9 Stress-busting Tips for Busy Moms

Simple, effective ways to incorporate self-care and stress-reduction for busy moms

A smiling mother and daughter share a hug in the spirit of reducing stress for busy moms.

Being a mom is busy job. It can be a stressful one too.

“Moms become expert jugglers,” says Sravanthi Tripuraneni, MD, a family medicine doctor at Scripps Clinic, Rancho Bernardo.

“They may take care of everything — including housecleaning, feeding the baby, working, carpooling and managing the household. Wearing all these hats can make everyday life hectic.”

Easy ways for busy moms to stay sane

Fortunately, there are ways to maintain your mental and physical health while dealing with daily caretaker duties. Short of a futuristic robot that does everything from cooking and cleaning to making sure the kids get to school, these nine tips may help.

1. Drink plenty of water.

Mild dehydration can affect your body before you realize you are thirsty. Lack of water can cause headaches, fatigue and lack of energy.

2. Stay away from sugary snacks like cakes, candies and cookies.

When you’re tired and hungry, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy, pre-packaged snacks. It’s especially important to maintain a healthy diet when you have a busy schedule. As a general rule, try to eat something every two to four hours, and select low-calorie snacks, such as string cheese, fruit and cut-up veggies. Nutritious foods will give you more energy and help you feel better throughout the day.

3. Get out of the house and get some exercise.

Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Even if you are exhausted, go outside for a rejuvenating walk because fresh air and exercise can help calm your mind, reduce fatigue and improve your mood.

4. Do something creative.

Create something each day, even if it is just a doodle in a sketchbook. This will help you stay connected to yourself.

5. Ask for support.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for support, even if that is as simple as calling a friend or checking out a blog. Arrange for a babysitting swap with friends, or ask a trusted family member to watch the little ones while you exercise or get some sleep.

6. Laugh.

Whether it’s a little giggling or a hearty belly laugh, laughter is good for you and your family. Laughter reduces your stress by increasing the endorphins to your brain and relaxing your muscles. When things seem overly stressful, take a minute to watch the antics of your little ones as they play or spend some time with the family pet. They’re sure to make you smile.

7. Be grateful.

Try writing down three things every day for which you are thankful. Having an attitude of gratitude provides perspective and brings you to the present.

8. Take time for yourself.

Understand that you most likely won’t finish everything on your “To Do” list — ever. So take time each day to do whatever you like. Some moms wake up before the family to read and enjoy a cup of uninterrupted coffee or tea. You may choose to carve out some time to meditate, take a bath or simply listen to music.

9. Play with your kids.

When life gets busy, you can forget to take time to just play. Have some stress relievers you can do with your children, such as drawing, blowing bubbles, dancing and playing with pets. You’ll be creating memories together and helping each other feel more relaxed.

“Raising a family has its challenges,” says Dr. Tripuraneni. “But learning to relax and giving up the idea of perfection will let you and your children enjoy the ride — bumps and all.”