The honest truth about being a mother? It’s tiring and ceaseless. Be it midday tantrums, random spells of hunger or impromptu hunger strikes, sugar rushes, dirty diapers, and good night kisses, you’re always there, always present. At times, the sleeplessness, and the constant demands can get too much and you know you’re slowly running out of patience. You’re tired, you’re stressed, but you’re constantly on the go. What can you do to keep yourself at bay? Here are a few ways you can reclaim some much-needed zen:
1. Take a Moment to Breathe
Find a few moments in the day for a few mindful breaths. Breathe in positivity, and breathe out the stress. Do this before moving on to every next activity on your agenda for the day. As you make a conscious effort to breathe slowly, you will feel an unusual calmness kicking in, and you will be up and ready for anything.
2. Catch a pleasant whiff
The sense of smell is closely linked with memories. Some scents evoke certain memories and the emotions attached to them, and they are quick to draw a response from the subject. If there is a fragrance that evokes childhood memories and inexplicable joy, carry a little essence in your purse wherever you go, be it perfume or moisturizers. If possible, surround yourself with good, pleasant scents and keep yourself in a splendid mood all day.
3. Retire into a good book
Books are the best form of escape. It can completely occupy your mind and keep it vibrant and imaginative. Recent studies have stated, that silent reading can relax your heart rate, and release the tension in your muscles within only 6 minutes. A few great recommendations include Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children, by Dr. Shefali Tsabary and Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed, by Glennon Doyle Melton.
4. Go outdoors, get some sun!
Go for a midday run or power walk through the park. If you’re not up for anything intense, take a quiet stroll in a nursery/garden nearby, or spend an hour in your balcony gazing into the great outdoors. If you’re one to connect with nature, find a spot surrounded by lush greenery you can escape to every day, for a few moments. Get some much-needed reflection and meditation while you’re there.
5. Workout! Workout! Stress is out!
There is no excuse for a 10-minute workout every day, even for the busiest of moms. Do a few squats, modified/full push ups, triceps dips/chair dips, a few step ups on a staircase nearby, try planking for a few minutes and do some crunches on the floor again. You will engage your core, strengthen your arms, chest, back, quadriceps and most importantly, your abdominal muscles. Find a way to accomplish this, and feel refreshed after every workout.
6. Try the ‘Kitchen’ Spa!
When you don’t have time for an actual one, just grab the readily available spa remedies in your kitchen! Quick fixes include a honey facial, an avocado mask, an exfoliation with crushed coffee beans, and oats bath (add some oats to your bath) or natural oils to remove the dirt from your skin, and milk to soften the skin.