Every Mum can suffer from stress and anxiety. These emotions are all part of the trials and tribulations of being a parent. However, you need to be able to cope with these feelings and reduce them. Being aware of how you feel is very important, there is no point in being in denial as that will cause the problems to expand, grow worse, and deepen as part of your psyche. This is not ideal. Facing a problem head-on is clearly the best thing to do. You are probably struggling with finding time to do everything you need to do, and you probably have got yourself into the situation where focusing on you is at the bottom of your priority list. If this is true, over time if you allow stress to build it can cause some unpleasant consequences, for all involved, it can also damage your health. This means that you can’t always be at the bottom of the priority list, no matter how busy you are. We have put a few ideas together on how you can focus on you and improve your wellbeing. By doing this, your whole family will benefit too.
Develop an exercise routine
It is important that you stay physically fit, as the fitter you are the better you are able to cope with the things life throws at you. Exercise can lower your stress levels, and it can also flood the body with endorphins which make you feel happier. Not only that but exercise can make you look better, and tone you up. You don’t have to go mad at first, you can start by increasing how much you walk, and build up to jogging. Or maybe you could join a dance class. You could even do some gardening. Anything that gets more blood flowing around your system will have the effect of making you more refreshed. Developing an exercise regime is also a good example to show the kids, and maybe you could take them out on your walks. You may even start to do family activities at weekends, like hikes. You will be fitter and healthier and so will they.
What do you enjoy doing?
Are you able to recall the last time you did something that you enjoy, something just for you, not concerning yourself with anyone else’s wants and needs? Perhaps all you really want is a long hot bath, or maybe you want to go to the cinema and see that rom-com you’ve been dying to see with your best mate. It does not matter what you like, just make sure you find time to do the things you enjoy. This will help you relax, make you feel happier, and will help maintain a healthy relationship with everyone in the family. If you are always putting yourself out for others, but never doing something you enjoy, you begin to feel worthless, and this is not conducive to a happy family atmosphere.
Find time to be alone
Alone time is essential for everyone. Time to get away from the maddening crowd and find a little peace. If you can find ten minutes a day, to disappear and get away from it all, including your phone, all the better for you. Your private alone space could be a little alcove in the woods, the bench in your garden, or simply your bedroom. Wherever it is you need free from distraction and allow your mind to free itself from the worries of everyday life. You can do this by learning a simple meditation practice. Sit comfortably, you can sit cross-legged on the floor, perhaps try the full or half-lotus position. Close your eyes then concentrate on your breathing, deep rhythmic breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. As thoughts cross your mind, don’t attach to them, allow them to float away. Don’t fight them, just let it all go. If you can do ten minutes of this a day, you will be more relaxed and less stressed. You will also find that you are able to put things you worry about in your life into perspective. Perhaps you are focusing on the wrong things, and maybe you would be better off changing the way you think and feel about certain things. You could have an epiphany and decide to start cutting unbeneficial things out of your life to give you more time for you.
Keep your brain active
There are so many ways to keep your mind active. You can indulge in a hobby, for example. If you are at home with the baby all the time, you are going to need some mental stimulation. You could start reading. Is there any subject that particularly appeals to you? As a new Mum, you may have many questions, so maybe you could read up on baby stuff, such as how to help your baby roll over. You could play crosswords or even write a diary. If you are feeling a little stressed at the new baby experience, keeping a diary may help you think through the things that are worrying you. Seeing your thoughts on paper may change how you feel, almost like giving you another perspective, or seeing yourself from the outside. This can be both eye-opening and cathartic, a little like therapy, but for free. Maybe you are artistic, drawing can also have the same catharsis. Anything that makes you think and concentrate will be beneficial for you. It will take you away from the worries of everyday life and give you something else creative to think about, and could allow you to have a sense of achievement.
Cut out bad habits
Everyone has them, and they can come in small or large packages. But whatever the degree of your band habit, it is a bad habit nonetheless. Are you one for getting a lot of takeaways, or constantly going to the drive-through? This is not a healthy way to live. It will also be costing you a fair bit too. Try and swap this habit to a more healthier alternative. You could have a look at some recipes. You could involve the children in this, so you all pick something you like. Write a shopping list and only get the items on the shopping list, don’t get tempted by those 241 offers. You could involve the kids in preparing healthy meals, this will give them some experience in the kitchen, and may help them develop healthy life practises. If you smoke, try and quit, if you still see that toxic friend, isn’t it time you finally stopped getting sucked into going around there? What about alcohol? Do you drink too much? It’s not a good idea to attempt to cut everything out at once, go for one thing at a time, and if you can stick to it, you will feel more powerful and in control of your life as a result.
Play a little
Connect with that inner child. It doesn’t have to be doom an gloom all the time. Have a laugh and mess about. You could involve the children in this. They are children and would like to see your playful side. Laughter is a great way to relieve stress, it really is like medicine, and if you find you are more on the serious side, get out in the garden and play something like chase or something with the kids. You could play hide and seek inside. Anything that will result in a finding time to laugh, and get away from your worries. Not only will you connect with your inner child, but you will also connect with your children, and that is priceless.
Get out and about
Don’t spend all your time in one space. Go out for walks, take the children with you. Make plans for the weekends. They don’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of ways to get out without spending a fortune. You could do this simply by finding another route home from work. Getting out and seeing something different is a great way to break the day up and get you thinking in alternative ways. New sights can inspire you in ways you cannot imagine.
Be good to yourself
If you make a mistake, don’t go over and over it in your head. Take note of the mistake, by all means, learn from it, but don’t beat yourself up about it. This is detrimental to your health; it may make you anxious and may start to affect your ability to sleep. Absolutely everyone makes mistakes. It is part of being a living breathing human being. You may feel that every other Mother out there has it all under control. There could be nothing further from the truth. Besides, you should not be comparing yourself to some fantasy Mother in your head, you should be concentrating on your life and your children and the reality you are in. Why not concentrate on all the good things you do? Such as connecting with your children, playing with them, helping them achieve their goal, knowing who they are. Swap negative thoughts for positive ones and you will feel so much better.