Being a mum is hard. With 110% of your efforts being put into trying to create the perfect life for your child, it is easy to become stressed and forget to look after yourself too. It may seem impossible and as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but take some of those hours and put them towards yourself and use them for a little bit of you time.
Try to push aside the urge to scream and kick and cry and, to be honest, act the exact same way as your toddler – the way that really frustrated you in the first place – and just breathe and relax instead.
1) Alone time – Take five minutes alone to gather your thoughts and calm yourself. Jack always says to me that when I’m feeling stressed or unable to deal with the screaming baby for a minute, just place them in their cot, close the door and just breathe. Take a few minutes to just calm yourself and reassess the situation. After all, babies are very sensitive and pick up on your stress. You could go somewhere dark , use TV, toys or a play pen to occupy your baby/toddler. When Amelia was small, I would put her in her jumperoo with the music channel on; so she could listen and watch the videos then I could just go and do the washing up or other house work. For me, housework was a really good way of relaxation.
2) Independent play – Institute some independent play where your child doesn’t need you for ten minutes in order for you to just watch a bit of television, read a book or something else you enjoy – Even if its just sitting down and putting your feet up.
3) Get a babysitter/ use the other half – As a parent you are allowed to use people to your advantage. Stop worrying about burdening grandparents or feeling guilty for asking more of your partner than working 5 days a week and ask somebody to babysit. Even if its just to have a bath or go to the shops.
4) Take a walk – Most babies and toddlers are relaxed and often sleepy in their prams so get up, get dressed and go for a walk get some fresh air. Put in some headphones and listen to relaxing music whilst walking.
5) Get up earlier – Getting up an extra half an hour earlier than the children is a great way to get some relaxation time in. Pour yourself a hot drink and for once, get yourself some breakfast first and focus your mind to a relaxing day ahead.
7) Get some fresh air – Even if this means just standing/sitting/laying out in the garden for ten minutes, fresh air can be soothing to the mind and create a space of inner peace.
8) Go to the bathroom alone – Say no! For once, go to the bathroom alone. No matter how fussy and demanding your children can be, and they think they need to hold your hand and know what you’re doing 24/7.. they don’t. It wont hurt them to wait outside the bathroom door rather than inside.
9) Eat something – More often than not stress comes from lacking a correct diet. I find myself stressed when I don’t get enough sugar so then eat a chocolate bar or have a sugary coffee and suddenly I feel a lot better.
10) Hobbies – Use hobbies as a way to distract yourself.
11) Take a warm bath – Dim the lights, light some candles, use bubbles, close your eyes or take a book/magazine and just chill.
12) Face mask – If you don’t have a face mask, you can make one with a few simple ingredients: (I found this one on google)
- Combine 1/2 cup hot—not boiling—water and 1/3 cup oatmeal.
- After the water and oatmeal have settled for two or three minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 small egg white.
- Apply a thin layer of the mask to your face, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Then rinse with warm water.
13) Call a friend – Talking can be a great way to de stress. Let out frustration and have a good old rant with a pal. I find chatting to my health visitor or neighbour really helps to get things out of my mind and out in the open.
14) Forgive/Ask for forgiveness – Maybe you need to forgive somebody? Or maybe somebody needs to forgive you? This may be weighing on your mind causing necessary stress. Forgive those whom seek forgiveness from yourself, and if its you that needs to offer forgiveness, try expressing this and clear your mind of any negativity.
15) Honesty – Is the key. You may be feeling stressed from a full work load and even the slightest thing could make you angry and upset. If you need your other half to pick up his dirty washing or stop doing something annoying, be honest rather that biting your tongue.
16) Confront the source – Co worker, friend or family member cashing you stress? Tell them! Don’t just brush it under the rug
17) Take a nap – It’s easier said than done – I know – but nap when they nap or just go to bed earlier. I often find that when Amelia goes to bed I stay up for a few hours and end up going to bed late, so when she has had a lovely long 12 hour sleep, and then another 3 hours during the day, i find myself seriously lacking in zzz’s.
Hopefully, with my little guide we can all find new ways to relax.