Six Ways Mom Can Take Care Of Herself Now That The Kids Are Back In School
By: Sheila Warren, RN, BSN, LCCE, Women’s Health Navigator
The kids are back in school and you have more time to yourself, but somehow you are still feeling as if you’re doing a sprint throughout the whole day.
Check, I got the kids to school. Check, I got to the grocery store. Check, I got my mother-in-law to the doctor’s office. Check, I got dinner on the table – there is a sense of accomplishment. But, this sprint may leave you feeling more stressed than ever, which is not a healthy lifestyle to have even though you feel a sense of accomplishment.
So instead of reaching for the cookies, here are six ways moms can reduce stress:
- Channel your stress through some sort of exercise. Whether it’s cardio, a spin class, going for a run, or meeting a friend to walk your dog in the park, it will help. You can do other forms of exercise, too, such as a yoga class or a pilates class.
- Have a “me day” – get your nails and toes done if that makes you feel good.
- If you have a hobby that was put on hold during the summer, take advantage of the extra time you have while the kids are at school. Whether that hobby is reading, sewing or scrapbooking – being able to pick up that hobby again will help you feel better and less stressed.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. We as mothers put so much guilt on ourselves and on each other. We all try to be that mom of the year and cook wholesome meals – let yourself off the hook if instead of a five-course dinner, you have a pizza night or even a cereal night. Those sometimes will happen and that is okay.
- If you are organized, you will be less stressed. Keeping yourself organized is going to be a very good habit to have in all walks of life and each stage.
- A good habit for mom to develop is the art of saying no. We are always so good at telling our kids to say no to things that will harm them but as adults we don’t remember we, too, can say no to things that cause us stress (which is harmful to our health). Prepare a script to help you say no. If the school calls and says “Hey, can you be room mom or can you be in charge of this bake sale?” Tell them that you will call back the next day after you have looked at your calendar. Call the next day when you are prepared to say, “I am not available to be in charge, but I can bring a plate of brownies.” Be willing to say no.
And if you need another reason to turn down the stress, consider this: Studies show that stress can be a factor in many health conditions, such as weight gain, heart health, acid reflux, high blood pressure, diabetes and joint pain. So take care of yourself with the same care you give your family. Ultimately what kids want from parents is their time and they want mom to be happy. It all comes full circle – if mom isn’t happy, no one is happy.
About Sheila Warren
As Gwinnett Medical Center’s women’s health navigator, Sheila is available for free wellness consultations. She can answer women’s health and wellness questions, from labor and lactation support to post-childbearing years, through menopause and post-menopause. She can even assist with health-related questions for the children and men in your life. To schedule your free wellness consultation with Sheila, call 678-671-2303.