Being a mother can be the hardest job ever! You won’t get any days off, you are on duty round-the-clock, and you are being paid with nothing but love. The moment that we signed up on this business called “parenting,” we are in it for the long haul. You also learned that there is no opt-out clause. You may cry in despair, but giving up is not an option. Sounds bad? Not at all!
So you might say that stress is a way of life? But what if you can no longer keep your wits together? Let me help you to deal with those days when you can barely hold it in any longer.
Get some precious “me-time”--
You might say that you hardly have any free time? Surely you spend most of your days chasing after your tots and cleaning up like clockwork. Cut yourself some slack and get some precious “me-time.” Share housework with your partner. Assign a “daddy clean-up” day and let your significant another take charge to bring the house in order. Try to get some help with housework at least once or twice a week. Leave the dishes unwashed and your baby in the hands of someone you trust. Get a haircut, manicure, or massage. Have at least a few hours to yourself. You deserve it!
Lack of sleep makes the whole day drag on. You don’t need to sleep eight hours straight, just take note to get some nap time at noon or whenever you feel sleepy. There will come a time when you are just too tired to function properly. Do not resort to a sip of energy drink or a cupful of coffee. If you are at home and you feel drowsy, just sleep. Caffeine can wake you up, but too much of it can leave you feeling more drained the next day. It can also affect the quality of your sleep. Try to eat an apple instead of your usual cup of coffee. An apple has natural stimulants that can keep you awake and sharp, without the harmful effects of too much caffeine.
Whenever you feel like bursting in anger or falling in the depths of postpartum depression, just breathe. Shallow breathing can make you murky-brained and sleepy. It helps to pay close attention to your breath as you go about your day. Fill your lungs to the utmost with air and count from 1 to 5 before you exhale. There are lots of breathing exercises that you can learn by watching online.
Exercise to keep your heart pumping and to boost your metabolism. Lack of movement leads to “sitting-down” disease. Exercise is always the best stress reducer and sanity-saver. If you can’t find a way to exercise with a baby in tow, try to find a jogging or all-terrain stroller. Take your child with you as you stroll. It’s about time to get those muscles moving!
Keep your home clutter-free--
OK, this might sound next to impossible if you have toddlers around the house. Organize your supplies and keep everything in its proper place. It can be frustrating and stressful to look for the missing keys and other items, so organization and tidying up is in order.
Prepare and plan everything in advance--
Don’t waste too much time pondering over your outfit or food for the day. Prepare everything in advance. Let planning take over small life choices. A plan removes the guesswork and frees up our minds to make bigger decisions. Prepare for the morning rush by cooking some meals beforehand at night time. Write down your appointments for the week and consult with it. Set up your home’s first aid kit and place it in the kitchen and the other in the car. Set up a contingency plan to prepare yourself for emergencies.
Unplug your mobile phone--
Don’t sleep with your cell phone with you at arm’s reach. If you need some quiet time for yourself, then just unplug. Learn to say no to your peers. Disconnect from the internet (at least) before you sleep.
Find support groups--
Don’t keep your problems to yourself. There are groups that can readily help you for free, just do a quick search on the internet. Look for like-minded people on the web. Cultivate your current relationships. Talk out your problems or concerns with a support group.
Stress is a part of life, but there is a way to tame down your stressors. Keep yourself healthy and fit to keep the blues and stress out of the way. Eat right, meditate, organize your life, and ask for help when you need it.