, it’s important that you give yourself at least 6 hours every WEEK of “me time.” It will keep you sane.

Not only will “me time” keep you sane, it will also give you time to do whatever it is you enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy reading romance novels, shopping, getting your nails done, going to the movies, cooking, etc. “Me time” is the time you give to yourself every week to do anything you want to do. Why is this important? So many women live life to the fullest before they get married and have kids. They know what things they enjoy doing the most – and they do them. However, when these women get married and have children they don’t have the time to do these things, and eventually, they forget all about the things they used to enjoy and, in a sense, they forget who they were. Giving yourself six hours a week will give you the ability to continue to enjoy all the things in life you enjoyed before kids.

Finally, setting aside “me time” isn’t just for your own benefit, but it’s also for your family’s benefit as well. Once you begin to carve out a little time for yourself every week, you’ll find that you’re in a better mood and less irritable. Your family will enjoy this too. In addition, whether or not you want to admit it, your children, and maybe your husband too, need to learn how to handle things on their own – without you around. Whether you decide to give yourself “me time” an hour every day or 6 hours one day a week, this time away will teach your family how to survive on their own – even if it is just for a little while.

There is one last thing you need to understand about “me time.” Setting time aside for yourself does not make you selfish or a bad mother. Don’t ever let this idea take root in your brain. You need time to yourself so that you can become a better mother. You’ll be more patient and loving as a result. You’ll also be healthier as you won’t be nearly as stressed out. So, do yourself a favor and start taking some “me time!”

How To Deal With Anxiety At Christmas And All Year Long

The holiday season can be stressful for many people; however, some people have significant trouble with anxiety during the time leading up to Christmas.  The endless to do list, obligations, and expectations can be overwhelming for some leading to an initial attack of anxiety or triggering a preexisting anxiety disorder.

Dealing with anxiety at Christmas is, however, simply a matter of recognising the danger signals and setting yourself up so that you know you can handle the pressures during the holiday period.

One of the best ways to do this is to set clear boundaries both for you and for others. 

Don’t take on too much in the way of chores such as holiday shopping and enlist support and help from friends or family. This support can be practical or emotional but it really helps to spread the load and to ensure that other people are aware of your needs.  Simply knowing that those close to you are aware of your anxiety disorder and possible symptoms can make all the difference.  This will help minimise any embarrassment or awkwardness you might otherwise feel and will mean that your loved ones are more able to make allowances for the impact of your anxiety symptoms on those around you.

The following are techniques you can use to help you when dealing with anxiety at Christmas or any other stressful time:

Exercise – both gentle forms such as tai chi and more vigorous exercise such as jogging have been shown to be effective when dealing with anxiety.

Yoga – deep breathing combined with the required focus on attaining and maintaining yoga positions is an excellent antidote to anxiety.

Meditation – in its many forms has also proved to be immensely useful for sufferers of anxiety disorders.

Visualization – picturing and focusing on positive outcomes to anticipated events can dramatically diminish the anxiety a sufferer might otherwise feel.

All of the above allow you to create space and time for yourself which is essential if you are to come through the Christmas period without suffering an anxiety attack. Ten or twenty minutes spent in quiet meditation or simply taking a soak in the tub will allow you to refresh and regenerate away from the stressors of the seasonal period.

Another important tool in your armory against anxiety attacks during the holidays is to set your expectations low.  Far too often we build things up to a point that even the idea is enough to set your heart racing.  Telling yourself that nothing is ever perfect, including Christmas, will immediately help diminish that weight of expectation.  Keeping expectations realistic will mean that when someone in the family is not behaving like a Christmas angel, the turkey refuses to cook and the shops have run out of that essential present then you will be able to handle it. 

Dealing with anxiety during Christmas and all year long is all about reducing those stressors that trigger your symptoms.  Lower your expectations and you will also be lowering the likelihood of an anxiety attack at this stressful time of year.