Food for Thought Mom's Health Corner

10 Proven Ways to Reduce Stress

February 23, 2017

Mommy Tips to De-Stress (That Don’t Involve Alcohol)

There’s no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to tips for managing your mommy stress. I’ve scoured the internet researching the best tried-and-true methods to share with you. So kick back, relax, and take a look

  1. Exercise – Only 14% of people use exercise as their method for relieving stress. Exercise boosts natural pain killers known as endorphins. Any type of exercise will do! A leisure walk… running… swimming… a walk around the mall. Aim for about 20 minutes. (ADAA)
  1. Dance Party! – Studies have shown time and time again the cathartic effects of music. We see music being used in hospitals to help patients manage pain and lower their stress levels. Ironically, many people tend to avoid music when they are feeling anxious – this seems counterintuitive – since music is known to have strong ties to relieving stress. Dinner time is the most stressful time for most moms! Release the tension! Instead of stressing out over the mess and the noise – take a few minutes and dance it out with your little ones! Give yourself permission to take a break, laugh, and have fun with your kids. (Psych Central)
  1. Indulge – The last thing I want to do when I’m stressed out is squeeze in time for another activity like running (but that’s just me). However, everyone has to eat! Try keeping these healthy snacks handy to combat those stress-filled days:
    1. Bananas: A good source of natural sugars, potassium and B6 to help boost your energy and mood. Filling yet relatively low in calories.
    2. Tortilla chips and salsa: Packed with Vitamin C, a great source to combat stress
    3. Carrots and a low-fat cream cheese dip: The crunching of carrots is very therapeutic so chomp away sister! A healthy treat filled with beta-carotene, carbs, and calcium. (FitnessMagazine)
  1. Meditation/Yoga – Get comfortable and concentrate on all of the good and positive in your life. If you’re feeling grumpy and can only think of 1-2 things (which I am sure there are more) – that’s ok – just focus & repeat those few statements. The next time your toddler lays down for a nap, take 10 minutes for yourself before working on that to-do list. It will leave you feeling more focused and happier to tackle all of those items that need to get done. (Harvard Health)
  1. Write/Draw – These creative activities are your outlet to staying centered and focused. We tend to temporarily lose ourselves when we are concentrating on drawing, coloring, or writing a good blog. You don’t need a swanky new app or mantra to relax – all you need is a pack of Crayola. So the next time that your kids sit down to color – pull up a chair and create some memories. Take 5 minutes to color the best darn Mickey Mouse picture you’ve ever seen! (
  1. Make a list – With all of these thoughts and things to-do whirling around in your head – you feel like a hamster on its wheel. Try writing things down to calm your mind. Once you have it all down on paper, spend some time prioritizing what needs to get done by breaking it up into digestible bits. The Great Pyramids weren’t built in one day! Decide what tasks are priorities, what tasks can wait, and which ones you can bare to delegate.
  1. Rest – Sleep deprivation or poor sleep has a tremendous effect on your overall well-being including our mood, temper, and memory. Most Americans sleep an average of 6.7 hours each night, which is less than the recommended 7-9 hours. Research shows that if Americans spent an extra 60-90 minutes sleeping each night it would greatly improve their stress, anger, and irritability. (Psst: If you have stressed out teens at home – it’s recommended that they get 8.5-9.25 hours of sleep each night!) (APA)
  1. Limit the caffeine – While this may be a bummer, it’s so true. Caffeine can make you feel anxious and increase your stress. Try to limit your intake to only 1-2 cups per day. Stay away from the jumbo-sized sugar coffees available at your favorite coffee shops. (FitnessMag)
  1. Go for a massage or acupuncture – Many people understand the benefits of a good massage like lowering your blood pressure and relaxing your muscles. But did you know there are some promising new studies showing the positive effects of acupuncture on stress relief and anxiety? Chinese medicine sees acupuncture as a way to correct your energy balance & Western medicine recognizes that acupuncture releases endorphins, just like exercising! (PsychologyToday)
  1. Purge/Clean – Organize your home while you organize your mind. Nothing makes me feel more accomplished then throwing out all of those old hole-y-socks and mini-plastic party favors! My Type-A personality loves the feeling of organization and simplicity in the home. It can be something small from cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen to donating that pile of shirts you no longer wear. You can’t control everything that life throws your way, but cleaning will help you to feel calmer, content, and perhaps – leave you with a sense of gratitude.

Day after day, the stress piles up. Let’s set a healthy example for our kids & teach them positive ways to deal with their emotions.

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