There’s one thing about parenting that no one can seem to convey to expectant moms accurately, and that’s the toll motherhood can take on your mental health. It’s not just the explosive tantrums in the middle of Walmart. It’s everything.
Sleepless nights, health concerns, worries about your children’s future… these things and more can impact a mom’s mental health. This is why it’s crucial (not optional) for moms to take more time to take care of themselves.
And this extends to all kinds of moms. From stay-at-home moms to working moms, we all have guilt and face our own unique mental health challenges.
Here are a few ways busy moms can make more time for their mental health.
Join a mom’s group
Being a stay-at-home mom can be very isolating at times. It helps to connect with other moms in your area so that you can combine play dates with friend time. You can form great bonds that help you through the difficult stages of motherhood.
Similarly, moms who send their children to daycare often struggle with some level of guilt. Playdates aren’t an easy option for working moms, but you may want to look into whether there are any working mom groups in your area. If not, you may want to consider starting one. These are groups of working moms in one area who lunch together regularly and have playdates on the weekends.
No one understands the struggles of being a mom like another mom, so these friendships are extremely important.
Kick bad habits
If your way of dealing with a stressful day involves having a glass of wine, you may want to reconsider. Relaxation and “me time” is definitely important, but having a glass of wine every night can quickly become a habit. Substance abuse issues take a very serious toll on your mental health, among other things, so it’s best if you can kick this habit before it goes there.
Even the busiest moms can find five minutes in most days. Use this time to practice meditation. For most of us, this will have to be while the kids are sleeping, but that’s okay. Get up five minutes early to practice. All you have to do is sit in a quiet room facing the wall and count your breaths. Count each in breath and out breath until you reach 10. At this point, you can start over.
Mediation has many benefits for mental health, and you’ll be surprised at how effective this practice is at promoting a calm mind. If you can, gradually increase your meditation to 10 minutes daily for the best effect.
Go for a walk
Take the kids for a walk after dinner to get in your daily steps and connect with your family. Exercise causes the body to release endorphins, which will have a positive impact on your mood. If you can fit in a more intense workout, that’s great, but all you really need is 30 minutes every day.
Get more rest
This is a tough one for most moms, especially those with little’s who aren’t sleeping through the night. Unfortunately, there aren’t any quick fixes for that problem, but you can increase your own rest by getting to bed earlier.
It’s always a struggle. Do you go to bed when the kids do or stay up to watch your favorite show? Well, no one can make that decision for you, but you should consider that you’ll feel better when you’re well rested. Maybe you can designate one or two nights a week where you stay up a bit later for some alone time.
In an increasingly stressed society, mental health is so important to your overall well being. It’s especially important for moms, so try to find time to take care of yourself.