If you’re a stressed mom, it can be challenging to find relief. Your little people need you 24/7!
I’ve been there – in desperate need of a break, yet unable to get one. That’s why we have to make the most of the time we have. No matter how demanding your life is, you MUST find time to de-stress for your mental and physical health.
Why are Moms So Stressed?
Today, moms are expected to meet higher expectations than ever before in our society. Here are just a few of the things we are expected to do as moms in today’s world:
- Spend quality time with our kids and “enjoy every moment“
- Feed our kids healthy food as much as possible
- Be informed on health issues like vaccinations
- Teach our children about God and help them grow in faith (we really should prioritize this one)
- Be involved in our kid’s extracurricular activities
- Be involved in our community and church events
- Contribute to the household income
- Be an amazing, supportive wife
- Keep our homes clean and tidy
- Parent in a loving, yet firm way
The sad reality is, if we pay attention to people’s standards, we always have something to feel stressed or guilty about. We will never be enough in the world’s eyes. That’s why we have to listen to God’s standards instead!
The image below totally illustrates how much pressure moms experience today. I don’t know who the original image belongs to – if you do, please contact me and I would love to credit them. This is all too true.
It’s no wonder that moms today are feeling stressed, burnt-out, overwhelmed, and pressured!
A Stress-Relieving Bible Verse for Moms
Moms, here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter what exceptions the world places on you.
The things God requires of you are actually fairly simple and reasonable. Take a moment and meditate on this bible verse for stress relief:
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?Micah 6:8
As long as you’re doing your best to face each day with kindness, treating others fairly, and walking with the Lord – you are meeting HIS expectations. And that’s truly all that matters.
What a relief!
Related post: Read This When You Feel Unappreciated as a Mom
10 Easy Ways for a Stressed Mom to Find Relief
Now that we’ve dealt with emotional stress by putting all our “expectations” in God’s hands (and not listening to the world), we’re breathing easier.
But let’s take our stress-relief journey even deeper and explore 7 simple ideas for getting rid of that built-up physical stress.
1. Take regular breaks
Mama, I know you love your kids. It’s hard to be away from them. But the thing is, you NEED time away to recharge your batteries. You’ll be a better, happier mom when you prioritize break time.
Whatever that means to you – taking a solo daily walk, squeezing in a kid-free shopping session, or paying for a sitter so you can have date night. These moments aren’t luxuries – they’re necessities.
When my first baby went to Kindergarten, it was a tough transition. But here’s the thing: that routine, that time away from each other, did us both good.
When he gets home from school every day, it’s a sweet reunion – we are so happy to see each other! And I think our relationship is even better because we are intentional with the time we do have. Here are some ways we make that time special.
2. Prioritize Sleep
This is especially important for moms of babies and toddlers who aren’t getting as much sleep as they need.
I know, I know, it’s easy for me to say “get more sleep.” It’s much harder to actually do it! This is where you need to call in reinforcements, take turns with your spouse on night duty, or even sleep during the day if necessary.
It’s so tempting to stay up late so you can enjoy your “alone time.” This is one of my biggest challenges – I’m a total night owl and I love watching Netflix and browsing Facebook late at night. Here’s why us mamas need to stay up late sometimes.
But if you’re feeling particularly stressed, it’s wise to choose sleep first. When you make sleep as important as meal times, you’ll feel happier, less stressed and better equipped to care for your littles. Here’s the ultimate guide to getting the best night’s sleep ever.
3. Try yoga
I like to fancy myself a yogi, even though I’m sure many of the poses I try make me look hysterical.
In fact, I have a distinct memory of my college roommates and I trying yoga and pilates together, and collapsing in a heap of laughter on the floor over how hilarious we looked. (BTW – laughter is a great stress-reliever, too!)
Whether you’re an experienced yogi or a newbie, it’s proven that yoga helps lower stress levels. It always makes me feel better.
Looking for the perfect at-home instructor? I can’t recommend Yoga with Adriene enough – she has yoga videos for every fitness level, and her sense of ease and humor is contagious.
4. Find your happy place
Why should you have a special happy place?
It gives you something to look forward to at then end of a long day. Even if you’ve been hard pressed on every side, it gives you something positive to look forward to – even on the bleakest of days. This will boost your mental outlook and reduce your stress!
What makes for a good happy place?
Anywhere that makes you feel relaxed and at peace, and that you can incorporate into your routine to visit often. Whether it be the top of a hill on a solo walk, a favorite coffee shop, or a special nook in your home – find somewhere that makes you smile and commit to meeting yourself there weekly or more often, if possible.
For me, it’s bath time. (See the heart in the tub photo?) Nothing is more relaxing than sinking into my deep tub full of warm bubbly peace.
Here are some things that help make this my happy place:
- Reading. The bath is the one place where I can relax and usually get a good 30 minutes of reading in. Most of the time, my hubby watches the boys so I can take my time.
- Decor – For Christmas, Richard got me an elaborate timepiece to “pretty up” the space. He said it represents taking my time to enjoy the experience – no rushing allowed! I also enjoy hanging beautiful, meaningful pieces of artwork in this room to make it special.
So – find your happy place and commit to meeting yourself there regularly!
5. Nourish your body
I’ve covered this topic pretty extensively on the blog, and if you’ve spent much time here you know how passionate I am about good nutrition. If your body has everything it needs nutrition-wise, you’ll handle stress SO much better! Here are some great resources on this topic:
- Top 10 Kitchen Hacks for Healthy Eating
- Stop Cutting Out These 3 Food Groups
- Real Food Swaps for Junk Food Snacks
6. Rely on your husband
You may already be really good at this, but I know a lot of women who “feel bad” asking their husband to help too often, especially if they shoulder most of the work outside the home.
But, even if you’re a stay-at-home-mom, you’re working full time also. It’s okay to rely on his help and support with the kids so you can take breaks and get some much-needed sleep.
7. Ask for help
We need each other – friends and family – in this journey of motherhood. None of us can do it alone. Sounds cliche, but it truly does take a village. Whether it’s other moms your age, or older ladies you can ask for advice, you need someone you can call anytime!
Take a moment and write down the names of 3 people who make you feel safe. Then, ask them if you can call them when you are in need of support. They will probably be honored you thought of them!
Our family has moved a lot, and in each place we move, I try to find an older woman in our church family to befriend and kind of adopt as an extra-special friend. I’ve had ladies watch my kids during church services, babysit, and even send me daily devotionals to encourage me.
Why are we so hesitant to ask for help? Admittedly, I struggle with this BIG TIME. I rarely ask for help because I’m afraid I’ll be bothering someone, or worse – because I’m afraid to be viewed as weak.
Mamas, sometimes asking for help is the strongest thing you can do! And so crucial to reduce your stress levels.
8. Be okay with saying ‘no’
It takes time if you’ve been conditioned that saying yes to everything and people pleasing has become a way of life. But saying ‘no’ is absolutely essential to good mental and emotional health.
After all, you are only human. It’s okay if you need to pull back from a few extra commitments, social events, and activities for awhile.
Remember, when you say ‘no’ to something, you’re also saying ‘yes’ to something else – like more relaxation and time to yourself.
9. Talk to a mom friend
Connect with a mom in your life that is also in the thick of things, who can understand what you’re going through. It’s great to get advice from family or other people who are at different life stages, but having someone to talk to who is in the same stage as you is a big morale boost.
I was the first of most of my friends to have a baby, plus we lived internationally and I felt a bit isolated. Thankfully, when my baby was a few months old I made friends with a couple of other moms. It felt so validating to know they were going through similar struggles!
10. Reduce social media scrolling
It’s so easy to do when you feel burned out and stressed, but scrolling on social media for hours usually doesn’t make you feel better. In fact, it can be linked to worse mental health outcomes.
It’s so easy to compare our lives to others and feel inadequate. Instead, why not read a special book, engage in a hobby, or if you really just want to zone out, watch your favorite TV show instead!
Related post: How To Love Yourself
Are you a stressed mom? How do you keep your stress levels in check? I’d love to hear your wisdom in the comments below!