Many mums tend to put themselves last. I know that I have been guilty of it at times.
We put our kids, husband, house duties, employment, study, everything first before our own needs. As a result, exercise, healthy eating and relaxing are things that can get put last. This can lead to stress as we are always on the go and don't give ourselves some down time.
To much stress can affect your body, mind and your behaviour. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, anger and many other health problems.
It can be common to relax at the end of the day with a glass of wine. While there's a time and a place for this, it's not a solution you can turn to everyday, and can leave you tired, lethargic, and bloated.
I often hear and read comments like:
I have no time
There is never enough time in the day
I am always tired
I am exhausted
I am not motivated
However, there are countless ways that you can relax and reduce your stress levels. All you need is a minimum of 5- 10 minutes a day.
Here are 13 Healthy Ways for Busy Mums to Relax.
Reading is a great way to relax. Studies have shown that just 6 minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 68%. Keep a few books around the place so you can easily read a few pages when you need to unwind.
2. Listening to music
Music is one of my favourite ways to reduce stress. I find that the different genres of music help me in different ways. Upbeat music seems to help my stress levels when I have a lot of work to do. Where as more slower chilled music helps me to relax and unwind. Slower more chilled music will help to lower your pulse, heart rate and blood pressure, thus lowering your levels of stress hormones. I like to make playlists of my favourite songs so they are easily accessible.
3. Breathing exercises
When we feel stressed our breathing rate increases due to our fight-or-flight response. There are many breathing techniques that you do in under 10 minutes to calm yourself.
Meditation is one of the proven ways to relax your mind and decrease your stress levels. For as little as 10 minutes a day you can help greater wellbeing, improved focus, creativity and many other benefits. There are many free guided meditations that you can do. I love the Omvana app which has a selection of free and paid guided meditations or even just music that you can listen to you while meditating.
is a mind body practice that combines mental and physical practices to help relax and calm your mind and body. There are many forms of yoga and you can also do it from the comforts of your home. I found an app called Yoga Academy which offers both free and paid yoga classes for you to follow.
6. Colouring in
This is my other favourite way to relax and to reduce stress. It relaxes your mind in a similar way that meditiation does. I have quite a few colouring books, with my favourite being Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford, however there are heaps of free colouring pages that you can download also.
7. Go outside
Going for a walk or getting some sun are both awesome ways to reduce your stress levels. A nice brisk 15 minute walk in the sun will not only increase the serotonin in your body, it will also help you clear your mind and revitalize you.
8. Call your friend
A quick phone call can help to reduce stress and help you to feel better. So when you are next feeling stressed, give your bestie a call. It will help to clear your mind and it is always nice to have actual conversations with your friend instead of text messaging or chatting over facebook.
9. Power nap
If you have a bit more time (20 - 30 minutes), then a power nap is a great way to reduce stress and help you to feel refreshed and focused.
10. Hug a loved one
Only a few seconds can make a big difference and reduce your stress levels. So when you are having a stressful day give your kids or hubby and hug.
11. Pamper yourself
There are so many ways to pamper yourself from the comforts of your home, taking a bath, doing your nails, doing your hair, putting a mask on are all ways that you can relax.
12. Drink a cup of herbal tea
There are many benefits of drinking herbal teas including relaxation and reducing stress levels. Teas like chamomile, green tea and lemon balm are great relaxing teas.
Essential oils are an amazing way to relax and reduce stress. They can be diffused, used in a massage or bath, applied topically or inhaled. Lavender, Geranium, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Lemon and Jasmine are just some essential oils that can be used for relaxation.