Stress Management | 5 Easy Stress Reducers for Busy Moms

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© Copyright 2012 Tracy Lynn Conway with all rights reserved.

I wake up each day hoping that this will be the day that is easier, the day that I will get a break from the heavy demands of parenting and even though this day doesn’t ever seem to come, I refuse to give up hope. Most days my demands center around my children, work and managing my home, leaving little time for myself. Friends and family often suggest taking a nap or meeting up with friends to relax and alleviate stress and I do take these recharging breaks, but fitting them in often enough remains a perpetual challenge.

I have found some easier and quicker ways to de-stress from the demands of parenthood and life which require the least effort for the greatest return. While some of these ideas may seem basic, I have found that even some basic ways to recharge are often forgotten and overlooked. I have put together a list of these easy de-stressers which I call Mommy Mini Vacations.


My Motto is: If you can’t take a vacation, bring the vacation to you.

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1. Hydrotherapy, while reading a book about how French women recover from the drain of childbirth I learned that they use hydrotherapy to heal, recover and rejuvenate. This of course sounded like a luxurious extravagance but it turns out that hydrotherapy is just a fancy word for taking a bath. The only thing that I was indulging in after childbirth was exhaustion and a huge consumption of water that was necessary for breastfeeding, so maybe French women are onto something. My Grandmother used to love taking baths and until fairly recently I thought of baths as old fashioned but I have given the idea a second look with great results. I now look forward to this time alone and at peace surrounded by my personal warm ocean of H2O.

Best time: After the kids have gone to bed.

Stress Reduction Benefits:

  • Bathing lowers blood pressure
  • Allows the mind to refocus and gain perspective.
  • Studies show that bathing promotes good sleep and can even cure insomnia.
  • Relaxes Muscles

Some teas are blended to reduce stress.
Some teas are blended to reduce stress.

2. Drink a cup of tea. Green tea, herbal tea, sleepy time tea; it doesn’t really matter which, tea is both good for you and a tool for reducing stress. I picked up my love of tea on my trips to England and Ireland where making and drinking tea is an art. For those living on the British Isles, tea breaks are a regular part of the day both at mid morning, 10:30 and at around 2:30 in the afternoon, so why not indulge in this relaxing habit yourself? Drinking a hot cup of tea forces you to slow down and savor the moment and the flavor. Tea is soothing to all the senses and forces you to set a new pace if you are having a busy day. I drink green tea during the earlier hours of the day and caffeine free herbal tea as it gets later in the day and into the evening.

Best Time: Anytime

Stress Reduction Benefits: According to research at University College London, black tea can lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol

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The Sun Salutation Series can be done fast or slow depending on how much time you have.

3. Yoga. Yoga is so revitalizing, even after only a few positions you may find your body thanking you and the stress of the day melting away. I practice the sun salutation series at home but even just a few stretches can make you feel refreshed and revitalized. It isn’t always possible to fit a complete workout in or attend a yoga class but a group of stretches that only take a few minutes can both relax you and keep your body toned and stretched.

Best Time: Anytime

Stress Reduction Benefits: Sound sleep, reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels, improvement of many medical conditions including lower blood pressure, lower heart rate; sense of well-being, reduced anxiety and muscle tension, increased strength and flexibility and slowed aging process.

4. Breathing Techniques. I often combine paced breathing with a bath to attain the highest level of stress release in the shortest amount of time.

Square breathing is a technique that is used to slow down your breathing which helps your body to relax. Here are the four steps to square breathing.

 1 Take a deep breath, breathing in for four seconds.

 2 Hold your breath for four seconds.

 3 Slowly exhale for four seconds.

 4 Do nothing for four seconds and then repeat the process by increasing the second to 5, 6 and more. Do this as many times as you need until you calm down.

I try to visualize a square that gets larger as I increase my breathing count.

Try out this paced breathing video!

Best Time: Paced breathing and its cousin, square breathing, can be done at anytime.

Stress Reduction Benefits This technique is beneficial for managing many stressful situations and also for relaxing your body before bed.

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5. Take a walk: Walking separates you from your stressors. It gives you perspective on your life and encourages you to enjoy the moment by noticing the environment around you. The fresh air and rhythm of walking all help to invigorate the body and this releases stress. If you can’t get out alone then bringing the kids along can benefit everyone.

Best Time: Daytime

Stress Reduction Benefits: Walking triggers the body to release endorphins which stimulate relaxation and clam the body.

Motherhood is continuously demanding, I consider it the longest endurance sport of all time. Finding ways to relieve stress and find a balance for parents will likely continue to be a struggle as I know it has been for me. I hope these ideas are useful to you and that you find a way to work them into your day.

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Comments 14 comments

BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

The breathing technique is great. You can do it at a stop light or when waiting in line. I think of yoga as mindfulness meditation in motion, because you have to be mindful in positioning the poses. And this produces a sense of relaxation and well-being.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Tracy, While I am not a parent I do see these as great stress techniques. I agree walking is near the top of my list for ways to relax. Well done!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

Excellent ideas for reducing stress. As a busy mom, I have used the majority of them. Other things that helped me that I could do with my children for stress reduction were listening to music and writing. Oftentimes, when I sat down to write, my children would do the same, and we would enjoy the time together.


Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 4 years ago

Great stress management tips for busy moms, thanks for the sharing Tracy, take care...


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Blissful Writer, great suggestion about using the breathing technique at a traffic light. I also like the way you described yoga as a "mindful meditation". These are both such powerful de-stressors and are effective even in a short about of time.

Christy, These techniques are certainly beneficial for everyone and I so glad you like them. I think the unique need of Mom's deserved some attention because often they are 'on duty' around the clock, as I know I am, and finding this time is a perpetual challenge.

Denise, those are great ideas! Music is certainly another method of changing your mood and allowing you to separate yourself from your stressors. Your writing idea is great too, children love to do whatever you do. Thank you for your great suggestions and comment!

Injured Lamb, I am so glad you liked it! Thank you.


Vanessa Johnsson profile image

Vanessa Johnsson 4 years ago from Washington DC

It's a great and very useful article. Even though I'm not a mom yet, I still found some interesting issues. Thank you!


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Vanessa, I also think these stress reduction ideas are useful for everyone. Thank you so much!

Tracy


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

Just reading this hub has me longing to truly relax. My son turns 20 in two days and my daughter recently turned 18, yet that "break from the heavy demands of parenting" still eludes me. (If you've read my recent hub about my son's back surgery you'll understand a small part of what life has been like lately.) I really do need to incorporate some of the stress management techniques that you write about into my life. In the past I have found that yoga is an excellent way. It's time to roll my mat out again! Thanks for the tips.


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Ktrapp, I think I would prefer a fairy tale about how parenting gets easier. It seems that modern parenting involves a lot more work than it was for older generations. I think that making a habit of some of these methods would be a great way to squeeze in stress reduction without having to think about it.

I look forward to reading your recent hub!

Thank you for the great comment!

Tracy


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Fantastic hub! I hope you practice what you preach, if so you will be just fine. I like the yoga and tea....they both work great!:)


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Sunshine625, you make an excellent point, when life gets busy it is easy to forget these good habits. Getting right back into yoga and other stress reduction methods takes discipline and strong motivation, but the benefits are well worth it. I am glad you liked the hub and practice a few of these methods yourself, thank you.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

Thank you for sharing this..I am a stay-at-home mom with a 4 year old and he's quite the handful sometimes.. I definitely need to give some of these a try. Voting up and useful :)


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Thanks Jamie! Balancing the demands of parenting along with other aspects of life is a huge challenge and I think we have to throw perfectionism out the door, I know I have a long time ago. I hope these ideas work for you, a few minutes of focusing on yourself goes a long way. Thank you for your comment and I wish you the best of luck with your son.

Best,

Tracy


Mother of Two 2 years ago

Thank you for your tips. They are amazing! Square breathing, who knew. I needed a quick relieve and it gave me that. I will take some time out to do yoga and morning walks at the beginning and end of my days. Having the kids join me will help them will release their summer energy. Thanks Again!

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