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When life gets hard or current events make watching the news scary, it can send your anxiety skyrocketing. And that’s exactly when you need some self care tips to help yourself feel better.
Taking care of yourself can make getting through a bumpy period or a full-blown crisis less stressful. And it can also help you be a calmer, more organized mom for your kids who might need reassurance just as much as you do.
Uncertain times mean you may be feeling panicky or fearful about what the future might bring. But the best thing you can do in that situation is to focus on the things you can control, self care being one of them.
If your stress levels are through the roof, then you could probably use some self care tips right about now. And this guide is designed to help.
I’ve put together a list of the best self care tips to try for moms who need a break. If you haven’t been focusing on yourself lately because life seems to have gone bananas, you’ll want to bookmark this post so you can come back to these tips again and again.
13 Helpful Self Care Tips for Stressful Times
You may feel like you don’t have time for self care when life is hectic but that’s not true. Even 15 minutes a day is enough to help develop a self care routine. And it’s especially important for preserving your mental and emotional health and staying sane when things are even crazier than usual.
1. Watch what you eat
Being mindful of what you put into your body is so important when going through hard times. Stress eating is so easy to do and it’s also so bad for you.
So if you’re feeling on edge and tempted to overindulge in comfort foods, take a step back. Work on meal planning and incorporating some simple, healthy recipes into your routine. It’s one of the best ways to take care of yourself when feeling overwhelmed.
2. Try meditating
Meditation or prayer can also be hugely helpful when life is chaotic. Taking even 5 or 10 minutes out of your day to just get quiet and settle your mind can make such a difference in how you feel.
You don’t have to be super-spiritual to learn some basic meditations or to say a brief prayer. And there’s no right or wrong way to do either one; what counts is finding a sense of calm in the middle of the crazy.
3. Get outside if you can
Too much sun can be a bad thing if you end up getting burned but scientific study has shown that a moderate dose of sunshine can boost your health in numerous ways.
If you can spend time outside every day, add that to your daily routine for yourself and your kids. Going to the park or taking a walk around the neighborhood is great but if you can’t do those things, then even a few minutes in the backyard or on your back step can help.
4. Avoid the news and social media
Let’s face it, the news can be very triggering at times, especially when disasters or other negative events dominate the headlines. Social media is even worse when you have random people chiming in with their thoughts and opinions on whatever is happening.
For example, one of my biggest panic triggers is reading about the latest climate change developments online. Any time it’s more bad news, it instantly makes me feel anxious and helpless.
If reading the news or social media is ramping up your stress levels, here’s one of the best and easiest self care tips to know: turn it off.
Seriously, stop reading all of it, even if it’s only for one day. And if you have to stay updated, then pick one news channel that you trust and check it once a day. With social media, read the articles only and skip the comments since those can only stir up more anxious feelings.
5. Pare down your to-do list
Even when life is going crazy, you still have certain things you have to do as a mom. For example, the laundry needs to be done and the groceries need to be bought.
The thing to keep in mind when you’re stressed is that you don’t have to do it all.
If you’re completely at your limits with overwhelm, take a good look at your to-do list. Then cut out anything that doesn’t fall under the category of things that must be done right now or things that bring you joy.
This doesn’t have to be a permanent shift. But taking a step back for a few days or even a few weeks can help you recharge so you don’t end up burned out.
6. Stay connected with friends and family
Having a network of family and friends you can lean on in stressful times can be a real lifeline.
If you can’t visit with friends or family in person, there are other ways to stay connected thanks to email, video chat and text. So if you haven’t reached out in a while, make time to do that at least once a week.
You don’t have to completely unload all of your worries on them. But sometimes hearing a friendly voice on the other end of the line can be enough to help pull you out of stress mode.
7. Start a journal
Journaling is one of the best self care habits to develop if you need a creative outlet.
When you write down all of your thoughts, fears, worries — whatever is happening in your head — out on paper it can be easier to process and deal with. It’s a simple way to clear your head and quiet the white noise.
So if you don’t have a journaling routine yet, consider investing a few bucks in a nice journal. Then block off 15 to 20 minutes every day when you can unload your mental clutter.
8. Build rest time into your daily routine
The concept of rest time may not be something you’re familiar with as a busy mom. If you’re like me, it may seem like you’re in go-go-go mode all the time.
But that’s not the best way to be if you want to avoid stress. So as you work your plan for each day, be sure to incorporate rest time into it.
And do this for your kids, too if they’re at home with you all day. Give them some simple activities to keep them busy then take a time-out.
You don’t have to go to sleep. Just sitting or lying down on the couch with your eyes closed for a few minutes can be enough to soothe your stressed nerves.
9. Try something new
Introducing something new into your daily round is another thing you can try if other self care tips aren’t working for you.
For example, you could try listening to a TED talk or a podcast. Or waking up a few minutes earlier so you have time to journal. Or making some new recipes you’ve been wanting to try.
Adding some small new experiences or activities to your day can be a stress-reliever because your attention is focused on something else. It’s a good way to shake your mind out of the cycle of worry, even temporarily.
10. Improve the quality of your sleep
Better sleep and more of it is something most moms could probably benefit from. I know I could.
If you’re not getting the sleep you need, ask yourself what you can change to make that happen.
For example, could you go to bed a half-hour earlier or get up a little later? Or could you turn off all electronics at a certain time each night so your brain has a chance to unwind?
Those are small steps you can take. But you may have to consider something bigger, like upgrading your mattress.
Whatever it is, figure out what needs to happen for you to sleep easier at night. Because that one thing alone can make a big difference in how you feel during the day.
11. Spend quality time with your kids
Kids can be a source of stress in themselves, there’s no denying it. But when things are happening in the outside world that you can’t control, they can also be a source of optimism and comfort.
Add time into your days to spend time together as a family if you’re not doing that already. And if you’re able to do so, pencil in one-on-one time with each child if you have multiple kids.
There are multiple benefits you can reap. You’re making memories and at the same time, listening to your kids laugh or watching them play can help boost your mood.
Related post: 101 Frugal and Fun Things to Do With Kids at Home
12. Listen to your favorite music
Music can also help improve your mood and according to some studies, even fend off depression.
If you don’t have one yet, create a go-to playlist you can listen to when you feel stressed. Bonus points if you sing along or host an impromptu solo dance party.
13. Let go of the things you can’t control
As far as self care tips go, this one might be the most important if you’re stressed out or feeling anxious. Because the reality is that there’s only so much we moms have control over.
So, as much as you can, let go of the things that are outside your sphere of momfluence. You don’t have to accept them. And it’s even okay to get angry about negative things that you see happening in the world around you.
But if you constantly dwell on what you can’t control, you’ll drive yourself bonkers. So instead, stay tuned in to what you can do to make the most of difficult or stressful situation.
What are your best self care tips for dealing with stress?
Finding ways to practice self care is always important as a busy mom but even more so when life becomes extra challenging.
Do you have some self care tips for feeling less anxious or stressed? Share them in the comments.
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