The Mommy's Guide to De-Stressing

Being stressed is not an unusual feeling for new moms. Having a little person depending on you entirely for its every need can be an overwhelming experience, and as such you will probably need some emotional support from friends and family at the beginning. Here is a simple but very effective de-stressing plan to keep you anxiety-free and in control so that you can deal with things as they come your way.


Mini-Relaxation

Stop what you're doing and take a deep, slow breath when you start feeling anxious. Count to four as you slowly inhale, filling your abdomen, pause a second and then count from 4 back to zero as you exhale. Repeat this a few times to calm down; breathing deeply slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure, enabling you to relax. This technique is perfect for situations when you're feeling particularly anxious and stressed out, and will help you calm down enough to deal with the situation at hand.  


Relaxation Breaks

Set aside 20 minutes of your day for some quality personal relaxation time. You can do this when your baby is napping or you can ask your spouse or a family member to babysit for a while until you're done. By designating 20 minutes each day for relaxation, you'll feel less anxious throughout the day. During those 20 minutes you can do breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or something you enjoy like reading a book or listening to music as you leaf through magazines. 


Exercise

You might be surprised to learn that one of the most effective methods to combat exhaustion is to actually exercise. A bit of gentle exercise can boost your energy levels and make you feel good about yourself. It's also a great way to relieve stress and tension, which can take a heavy toll on your body, leaving you feeling fatigued. Simply go out for a walk once a day for a healthy and easy activity choice. You can even take your baby with you in its stroller. Make sure that your child has just been fed and diapered before you head out. 


Emotional Support

Emotional support is a vital element in keeping your stress levels under control. Try to find other moms to talk to about the different things you're experiencing; simply sharing your worries can help relieve the stress, and hearing other mothers' stories can put things into perspective. If you don't have any friends who are moms, be proactive about finding them. Whether at the park, your child's daycare center or through friends of the family, you'll be able to come into contact with other women that don't mind sharing their experiences with you.   


Thinking Positive

Thoughts are powerful emotional manipulators. If you're bombarding yourself with negative thoughts, it's unlikely that you're going to feel good about yourself or your situation. Instead of being pessimistic, identify the negative thoughts you're having, analyze them, and turn them into positive and constructive thoughts. Acknowledge the negative thought and then ask yourself: Does this thought cause me stress? Is it logical? Is it true? Learn to be fair with yourself.


Take Care of Yourself

Your child isn't an extension of yourself. You will need to spend some time away from him/her occasionally to take care of yourself too. Remember, your own physical and mental wellbeing is important both for your own sake as well as for your child's sake. Don't deny your own needs, and don't push yourself over your limit. Ask for help when you need it.