1. Meditate -Do you often wonder where the day has gone? In the mad rush to take care of the kids, the hours all blur together. Try to set aside even just a few minutes of meditation or quiet time in your own little space at the beginning and end of each day.
2. Workout at lunch – Exercise is a major stress-buster and mood-lifter, but moms are too busy to hit the gym when the kids are around. If you work outside the home, get up half an hour earlier to do some stretching with some hand weights in your bedroom. Don’t make it complicated. Maybe use your lunch break to fit in a workout or a brisk walk with a colleague. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, take your little one out for fresh air in the stroller or baby jogger, or do an exercise video when your tot is napping.
3. Pamper me time – Mothers tend to feel guilty about taking care of themselves. Remember the old saying, “Put the air bag in a plane on yourself first before your child”. You are no good to your family if you pass out! Motherhood is a marathon and you need to always replenish yourself so that you can be strong for others. Growing up I always remember my mother lying down for a twenty minute nap on the floor. She would put her feet up and close her eyes. I learnt early that it was important to just stop and rest.
4. Have lunches with friends – Evenings get eaten up by dinnertime, bath time, and bedtime. Make the most of your lunch hour at work by getting together with friends in the area. If you stay at home with the kids, make lunch dates with other moms so that you can chat and vent while the kids nap or play.
5. Take a day off – Whether you stay at home or work outside the home, when is the last time you took a mental health day? Don’t feel guilty about leaving the kids with a relative or sitter for the day or taking a personal day from work – you never get time to yourself. Scout out a shoe sale, see a chick flick alone, buy yourself fresh flowers, or even take a nap – make your day off really count!
6. Date night with yourself – Along the same lines as taking a mental health day, make a date with yourself. Ask your partner or a friend or relative to take the kids out for an evening while you stay in and have a grown-up dinner or a glass of wine and your favorite take-out food. Put your feet up and shut your cell phone off!
7. Talk to other mothers – Other moms can relate to your madness! Look for opportunities to meet other parents, such community events, library, online groups etc. Mother’s often feel isolated and are not sure what they are experiencing in themselves or with their kids is normal. Parenting has it good and bad moments and it helps to be reminded that Crazy is moments away from Bliss!
8. Escape – Not what you think.. but a good book that will take you away from your worries is great.
9. Girls night out – Time with your girlfriends is a major stress-busting treat. A night on the town without kids or spouses can be tough to arrange but is well worth the effort. Take out those calendars and make it work, ladies! You’ll look forward to your girls’ night for weeks and you will be banking loads of patience for weeks.
10. Bath for one – Put away the kids’ squirty toys. Get some relaxing bubble bath or magnesium bath salts. Light some candles. Take a soothing bath after everyone else has gone to bed. No time for bath time? Buy a pretty-smelling face wash to use at the end of every day. Water can help wash away a stressful day.