9 Stress-busting Tips for Busy Moms

Take steps to build healthy habits that reduce stress

African-American mother holding her daughter, with no trace of stress on her smiling face.

Take steps to build healthy habits that reduce stress

Being a mom is a 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

If you think you have to do it all to perfection, you may have “superwoman syndrome.” It occurs when a woman neglects herself to keep up with the demands of multiple roles. Feeling as though you need to complete everything to perfection may lead to stress that can be harmful to your health.

Fortunately, there are ways to maintain your mental and physical health while dealing with your daily duties. Short of a futuristic robot that does everything from cooking and cleaning to making sure the kids get to school, these nine mom-friendly 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, lack of energy and other symptoms.

2. Stay away from sugary snacks

When you’re tired and hungry, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy, pre-packaged cookies, cakes, candy and other sugary 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, healthy 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. Don't make excuses for not exercising and find ways to exercise consistently.

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.”

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