10 Mental Self Care Tips to Practice This Week

We’re two days into the “quarantine”, how you feelin’ mama?
 
I know, completely thankful that you did not decide teaching or childcare as your career.
 
Wondering how much it would cost to send your child’s teacher on a roundtrip flight to South America once this is all done for all their hard work.
 
And also silently wondering how you’re going to make it another day.
 
As a mom who stays home with her kiddo every day trust me, I know.
 
But no matter how many times during the day you think you won’t make it, trust me you will.
 

Mama strong is always full in effect.

But being a strong mother does not prevent this entire situation from taking a toll on you.  Not just the homeschooling process, but also taking on the role as a full time chef, housekeeper and counselor.  In times like these is when we truly realize how important stress management is.
 
In your current day to day process do you utilize different techniques to help you stay calm and manage stress?  It’s a weird concept that many of us take for granted.  We are usually out working our 9-5’s running from one work task to the next and once we get home at night dinner is to be made and kids are to be put to bed that the only stress management technique we have is sleep!
 

In the state of the world now, stress management is more important than ever.  Trust me mama, your plan to just keep holding on until bedtime can only last but so many days.  It’s time to put other plans into action.

 
Here’s my list of 10 things I love to practice in high stress situations/ moments:
 
  • Deep Breathing.  I know this sounds so trivial but trust me it’s not something that is second nature.  In times when I feel myself getting super high strung or reaching my boiling point, I immediately turn away from whatever it is that is causing the stress and I take 3-5 big breaths.  Not little ones but truthful FULL belly out big breath in through the nose, and then a huge breath out from the mouth and deflating of the belly.  The breath is so impactful, my massage therapist Angie would be so elated of the correct form from that breath.  This time allows my brain to switch gears if even for a second and then return with a new look to the situation.  This step takes us to the next point.
  • Time out.  Time out for me, for the kid, for the employee, for the IV pump, for the parent, for- whatever the situation is; it’s time for a break. Doesn’t have to be a long one.  Even just 5 minutes is enough to allow the body to reset.  During this time away I might even incorporate another one of these tips or I might just simply sit and let my brain settle!
  • Meditation.  Now this one requires some time and could best be performed during nap time, feeding time, bath time or bed time.  This simple settling into the moment experience is amazing.  Now if I’m being honest, I probably don’t always meditate the right way each time, #momlife. The entire sitting cross legged with music or guided imagery in the background isn’t exactly what I get to do every single time, but I do spend the time sitting in a chair or my bed and just simply be.  Be thankful for the peaceful moment, be thankful for the gifts of breath, thankful for the passing of a stressful moment.  There are many ways to complete this task, you just have the find the one that works best for you. 
  • Yoga/ Stretching.  My friend Sami would be is happy to hear me say this one.  I love simple stretching or yoga as a form of stress release.  For intensive sessions I definitely need an instructor but for short periods where I know I am just needing some form of movement to release stress, I practice a few ones I know from memory that are simple and easy to perform in a short period.  The movement of your boy allows your muscles to stretch and then relax also giving you the feeling of true relaxation in the physical and mental state. 
  • Peeing.  Okay this one probably sounds weird and honestly might be from either escaping off the floor to the bathroom at work or from escaping my toddler at my full time job of being a mother.  But I’m sure all moms know how special that solo trip to the bathroom is.  The moment does not have to be rushed or be a game of scavenger hunt on your actual body. Just the art of being able to empty my bladder allows me to imagine everything else like stress or tension leaving my body as well. 
  • Shower.  This is my favorite technique and probably one of my favorite asked questions, “how do you take showers alone or peacefully?”  Here’s the first secret, I don’t always get to do this.  Here’s the second when I get to it’s usually when Tate is eating his food.  Yupp.  I slap my toddler in his high chair, with breakfast and a movie in front of him- GAME CHANGER. While in the shower I can breathe, relax and honestly just take moment to enjoy the solo dolo time. Now the nurse in me is always worried about him choking so occasionally I’ll yell out to him to make sure he can respond, at which point I usually get the “good!”, response and I’m right back to my water oasis. Stress and dirt, gone. 
  • TV show.  A super easy and self explainable tip.  Things getting too mad or crazy around the house?  Alright!  Everyone take a seat and let’s watch a show.  Gives both them and you a good 30 minutes to sit down and relax.  I let him pick the show and then I take a pick of my activity.  I either close my eyes while he’s curled into me, read a book, watch my own show on my phone, scroll through social media or more.  
  • Nap.  I don’t need to explain this one.  Trust me, every mama knows the importance a good nap has on stress.  On one of those days, just hop right in the bed with them while putting them down for their own nap. 
  • Glass of wine.  Another one not necessary to explain.  Find the corkscrew mama and have you some good ol’ mom juice.  

 
There is so much going on in the world right now it might not even be just our kid’s that’s causing us the stress.  Be aware of your surroundings and notice when you feel off.  In that moment grab a tip above and chill out mama.  You got this. You can take care of those kids…
 
And take care of you too mama,
 

Aysia B.