It seems stress can be the norm in my life sometimes! Thank goodness I’m familiar with the non-stop nature of my life thanks to being a nurse at a hospital for many years… however, my emergencies lately are generally less life threatening and more to do with running late to drop off Willow at school or forgetting to pack myself a snack to ward off my pregnancy fueled hangeryness.
Since spa days and vacations have been far and few between, I’ve found some other methods every mama on the go needs to help destress and wind down. Happy mamas are the best mamas and it’s uber important for us to remember that sometimes the best way to take care of our families is to be mindful of ourselves.
My “Favorite Five” go-tos to relieve stress:
I turn to my favorite chinese medicine often and I’ve even started making weekly appointments. I initially sought out acupuncture to jump start my fertility when I was having trouble getting pregnant (see next blog post for the full story) but I’ve maintained my commitment to the practice since. Acupuncture can be a little scary for first-timers and those who don’t like needles but I really encourage giving it a try. It might take a session or two to really get comfortable with someone sticking needles into your body but I feel the relief for long after my session is over. Besides relieving stress, it has helped me a lot with my headaches as well.
#2: Essential Oils
I love lavender and peppermint oils! My acupuncturist was the first to recommend these oils to me but they are VERY handy when it comes to relieving stress on the go. Lavender is known for its calming effects but it also, more specifically, can relieve anxiety. I’ll put the oil on my hands throughout the day for this purpose. Peppermint is another powerhouse oil that can help relieve pain alongside a bunch of other benefits like reducing nausea and helping with digestion. I put peppermint on my temples when I have headaches and prefer it over popping a pain reliever medication.
#3: Working out
Working out has been a much different experience since being pregnant with the twins, I used to run on the treadmill to clear my head followed by toning arms and legs but I may begin trying out gentler methods of exercise for the duration of my pregnancy. I try to view exercise as less of a chore and more of a luxury and break from other hectic things that may be going on.
#4: Alone Time
The holy grail of relieving stress! I know whenever I’m getting in a funk, what I really need is some alone time. It doesn’t matter so much what I’m doing but just having no one around for a bit is very important in maintaining my sanity. I’ll often go get my nails done or go shopping by myself – not errands but a good activity while venturing alone.
I’m not great at meditating though I’ve tried a bunch of methods… it just never works for me. One thing I do really enjoy though is actively thinking about gratitude. Being mindful of the things that mean a lot to us can be very calming and grounding – especially on a tough day. I try to make this a daily practice and it breeds a lot more positivity in my mind that reflects in my life.