I know that I’m not the only mom out there who feels like she’s constantly pulled in a million different directions, like she has a never-ending To-Do List, and like she can never catch up on the piles of laundry or dirty dishes. Can you relate? Today I’m sharing some of my Healthy Tips to Help Busy Moms Relax, but I’d also love to hear your favorite strategies. After all, I am a work in progress in this regard…and I can use all of the help that I can get!
Between a job, three young kids, and a house to take care of, I often feel completely overwhelmed. When all of the boys are talking, crying, fighting, or needing something at once, it can make my blood pressure rise, my brain shut down, and I just can’t function. It actually makes me want to hide under my bed and shut the door! Please tell me I’m not alone…
And while spending the day at a spa or jetting off on a weekend getaway sounds like bliss, it isn’t realistic for most of us. That’s why I love these relaxation techniques – they are quick and easy, making them perfect for busy moms-on-the-go, or for ladies with so many responsibilities at home and at work that you feel like you just can’t ESCAPE!
We all need a break and we all need to de-stress. When we do, we are healthier, happier, better parents. Here are some of my go-to ways to calm myself down when I need it most!
1. Enjoy a Mug of Hot Coffee or Tea with a Healthy Snack. I’m not suggesting that mindlessly eating is a smart stress-reliever, but when my hunger pangs call, I like to turn to a warm beverage and a nutritious but delicious treat to comfort my mind, body, and soul! In the afternoon when I put the boys in their rooms for naps or quiet time, I often make myself something quick and easy to enjoy while I take a short “time out” for myself. Looking for some delicious and nutritious ideas? A few of my favorites are:
• Skinny Strawberry White Chocolate Muffins;
• The Perfect Whole Wheat Banana Bread (my kids also LOVE this!);
• Yogurt topped with Healthy Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Granola;
• Healthy Snickerdoodle Baked Oatmeal with Cinnamon Chips (perfect with a cup of coffee!);
• Healthy Apple Crisp Yogurt Parfaits;
• Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins;
• Healthy Strawberry Breakfast Bread;
• Or any of these Healthy 1-Minute Snacks
2. Lavender Linen Spray. The scent of lavender is known to help reduce stress and anxiety levels, so I like to spray my pillow and bed sheets with a lavender linen spray every night before bed. It’s fast, easy, and incredibly calming! Let’s just say that I rarely have trouble dozing off to sleep…
3. RESCUE Pearls. These all-natural, homeopathic goodies are developed by a doctor, they’re gentle and safe, and they help me stress less and stay calm! They have been used by millions of people worldwide for generations, and I know why. They actually work! They are especially great for busy moms like me because they are convenient and easy, and they come in a variety of forms. You can pick up RESCUE Pastilles, RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts, RESCUE Pearls, and more at places like CVS, Walgreens, and Whole Foods. My favorites are the Pearls, which I can stash in my purse and in a small drawer in the kitchen for those times when I need them most. If you want to give RESCUE products a try, you can download a coupon here. Definitely check it out!
4. Exercise. Believe me, I know how hard it can be to find time to get out and exercise when there are a million other factors to account for. But I am a firm believer that taking even just 10 minutes to perform an in-home exercise routine can do wonders for my mood. Yoga or simple stretching is a great option as well, and there are plenty of affordable DVDs that you can use in your own living room if you need some quick and effective instruction. One of my absolute favorite ways to get some exercise is to schedule some girl time to get out and walk with a friend. It’s social, it’s healthy, and it definitely relieves stress!
5. Lose Yourself in a Magazine, a Book, or Even a Light T.V. Show. I don’t have the opportunity to sit down on the couch and watch T.V. or read during the day, so when I’m ready to wind-down before bed I often turn to a quick magazine article or two to switch gears and help me relax. Reading has always been a favorite hobby, so I try hard to make time for it in my day – even if it’s just a few minutes! Again, I’m not saying that sitting on the couch or watching hours of T.V. is healthy…but for a few minutes when the house is quiet, it can be a great escape from our every day stressors.
6. Meal Plan. This might not sound like “fun,” but trust me – it works! I was just talking to my friend Kristin about this recently. Like a lot of women, one of our daily stresses is coming up with a nutritious dinner to serve to our family each night. I might feel guilty if I don’t have something homemade to serve, but I also might not have the time (or the energy) to run to the grocery store to buy my ingredients and whip up a healthy dinner. That’s why planning a week’s worth of meals at a time can be so helpful. You sit down once to make a list, shop once, and then the stress of weeknight dinners is completely eliminated. Kristin and I especially love preparing Crock Pot Freezer Meals in advance, so you don’t even need to “cook” on your busiest days. Here are some of my favorite meal-planning tips, plus a few ideas for Healthy Slow Cooker Freezer Meals, Family-Friendly Freezer Meals, and other advice and recipes for freezing slow cooker meals in advance. It’s SO WORTH THE EFFORT!
7. Plan a Girls’ Night Out Dinner. A group of about 6-8 girlfriends and I have a standing date each month for an evening out. We usually just meet at a local restaurant, enjoy a meal and drinks together, and take the time to have uninterrupted adult conversation! It’s so important to me, and it makes me so happy, that I make a point to hire a babysitter so that I can join the group even on the nights when my husband is working late or is out of town. Again, it’s an effort to coordinate and get out of the house, but it is well worth the effort.
8. Take Three Deep Breaths. It sounds simple, but I do this so often that now my kids do it too! When I feel overwhelmed or frustrated in any given moment, I try to close my eyes and take three deep breaths…and it really helps! I said to Keith last weekend…I should probably count how many times I do this each day (well, scratch that…I don’t think that I want to know!).
9. Call a Friend or a Family Member. I have a short list of girlfriends (plus my mom), who I know that I can call when I need to vent. Even if it’s a short 3-minute conversation…since we’re often distracted by little ones…that brief conversation with a sympathetic ear is incredibly valuable.
10. Take a Hot Shower. I usually shower in the evening before bed, and it feels like the perfect escape at the end of a long day. I use my favorite lotions and soaps to instantly de-stress and relax. Quick, effective, and productive!
Now tell me: What are YOUR favorite ways to relax and unwind when your life gets crazy? As I said, I’m a work in progress and I could use all of the help that I can get!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.