10 Realistic Stress Busters for Busy Moms
We all know that being a mom is stressful enough – the constant pouring out of ourselves pretty much leaves us drained on a daily basis. And most of the time, moms of special needs kids have the added stresses of limited social interaction and additional time constraints due to therapies, making it near impossible to take care of ourselves. If you’re able to binge on Netflix a few times each week, you’ve got some time to spare. But I’ve got 10 great ideas to reduce stress in under 20 minutes, for those super busy moms who honestly don’t have time.
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1) Take a time-out
When your kids are acting crazy, they go in time-out. So when mama’s about to go crazy, she needs a time-out too! Make sure your kiddos are in a safe place, and go to a quiet part of the house and take a 10-15 minute time-out.
Your little ones will likely be entertained if you tell them what you’re doing, because they think Mommy’s being punished, but you’re really just giving yourself a chance to cool off and unwind. Just gathering your thoughts in the quietness of a closed room (like a closet, lol!) and getting a quick break can tremendously drop your current stress level.
2) Drink some tea
It may sound silly, but there are some really great therapeutic teas out there. This lavender blend is one of my favorites lately. Celestial Seasonings makes a great one called Tension Tamer, which combines the adaptogenic properties of eleuthero with vitalizing mint and lemongrass. Sip on it while your child naps or does quiet activities. You could also try drinking a cup before he or she wakes up in the morning, to start your day off on a more peaceful note.
3) Get outside
The best time to do this is first thing in the morning, when you can listen to the birds singing. But if that isn’t possible, still try to get outside for 15 minutes during the day. Vitamin D naturally helps enhance our mood, and the change of scenery and sensory input can quickly reduce stress. Whether you’re relaxing with an early morning cup of coffee on the porch, or watching your children swing, you’ll feel the stress begin to fall away as you enjoy the beauty of nature.
4) Do a quick massage
No, I don’t mean go get a massage! I mean do your own. I have been using one of these handheld massagers for well over a decade, and it’s simply amazing. Stress causes our muscle tension to build, which increases stress levels in the body – it’s a vicious cycle. So take 15 minutes to work on your neck and back. It will release toxins from those areas, which will help reduce your stress levels as well. Just be sure to drink plenty of water, to rid your system of that nasty toxic buildup.
5) Diffuse essential oils
All the hype about essential oils is not just because they’re trendy – it’s because they really work! Some of the best ones for relaxation are bergamot, lavender, ylang ylang, rose, chamomile, frankincense, and vetiver. A blend of eucalyptus and spearmint can vastly reduce stress levels as well. If you haven’t already, give essential oils a try!
6) Take a hot shower
It’s something you already have to do, so why not make the most of it? Don’t just wash up and hop out of the shower – take a few extra minutes and a bit of preparation to make it really worth your while.
Stand under the hot water and just breathe slowly. An extra 10 minutes can make you feel totally refreshed and relaxed. You can even turn your boring 20 minute shower into a spa experience with these tips:
- Try a massage shower head (this one has a color changing LED light!), and let the water beat on your shoulders and neck.
- Diffuse essential oils like eucalyptus and spearmint, or ylang ylang.
- Use a relaxing aromatherapy body wash like this one.
- Play some spa music, classical tunes, or gentle Spanish guitar
- Turn off the lights. Light a couple candles, or use the color changing light of your diffuser instead.
- Get a shower stool to sit on, for an even more relaxing experience.
Nothing relieves stress better than getting alone with God and letting Him reset your focus. Lay your cares at His feet, and ask Him to fill you again. We are constantly emptying ourselves, draining our reserves, and filling up others. We need to make sure we are getting our souls refreshed and refilled as well.
1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “Cast your cares on Him, because He cares for you.” We are carrying around huge loads that we were never meant to bear alone. When we give our worries and stresses and cares to Jesus, He will take them and lighten our load. Now we can relax!
You don’t have to get a gym membership, or enter a 5K – just a brisk walk (with the kids in the stroller if you must!) will do the trick. Getting a brief 20 minute exercise releases endorphins and reduces stress. There are tons of fun dance workout videos on YouTube, if that’s more your style. Either way, get moving!
9) Put some headphones in
Silence is a great stress buster. So is good music. Headphones can give you either option. If you’re in the middle of a hectic day, and there’s really nowhere to escape to at the moment, you can always grab some noise canceling headphones and enjoy the noise reduction, or listen to some relaxing tunes.
10) Take a nap
When all else fails, you may just need to sleep it off. But since you’re a busy mom, there’s not much time. Set a 20 minute timer on your phone and enjoy a little cat nap. Diffuse some lavender or Roman chamomile to help you doze off quicker and get a more relaxing effect. Recharging your battery can greatly reduce stress.
Take Care of Yourself
As the mom, you’re constantly depended upon to care for everyone else, but it’s rare for someone else to look out for your well being. So make sure you’re taking care of YOU, in order to be better equipped to care for your little ones.
That may mean waking up 30 minutes earlier each day, in order to relax and unwind, and have some quiet time alone. Whatever it takes, make the effort to get some self-care time in each week, to keep your own health from plummeting.
What’s your favorite way to relax? Let me know in the comments!