Stress less: 5 relaxation tips for mums
Are you constantly busy looking after your kids, juggling work, the family household and school commitments – ending up feeling stressed and with no time to do anything properly? “We’ve got very high levels of stress in the community – feeling burnt out is very bad for your mental health,” confirms psychologist Dr Suzy Green. Try these five ways for stressed out mums to relax…
Meet up with other mums to stress less
Hanging out with other mums is good for your stress relief - studies show that simply chatting with your friends will lower your stress levels and is one of the key reasons why women live longer than men. “Women’s friendship circles have always been immensely important,” says social researcher Hugh Mackay. “Women have relied on friends and neighbourhood relationships to help them bring up their children and keep their sanity.” Get together with your friends more often and de-stress – it’s good for your health!
Do some relaxing green exercise
Getting outdoors exercise and getting motivated, especially in a ‘green’ setting, such as a park or bushland, is essential for mums with young babies, with research finding it boosts feelings of wellbeing and reduces stress and anxiety. “Nature makes us feel good,” confirms Sunshine Coast-based psychologist Lisa Lindley.
Write your stresses a worry pad
If something happens during the day that stresses you out, try this simple psychological trick to alleviate the anxiety. “A really useful trick is to keep a worry delay pad,” advises Dr Sarah Edelman, clinical psychologist and author of Change Your Thinking (ABC Books). Every time you stress out about something, write it in the pad and say to yourself that you’ll come back to it at 7pm. “Most people forget to open their pad at 7pm, as they’ve moved on by then. If you do look, you’ve often lost the emotion connected to it.”
Less caffeine = less stress
It’s tempting to gulp down a double-shot of espresso when you feel a stress-out coming on but, because stress stimulates the production of the hormone adrenaline, drinking coffee only serves to make stress worse. Water is a far better choice – being dehydrated by just 10 per cent can impair your mental faculties, again heightening stress, so do your best to drink your eight glasses a day.
Sleep well to cut your stress
Getting enough rest reduces stress, and good quality sleep is obtained by not eating three hours before bedtime, ensuring that your bedding doesn’t make you too hot during the night and turning off your nightlight. “Night lights and luminous alarm clocks affect the quality of your sleep,” says Andrew Cate, author of the H Factor (ABC Books). “Even a small amount of light can have an effect.”
Find more stress-management tips on Kidspot:
This article was written by Joanna Bounds for Kidspot.com.au and adapted for Kidspot.co.nz