The 15 things every mom on the run needs to do to reduce stress
If I had a dollar for each time my father has said to me, "You're always on the run!"--I would be a millionaire. Even when I have nothing to run to, I'm generally running around like a maniac anyway.
There's always something going on with me: kids, deadlines, due dates, life. I have too many priorities to juggle. But when everything is crazy, the world is screaming for my attention and I just don't have time, I resort to some methods to help me ease the stress. Because I know that you ladies don't stop either, I want to share the things I do that help in the hopes that they might work for you too!
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1. Ask for help.
I know you've heard this before, but it's worth repeating! There's nothing wrong with asking; I'm terrible at it, but you'll quickly learn that most people around you actually love to be asked.
2. Do the dreaded tasks first
There are always tasks you'll love to do more than others, and it's tempting to do those first. However, it's a good idea to begin with the hardest tasks -- get it done and out of the way.
3. Listen to your favorite music.
Your favorite tunes will always boost your mood and keep you happy, no matter how tired you are. I can't listen to music when I write but I can definitely do so while I cook.
4. Stretch and breathe.
If you start your day stressed, you'll probably feel stressed for the rest of the day. This is going to sound impossible with our Mom Morning Routines, but try to start your morning 5 minutes earlier and take those minutes for silence and ease. Stretch your body to make you as tall as you can be and then bend over and touch the ground. And during the day, when stress builds up, take five seconds off and just breathe deeply.
5. Take 5-minute mini-breaks.
You can't stay focused all the time, that's a mission impossible. So let your mind wander for a little while. Get up from your chair, walk outside and take a short break--the change of place will make it easier to start again when the break is over.
6. Make a to-do-list for the day.
I love to make little lists on yellow stickies and check off the different items as I accomplish them. Write down all the things that need to be done for the day and make a plan of how to manage everything before deadline.
7. Make a little time for your friends.
Just a few text messages or a quick phone call will make you feel much better and recharged to focus on something else entirely. It's important to stay in touch with the people that make you happy and inspired.
8. Keep a planner.
To make your life less chaotic, it's a good practice to keep a planner. Write down every single appointment to avoid any unwanted surprises and missed meetings. Just remember to schedule time for yourself too!
9. Wear pretty clothes.
If you look good, you'll feel good too. Dress nicely even if you have no plans to see anybody—the point is that it's just for you! I assure you that it will make you feel better all day long.
10. Allow your emotions to come out.
If you're tired and sad, cry it all out. If you're stressed, don't try to hide it. Get it all out, the frustration, the anger and the fear. You'll feel much better after.
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11. Make lunchtime sacred.
Enjoy your healthy food writing your thoughts, reading a book, blog-reading or simply people-watching. This will nourish you on different levels. Making sure you get your daily dose of sunlight if you're spending a lot of time in gloomy workplaces also helps!
12. Get enough sleep.
This is not only essential when it comes to self-care, but it is also absolutely essential when it comes to being able to perform your best. A good night sleep is like taking a shot of the most powerful multi-vitamins.
13. Accept yourself as you are
Let yourself off the hook and accept that you're only human. You don't need to change anything about yourself--trust that you are perfect just the way you are.
14. Drink tea.
Coffee will only get you far at the beginning and then down very quickly. If you're feeling tired and need a caffeine boost, go for iced tea or yummy hot tea with milk instead.
15. Surround yourself with inspiring images.
Put up some of your favorite photos or photos of family and loved ones where you can see them when you work. Whenever you get unfocused, you will feel much better if you can rest your eyes on something beautiful or on those people in your life that inspire you.
Image via Thinkstock