Being a mom and nurse is no joke! If the late nights and back-breaking work are starting to take their toll, these tips for reducing anxiety and stress at home can help you sit down, relax, and reorient yourself.
Take a long, deep breath, and relax. The concept is simple, but finding the time—and the means—to do so is trickier. Your personal preferences play a critical role in determining which relaxation methods are effective and which aren’t. For some, relaxing means curling up in a thick, warm blanket and perusing through an intriguing novel. For others, it could mean listening to music, meditating, or napping.
Find what works for you, and set aside some time for it. Your break doesn’t need to be extensive. A short, five-minute respite can do wonders. Light some candles, lay down and take a nap, do a puzzle—whatever makes you happy!
If you’re looking for a fancier, indulgent form of relief, consider investing in massaging tools, like a massage gun or massage chair. The startup costs might appear daunting, but they’re worth it. Massages significantly reduce stress and anxiety. They alter your EEG activity, promote increased parasympathetic activity, and decrease the levels of cortisol in your body.
The best part? You can use them just about anywhere. Need to feed your baby? Rock them to sleep? Sit around in their nursery and keep a close, careful eye on them? Do it in a massage chair—it’s every parent’s dream.
Get Up and Exercise
It might seem counterintuitive, but exercise is a tried-and-true way of relieving anxiety and stress. It lowers your body’s stress hormones, improves your sleep quality, and enhances your confidence.
Try to find an enjoyable exercise routine. A light jog before bed is a great option, as are walking, yoga, and even dancing! Sports are an obvious choice, as are outdoor activities like rock climbing and hiking. If you don’t feel like exercising alone, involve your family! Play soccer in the backyard, go biking together, or take a walk through your local park.
Alter Your Diet
Another tip for reducing anxiety and stress at home is to change what you’re cooking, drinking, and snacking on. Making small, subtle alterations to your diet can improve your mental health tenfold.
Try to remove or reduce your consumption of anxiety-inducing stimulants and depressants like caffeine and alcohol. High dosages of these substances can increase irritability, aggravate anxiety, and make you feel jittery, tired, or generally out of sorts.
Improving your diet by adding healthier, stress-relieving foods is another smart move. For example, salmon, chamomile, turmeric, dark chocolate, and yogurt all have anxiety-reducing effects. The simple act of chewing gum is a known stress-reliever, too!
It might seem hard, but stay positive. Put in a real, genuine effort to block out negative self-thought, and replace any unhappy thoughts with cheerful, optimistic ones. Find solace in your friends, family, and hobbies, and never underestimate the power of a good, hearty laugh.
If you can, identify the source of your anxiety. Journal about your feelings, or find a willing family member or friend to vent to. If your stress is affecting your daily life, consider seeing a professional. Remember, you’re not alone! Other people care about you and are more than happy to help.
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