It goes without saying that having a child is a gift; yet, when you read about motherhood, this is usually what you’ll read. What you won’t hear quite as often is that having a child can be mentally draining, and that the pressure of always having to look after another small, helpless creature can sometimes be too much. If you’re in this position, then it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. And that there are things you can do to keep these stresses and strains at bay, which in turn will give your mental health a boost. We take a look at a few tried and tested methods below.
Make The Most of Rest Opportunities
You’re not always going to have moments to rest, and as such, it’s important that you’re making the most of any opportunities you have to do so. There are some parents who fill their downtime away from their child doing things that are anything but relaxing; spending twenty minutes browsing through Facebook, for example, will not relax you. Using the time to sit back, listen to music, and all-around feel at ease will. A quick twenty minutes of peace might not sound like much, but it can provide that little refresh button you need.
All our body is interconnected. What we put into our mouth is going to affect our mind as well as out waistline; it’s just we pay more attention to the waistline aspect, since that’s something that we can see with our eyes. Many parents try to make up time by eating fast, unhealthy food. This will make them more likely to be in a low mood. Conversely, eating meals that are filled with vegetables and other good things makes us feel better. There’s really no excuse when it comes to food – there are plenty of affordable meals that can be made in twenty minutes or so.
Run It Out
There are some things that scientists know will make us feel good. Exercise is one of these things. If you’re feeling in a low mood, it’s very often a good idea to simply throw on some running shoes, and go for a long run. By the time you’re back and showered, you’ll be basking in the warm, fuzzy “post-run glow,” as you’ll have given your brain all the endorphins it needs to be happy. It’s not always exciting, the prospect of going for a run, but it’s worthwhile powering through the “I’d rather stay at home” side of your mind; people rarely return home from a run and regret their decision to go.
Get the Right Tools
Of course, so far, all the suggestions have involved you being away from your child. They’ll be with your partner, or their grandparents, while you look after yourself. But it’s just true that, for the bulk of the time, your child is going to be by your side. And this can lead to some pretty stressful situations, such as when you just need a five-minute break to have a cup of tea or coffee, yet you need to have your child in your arms. It’s hardly going to be a relaxing break! As such, it’s worth looking into buying the award-winning Baby Bjorn Bouncer Bliss. You can place it wherever you need to be, your baby will be relaxed, and you’ll have your body to yourself for a short while. Everyone wins!
Put Yourself First…Sometimes
A problem that many new parents have is that, while they want to have an afternoon to relax, they feel guilty for not putting their child first. So when they finally have an opportunity to have fun, they can’t enjoy it! It’s important to get over this feeling, and to get used to putting yourself first, though of course only sometimes. In the long run, your child and everyone around you will benefit from having a more relaxed, mentally healthy you around them. So if you’re given a chance to spend an afternoon at a spa, take it – and don’t feel guilty for having gone.
Meet With Other Parents
Everyone feels stress at one point or another. It’s not a massive problem, in itself. The problems arise when the pressure is able to grow and grow, to the point where what was a small issue is now a big issue. That’s why it’s a good idea to meet with other parents; when you hear other people complaining of the exact same issues that you’re experiencing, you’ll realize that it’s not as large or unique a problem as you imagined. It’s when we’re cut off from others that the pressure we’re feeling really begins to become a problem. Connect with others!
You’ve got a million and one things to do, but some of them can wait. If you’re feeling the strain, don’t use the time after your child has gone to bed to clean the kitchen. It’s not that big a deal! Instead, vow to have a relaxed evening. You’ll be well served by spending a couple of hours doing nothing but listening to music, watching a movie, or chatting with your partner. Save your energy for the tasks that really need it, especially when it’s in short supply.
Tried and Tested Methods
One of the best things about being alive in this century is that we know more and more each year about how we can keep stress down. Two of the most popular methods have, of course, been around for a long, long time – scientists and those that practice them agree that they do good things for the mind. Both of them are easy enough to make part of your life, especially meditation – all you need is a spare fifteen minutes and you can start, regardless of where you are.
Go Easy On Yourself
Finally, remember to go easy on yourself. No-one has all the answers! And every parent goes through stressful periods. Don’t dwell on them too much; they’ll pass in time.