Let’s face it – stress and parenthood go hand-in-hand. There is no way that anyone can convince me that recorders in the kitchen, drumming hands at the dinner table, and sudden raging temper tantrums over who gets the green cup don’t cause your anxiety levels to rise. And then there’s the constant juggling act we are called to perfect – the work-family-household thing we try to call balance …yep, I’m going to say it: we are Stressed – Out! At least I am. What can I do for stress relief?
I recently had the pleasure of working with Sarah Joseph to deliver a webinar to my friends at Entrepreneur Mom Now. Sarah has been working with families for more than 9 years and she has written an ebook about mindful parenting (download it for free). She is exactly the person to talk to about reducing stress in your life. Sarah talks in this webinar (feel free to listen!) about the importance of self-care. I think that self-care is often overlooked by a lot of women. Our lives are so busy, and we get so caught up in giving, that we forget about the importance of taking care of number 1. Yes, that’s right. Number 1 is you.
But this past weekend, I had an amazing experience. My children wanted to see a movie and my husband agreed it was a great idea. I thought it was a fine idea, but here’s the thing … I didn’t really want to go. Somehow I convinced my husband to take the three kids on his own and as they left the house, I was in a rare and blissful situation: two hours stretched before me.
I made myself promise I wouldn’t work and instead I dug into what I love most. I got my running clothes on: it was a beautiful sunny day. I ran down to the ocean, stretched while watching the waves, and tackled the 200 stairs back up to the street level. I ran to my mother’s house and stood in her kitchen while taking a water break. We talked casually, but without a child interrupting each thought. I left and ran back to my house. I sat in pigeon pose for an eternity, listening intently to explicit rap music. And then I had a long hot shower. I headed to a home store and lingered over the displays as though I had all the time in the world. I didn’t worry that things would break in my wake. I got supper at the grocery store, and a bundle of flowers because they were pretty and smelled good.
What bliss! And you know what happened when the kids came home? I mothered like I’ve never mothered before. Calm, patient, in touch with what they needed. I mothered well right up until the moment I tucked them in, bathed and read to.
That’s the thing about self-care. It renews you and it makes you a better mother, a better wife, more in touch with your family. What do you do to take care of yourself?
I posed this question to Crystal and some of our contributors. Here’s what these busy bloggers, moms, employees and business owners had to say.
Stress Relief Strategies for Busy Moms: Top Bloggers Share their Tips
Crystal of Hello Creative Family
Finding the work/life balance is something that I struggle with. I think it’s made worse because my office is at home. There’s no escaping it. For me, self care goes hand-in-hand with being creative. If I’m feeling run down, overworked, stressed out and not at my best self, then I know I need to set aside creative time for myself.
I recently set a rule for myself that I need to take 1 hour before bed, for myself, without thinking about work or school. During that time I’ve started to crochet a blanket. I picked colors that I LOVE for the yarn and a design that’s easy and repetitive. Now, every night I take 1 hour to crochet and zen out.
Other things that I do for self care– take a long walk while brainstorming creative projects, get a pedicure while I journal or read a book, take a coloring break, and escape to the kitchen to experiment with flavors and develop recipes.
Salma of The Write Balance
As a work -home-mom, trying to be a mom who’s on top of the kids the house and work, often does take it’s toll. To de-stress, I try and fit in a workout 4-5 times a week cause it makes me feel good! Recently I’ve also been making time to hang out with friends without the kids around and reading. Every little bit makes a difference.
Brooke of Miss Teen USSR
I get a pedicure and pretend I’m asleep so I don’t have to talk
I don’t turn my phone on Sunday mornings so I’m present and engaged with my family (and my coffee).
I organize girls nights with friends where we eat junk and don’t talk about our kids.
Randa of The Bewitchin’ Kitchen
When I put health first and combine working out in the morning with eating well, I’m unstoppable. I’m a better mom, business woman and I feel better in my own skin. Plus then when I’m sore I have the perfect excuse for a hot Epsom salt bath and 20 minutes to myself that evening. 😉
Crystal of CrystalMadrilejos.com
I’m on the tail end of a Whole30 and currently am reading WomanCode trying to eat to support my hormones. Yoga, lots of water, and been making an effort to get more sleep!
Heather of Mother Your Business
Yoga and books in bed. Getting enough sleep! Making sure there is enough room on the calendar for nothing time. Focused nutrition. Laughs with girlfriends. Fresh air.
Thanks ladies for sharing your tips!