Mums are the world’s best jugglers. Kids, work, home duties, they can do it all, often all at once! But with so much to fit into the day, the lack of sleep, exhaustion and overwhelm puts many mums in a stressed-out state. Debbie Emmerson, co-founder of Mummy Mojo, has some strategies to help.
While some stress can help increase our alertness and energy to meet the challenges and demands of life as a busy mum, if left unchecked for too long it can have a negative effect on our health, wellbeing, relationships, work and general enjoyment of life.
There are lots of signs to look out for that you are suffering from stress. Maybe you can’t switch off and feel anxious and alert when you want to be resting. You might feel that you can’t cope, and even small things get you down and leave you exhausted. Maybe you have difficulty concentrating or remembering where you put things. Perhaps you are withdrawn from your relationships, or are especially emotional, snappy and moody.
For the sake of our health and happiness, it is vital to find fast and effective ways to relax and de-stress, so that we can face whatever life throws at us with a calm mind and a relaxed body.
Here are 7 stress-busting tips that even the busiest mum can do to help dial down the stress, without resorting to unhealthy habits.
1. Take magnesium
All mums should take a magnesium supplement daily. Why? Currently over 60% of adult Australians are deficient in this mineral. It gets used up at a rapid rate when you are stressed. Known as the essential “calming” mineral, Magnesium is responsible for the activity of up to 800 enzyme systems that make energy, digest food, support the adrenal glands, detoxify heavy metals, and relax your muscles and nerves.
2. Have sex
Having sex can help alleviate stress by releasing brain endorphins, which automatically lift your mood and help relieve stress. It is also good for your heart and lowers blood pressure, helps you sleep, fights ageing, improves your mood, tones your body, boosts the immune system and improves your pelvic floor. It might be the last thing you feel like doing, but with so many benefits it is worth the effort!
3. Eat a stress-busting breakfast
The importance of breakfast cannot be overstated. After 12 hours of fasting our bodies need fuel, and the right kind of fuel, to set you up for the best possible start to your day. Try this stress-defying shake – it improves your mood and quiets stress without withdrawal, rebound cravings, or overeating: In a blender, mix 1 banana, ½ cup of pineapple, handful of blueberries, scoop of magnesium powder, 1 scoop of protein powder, 2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil. Process until smooth.
4. Use essential oils
Smell is the fastest way to affect mood. Use an oil diffuser and burn a calming oil such as lavender. The aromatic molecules have direct access to the limbic area of the brain which controls our emotions. You can also apply essential oils topically for a fast and effective stress-buster – massage your favourite calming oil into the area in the centre of your wrist, which is an important acupressure point.
5. Laugh out loud
Laughter is an instant stress-reliever. A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally, it also lowers cortisol and boosts your brain’s happy chemicals. Watch a comedy YouTube clip, follow a funny mummy blogger, or catch up with a friend who has a great sense of humour. Make a conscious effort to lighten up and see the funny side of things.
6. Go for a walk
Walking boosts endorphins and makes you feel good. It can ease anger, stress, tension, fatigue and confusion in just 10 minutes. If you are at work, take a walk in your lunch break. If you are at home with a baby or toddler put her in the pram or pushchair and go together.
7. Listen to music
Music has the power to affect our perceptions, emotions and physical well-being. Create music playlists for different moods. Slower “chill-out” music can help regulate and relax our systems, and happy songs can help lighten the mood quickly. If you’ve had a REALLY stressful day, a session of hard rock music can help us release our frustrations before we can calm down enough to relax.
How do you manage stress?
Incorporating a few simple self-care practices into your day until they become habit goes a long way to building your resilience to stress. You can find loads more stress-busting tips for mums in The Mummy Mojo Guide To Stress-Free Living. Get in touch at Mummy Mojo or find them on Facebook.