Time to unwind: Tips for busy moms

AJPress illustration by Kendrick Tan

NO matter how rewarding motherhood is, it can still be a tad too stressful and overwhelming. Taking care of the family is always the topmost priority, but sometimes in doing so, you’re stretching yourself too thin.

However, taking the time to relax seems like a waste of time nowadays — especially when you can be using that opportunity to accomplish more work instead. Luckily, de-stressing doesn’t have to be time-consuming. There are plenty of ways to unwind without them taking a huge chunk of your time. Here are some of them:

Wake up early
Jennifer Louden, the author of The Woman’s Retreat Book, recommends waking up 15 minutes before your family to give some time for yourself.

Of course, this might present some difficulties seeing that a busy mom needs all the sleep she can get, but having even a short amount of alone time can be beneficial for your entire day. Use this opportunity to meditate or exercise — do some stretchings, take a couple of minutes to get on the stationary bike, or try yoga — to increase focus and clear your mind. It’ll make you better equipped to handle stress when it suddenly decides to rear its head during the day.

Listen to relaxing music
Thanks to streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube, everyone now has access to thousands of music tracks that suit any and every mood. Curate a playlist or find one that caters to you and let it play in the background as you do your work. Mellow and atmospheric songs work best to soothe and relax if you find yourself having a hard time to stay calm under duress.

Have a little stroll
If everything gets too much, consider walking out for a few minutes. Walking is the most effective stress-reliever as it releases endorphins and lowers blood pressure, which can skyrocket when stressed. “Physically, the act of walking is very rhythmic and repetitive. That alone has a soothing effect,” says Jackie Keller, a Los Angeles-based nutrition and wellness coach and author of Body After Baby. Soaking up the wonders of nature — the warmth of the sun, the caress of the wind — offers serenity too, which helps in clearing the mind so you’re more relaxed when you get back to your work.

Try tea
When the going gets tough, seek solace in a warm cup of tea. A study conducted by psychologist Dr. Malcolm Cross at City University London revealed that even a single cup of tea can significantly reduce anxiety levels after a stressful experience. It lowers your cortisol levels — the hormone that regulates stress — as well as your blood pressure.

Take a hot bath
Before retiring for the night, take time to soak yourself in a hot bath. The heat will help your muscles relax; loosening the kinks and releasing some tension from your body. You can also add things to help you unwind even more such as scented candles or essential oils.

Being a mother is sometimes a thankless job, and with you working the whole day and taking care of the family, this indulgence to pamper yourself is not only deserved, but also needed.

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