Motherhood, its a brand-new world with so many more responsibilities. When we become mothers its so easy to let our own self care habits fall by the wayside.
Meditation, who has time for that?
Make myself a smoothie, ah when?
But you see, it’s the habits and things that we do daily that either help us cope better with stress or deplete us further and send us into a tailspin of overwhelm. In today’s blog I’ll be focussing on some simple daily habits and lifestyle adjustments that will help ease your stress burden, and in turn create more energy and wellness within your body. Let’s start by looking at the breathe as a relaxation strategy.
Your breathe has a direct link to your nervous system, and the way you are breathing tells your body to get into fight or flight mode, or to relax because you are safe.
If you find your breathing is shallow, ragged and quick, it’s telling your body to stay in fight mode.
You can immediately change this through practicing deep, slow, diaphragm breathing.
- A slow in breath to the count of 4
- Hold the breathe for 2
- Slowly breathe out to the count of 4
repeated 10 times, this is a sure fire way to switch your nervous system into rest and relaxation mode.
The beautiful thing about this technique is that you can do it anywhere. Work, home, driving, at the park, literally anywhere you find yourself feeling tense and stressed.
Mindfulness & Meditation
This one may sound cliché, but meditation is truly powerful in your fight against stress. It has been proven to reduce stress levels, increase mental focus, improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety and improve compassion towards both yourself and others.
If you have never meditated before, you can try some simple guided meditations on apps such as Head Space and Insight Timer.
Reduce caffeine intake
This one isn’t always easy to hear, as many of us love and cling to our coffee. We know that it is helpful at times to improve alertness and mood. However, there is a downside to caffeine intake. It stimulates your body to produce more cortisol, a stress hormone, which can add a big load to an already stressed-out system. This can make relaxation seem near impossible.
If you love the warming satisfaction of a hot drink, try rooibois tea or dandelion root tea. Both are caffeine free and satisfying alternatives.
Food to reduce stress
Food can also be powerful in reducing stress in your body. This is due to your body requiring certain nutrients to make calming hormones. Foods that contain high levels of B vitamins, magnesium and calcium are a really great place to start. These include:
- Wholegrains such as brown rice, quinoa, rolled oats, millet
- Almonds, walnuts, macadamias
- Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds
- Lots of green leafy veggies
- Good quality fats are also really important to help combat stress:
- Oily fish such as salmon
- Nuts and seeds as above
Sometimes it’s also necessary to take these nutrients in supplemental form in order to bring your body back into balance. If your stress levels are really tipping you over into overwhelm, speak to me about what supplements would be beneficial for you.
Spending time with friends and family is so important for mental health, particularly if you spend the majority of your time speaking baby and toddler. Having a warm drink, a good conversation, and some connection time with loved ones not only lowers your stress levels but nourishes your mind and soul as well.
Stop the scroll
It’s very easy to spend a lot of time on our phones, scrolling Instagram or facebook in an attempt to get some connection or down time. Unfortunately, we can often be left feeling deflated, not good enough, and in the comparison trap when we spend time on social media. Studies today show correlations between high social media use and poor mental wellbeing, including depression and moodiness.
Instead of reaching for your phone, ask yourself what else would bring you fulfilment? Perhaps what you really need is a walk with a friend, a great book to read, or a new hobby to stimulate your mind and senses.
We know many moments of joy as mothers, but there is also a fair amount of chaos that comes along with the territory. It’s important to nurture your own needs as a mum, to help reduce stress and improve your health and well being.
If you would like some tailored advice on how you can best reduce stress in your life, please get in touch with me today. I offer free discovery calls if you’d like to chat before booking.