Parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it can also be one of the most exhausting. Mothers are often the foundation of the household — making meals, cleaning, keeping up with extracurriculars and more. There is no debating that the role of a mom is crucial to the growth and development of children. While they spend all this time taking care of others, it can be easy for them to neglect themselves.
Mental health problems are not uncommon among mothers. While stress and exhaustion might be among the more typical mental struggles we hear about in moms, there are many others that often go unnoticed. According to the Mental Health Foundation, about 68% of women with mental health problems are parents, and many mothers experience postpartum depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. It has been proven that poor maternal mental health can also be associated with poor outcomes in children.
If mom isn’t feeling her best, it will trickle down and affect the rest of the family. That’s why it’s important for every mother to take time for herself and to put her own wellbeing first. When moms are happy and stress free, it can be felt throughout the household; fostering a nurturing, patient and happy atmosphere. While this may seem impossible amidst a busy schedule, there are ample ways to squeeze self-care into your weekly, or even daily, routine.
To get started, here are some ideas to help mothers reconnect with themselves and find their peace.
- Make time for the things you enjoy. I know every mom has that thing they loved to do before their schedules were filled with motherly duties. Whether it was painting, roller skating or watching too much reality television. I also know every mom has scrolled through Pinterest or Facebook and seen a DIY or new recipe they’ve been dying to try. It’s time to make the time for it. Whether it’s once a week, or once a day, make time for the things you enjoy and turn everything else on mute.
- Take some time to focus on your thoughts. It’s absolutely necessary for a happy mind to begin practicing mindfulness. Write in a journal. Jot down your thoughts, words about your day or dreams and aspirations. Try to fill a page each day. Find the time and space to meditate. Meditating helps you manage emotions and decrease stress. There are many different ways to meditate depending on your schedule and goal.
- Find ways to stay active. Whether it’s going to the gym, attending a yoga class or even taking daily walks, staying active is simple and adjustable for different lifestyles. Through the release of endorphins, your body will relieve tension and boost its energy.
- Dedicate a day just for you! Pick a day and choose yourself. Walk around your favorite stores, stop at your favorite restaurant, get pampered with a manicure or haircut. Treat yourself to things that will instantly make you feel happier.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help. Reach out to other moms or family members for support when things get too overwhelming. Seek out support groups that can provide advice or even just comfort. If you’re able, find a counseling center or therapist that can help you explore your thoughts and develop life-long coping skills.
The most important thing to remember when practicing self-care as a mom is that you deserve it. Your health and happiness are essential to your role as a mom. Never feel guilty in putting yourself first.
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