stressed-momWhen you’re juggling kids, spouse, work and everything else, things are bound to go wrong sometimes! It’s just the way the motherhood cookie crumbles. But even though stress is a part of life, it doesn’t mean that we have to be sent to our grave because of it. I know there are some simple stress management hacks that I use everyday, that keep me (SANE-ER) and more kind than I ever would be if I didn’t practice them.

All of these things take 15 minutes or less. And all of these things can be done virtually anywhere!

Wanna learn what they are? Keep reading below!

Have a morning routine

I know I’ve talked a lot about how to create a morning routine that works for you. And if you need some helpful tips on crafting your own you can check out a post I wrote on the topic HERE. However, I’ve never really gone into detail on this site about how a morning routine can help us lower our stress.

Think of it like this. When are you more prone to be stressed out? A). When everything is going as planned? Or B). When a situation seems to have no rhyme or reason? Yelp, we are most stressed out when things seem random. Our bodies physically react to those random situations by increasing our heart rates, blood pressure and stress hormones.

So a morning routine is one way we can bring “order” to our lives and deliberately create an environment that we can predict. When we know what to expect, things run more smoothly and our body’s stress response takes a chill.

Create rituals of pleasure

On of my favorite authors (and medical doctors) Christiane Northrup gives some really great advice. She’s studied the research and found that people who live to 100 and older have one really key thing in common. They all have what she calls, rituals of pleasure. These are things they regularly engage in (even if it’s smoking a cigar or drinking a glass of wine) that they really savor and enjoy EVERYDAY.

Now I’m not here to talk about how to live to 100, I’m here to talk about you, a busy mom, managing your stress!

But this same research also points out that these “rituals of pleasure” decrease our stress response and stress hormones. It actually produces biochemicals that are the complete opposite of stress!

Maybe that’s why those centennials are living so long. They have little to no stress in their lives!

Exercise regularly

Well I don’t even need to talk about the research for this one! We all know that exercising is good for us BUT we all have our excuses of why we don’t do it more often.

If you’re a busy mama who can’t seem to find time to fit in your daily dose of movement, come move your body with me in this FREE 30 minute Yoga For Busy Moms class I created with Yoga International! Sign up for that here!

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise boosts your mood, increases your energy and most importantly gives us a chance to have FUN! And isn’t your life much less stressful when you’re in a good mood, with energy to do all the things you need to do AND having a good time? Yeah, I think so!

Sing

This is one of my favorite things to do! I’ll never be Alicia Keys, but I sure can act like it. And so can you.

At the very least singing changes our breathing patterns for the better. Most of us breathe really shallow. And when we are stressed we tend to breathe even more shallow, taking short quick breaths. When we sing a song, we have to take one big inhale before we start to sing the notes, which are essentially a long (extended) exhale.

What this does for us physically is impressive! When we take long extended exhales (whether we’re singing or not) we instantaneously cause our nervous system to calm down. A slow exhale decreases our heart rate, blood pressure and our thoughts calm down as well.

So if you’re gonna sing, try singing ballads that require you to hold notes a little longer. And sing like nobody’s listening! Sing at your desk. Sing while you clean up. Sing in the car. And sing in the shower.

Meditate

Okay I said singing was my favorite, but this is really a close second. It’s taken me years to meditate consistently and to be okay with the process but it has done wonders for my life and my relationships.

The research on meditation is clear and well studied no matter which type of meditation you decided to practice. Meditation increases positive emotions, life satisfaction and it even boosts your immune system. It also increases your ability to deal with hard times, and improves your relationships.

For something that cost NOTHING to do and only requires 10 minutes of your time each day, this is one of the best uses of your time you could ever spend. (my humble opinion)

So make a time for this. 10 minutes during a lunch break. Or 5 minutes after the kids go to bed. Trust me when I say, you CAN fit it into your schedule.

So there you have it. 5 stress management hacks that you can get started with TODAY! So which one will you pick to begin your “life of less stress” journey?

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