If you are a mom, you understand stress. Women still do more than two hours of additional unpaid labor each day than their male counterparts — and they say females are the weaker sex?
Regardless of how unfair your burden may be, you need to find a way to handle the pressure or risk losing your mind. Here are eight unconventional ways for moms to manage stress and be the best version of themselves for their families.
1. Schedule Daily Relax Time
How many times has your daily relaxation routine consisted of an evening glass of wine while you tend to household chores? While you might reap the rewards of an empty dishwasher, you’re depriving your soul. Your internal sense of lack might transform one alcoholic beverage into two or more to “cope” — before you know it, Houston, there’s a problem.
Instead, pencil in 30 minutes each day to do something relaxing that you love, like taking a yoga class or walking in nature. Such activities revitalize you, not leave you hungover or feeling more anxious afterward. The old cliché about not being able to pour from an empty pitcher holds — you need and deserve time for yourself so that you can give your best self to others.
2. Switch Up Your Yoga Studio
Yoga is fabulous for many reasons, not the least of which being that you can practice in your living room. However, if you feel stuck in a rut, why not swap out your typical studio for a new and exciting twist on this ancient practice?
Aerial yoga is miraculous for people with degenerative spinal conditions as it eases pressure on vertebrae. Want to welcome summer with a splash? Try yoga on a paddleboard — you’ll improve your balance and stay cool each time you lose it and hit the pool.
3. Make Friends With Mr. Ed
Equine therapy is incredible for easing anxiety and stress. These majestic yet gentle creatures provide a sense of connection with nature and other living things.
You might think, “this suggestion sounds terrific for the elite, but what about those of us who can’t afford equine friends?” You don’t need land or a barn to sign up for riding lessons. Another alternative is to volunteer at a local stable or rescue. Caring for these creatures doubles as relaxation, and you’ll doubtless enjoy the occasional free ride.
4. Get in a Pickle
Heading to the country club for a round of tennis might sound equally as posh as saddling up your pony. However, most community parks and recreation departments have badminton-sized courts where you and the crew can play pickleball for free — or close to it.
You can play this game with singles or doubles, so it’s ideal for when the entire gang can’t make it. The equipment costs relatively little. You’ll enjoy the stress-busting properties of physical exercise with camaraderie — a win-win for anxiety reduction.
5. Become a “Knit Wit”
Maybe rapid-fire hand-eye coordination isn’t your thing. However, you can still improve your motor function while making friends and beating stress by joining a knitting circle.
Thanks to the pandemic, you can find online societies for tips, tricks and sharing the fun with fellow knitters.
This hobby gives you something to occupy your hands if stress-eating creates unwanted pounds — you’ll ruin your craft if you try to purl two while eating Cheetos.
Plus, you’ll always have delightful homemade gifts at holiday time, and you could even open an Etsy shop for side cash.
6. Grab a Hoe
Summer is here. If you missed the quarantine gardening craze, now is your chance to get in on the action and grow some organic produce.
Gardening combines the mood-boosting properties of exercise with the anxiety-relieving properties of the outdoors. Studies indicate that merely looking at pictures of nature lowers stress, increasing workplace productivity.
7. Indulge Your Wanderlust
If your mom-stress stems from spending the last year or so inside the same four walls with hyperactive little ones, why not hit the road with your family?
If you are fully vaccinated and maintain hygiene precautions, you should remain safe.
Throw a dart at a map of your state, then hop on Google and search for nearby attractions.
Make a day trip of playing tourist somewhere nearby that you’ve never visited if money matters preclude buying plane tickets or taking an extended leave from work. The change of scenery will relieve stress and improve your mood.
8. Whip Up Some Relaxation
Is the kitchen your happy place? Why not indulge in some stress-relieving foods to lower your cortisol levels?
Nuts are a fabulous source of selenium and magnesium, both of which ease stress symptoms, according to research. Fatty fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, crucial to sound neurological functioning. Few things soothe like a hot mug of chamomile and lavender tea when the world seems overwhelming.
Moms, Try These 8 Unconventional Ways to Manage Stress
Moms may have more stress than most. The eight unconventional methods above can help you manage it and restore your sense of well-being.