Good mental health is vital for moms yet it’s often overlooked for flat-out ignored. Here are some practical ways that ALL moms can practice good mental health and feel better.
Being a mom is no easy task. Between the long sleepless nights, the toddler tantrums, and the constant responsibility of tiny humans, there is simply no time for yourself. As a result, your mental health can slowly decline.
Mental health is a topic that many people don’t want to talk about. In my own family, there was a “pull up your big girl pants and keep going” mentality that I certainly adopted.
But the toll of the past couple of years caused me to crash a few months ago. My marriage was on the rocks. I began to doubt everything I was doing as a parent, an employee, and even as a person.
And I just felt bad…on the inside.
I knew I needed help.
Then a few weeks ago, we had a crisis with my teenage son. Knowing how hard being a teenager is and how hard transitioning into high school is, we had been offering him the option to see a counselor for months. And he kept refusing.
But this crisis helped him to be ready to make a change too.
As a mom (or anyone) mental health should never be taken lightly. It is an important part of one’s wellbeing, yet it often goes overlooked.
When moms are too busy taking care of their families, they can easily forget to care for themselves!
Here are ten ways that moms can take care of their mental health without sacrificing time with their family or responsibilities at work.
The Important Of Taking Care Of Your Mental Health Through The Stresses Of Motherhood
Many mothers worry about how to take care of their mental health. Moms need to take care of their mental health, or it will affect them and their families in the future.
It’s not easy to find time for yourself when you’re taking care of your family and working outside the home, but there are ways to find some balance. The most important thing is finding the time.
It may seem like there isn’t enough time in the day for everything, but there are ways to make time for yourself that don’t involve anything more than a few minutes.
Moms in today’s society face a lot of pressure and stress. They’re expected to be the best mom, women, workers, and so much more. All this takes a toll on their mental wellbeing and physical health.
Why Is It So Hard To Take Care Of Our Mental Health As Moms?
It’s no secret that being a mom is tough. It takes a lot of patience, strength, and understanding. And while most moms are content with the joys of motherhood, some are completely overwhelmed by their day-to-day life.
The reason for this is that you have to deal with the stresses of everyday life while trying to make your baby happy at the same time. When you feel like your baby is unhappy, it can be really hard to maintain your own happiness.
To make matters worse, most moms don’t get enough sleep at night because they have to wake up in the middle of the night for one reason or another.
When you combine lack of sleep with other aspects of motherhood, such as long work hours and limited social interactions, your mental health goes out the window quickly!
10 Ways Moms Can Practice Good Mental Health
When we take care of our mental health, we feel better and can be more present in life. As a mom, it is not easy to make time for ourselves and focus on our mental health. That’s why we need to make some changes in the way we live and work.
We don’t have to give up any of our responsibilities or obligations; instead, we need to find ways to take care of our mental health with the time that we have.
Here are 10 easy suggestions to help you get started on the path toward good mental health!
Socializing is important for mothers who are staying at home with their children. They need to have time to themselves, even while taking care of their children.
Socializing with friends and loved ones is one of the things that helps to reduce stress levels. When a mother does not socialize, they can get depressed, lonely, or anxious.
This can sometimes lead to more severe mental illnesses.
Try to find time to socialize as often as you can. This could be a playdate with another mom or calling your own mom on the phone.
It is also important to connect with others who can provide support and understanding during difficult times, such as friends, family members, or professionals who specialize in helping parents with children having difficulties coping with an illness or other stressors in their lives.
2. Staying Fit While Staying Home with the Kids
“I know I need to work on my fitness, but I don’t have time.” Sound familiar?
Why is exercise good for your mental health? It reduces stress levels, depression, anxiety, and releases endorphins into the body, which are responsible for making us feel good and happy!
Come on, we all know that we should exercise and eat healthily. But I know firsthand just how difficult it can be to make time for the gym when you are busy caring for children.
It is essential to think of ways to stay fit while staying home with your kids.
Is walking good for mental health? Yep, and it’s good for physical health too! There was a time when taking my young kiddos outside for a walk in the fresh air was all I could manage.
And it was a lifesaver.
Maybe you can do some kids’ yoga together or go for a jog with your baby in the stroller. Does your gym have a childcare area?
Do your workouts at home! Children love to work out, and they sure have the energy for it! Even if it is not what you normally would do, try to get moving in your home in some way every day with your kids.
3. Be Kind to Yourself
This is something that most moms neglect. Life is HARD – we don’t need to make it even harder by not being kind to ourselves!
It is very important to care for your needs so you can also be there for your child. If you are not resting, eating properly, and taking care of your physical and mental health, you are not being kind to yourself or being the best mom you can be.
There are different ways to be kinder to yourself as a mom:
- schedule time for self-care (care for a massage or a home spa day?)
- take care of your physical health by eating right and exercising
- take care of your mental health by finding ways to relax.
Remember that it’s okay if you don’t have it all together.
Give yourself plenty of grace, and do not feel guilty if you have a bad day. All we need to do as moms is to be a little better every day; we do not have to be perfect.
4. Get Outside For Good Mental Health
Spend time outdoors to experience nature after being cooped up in your house.
Stay-at-home moms often struggle with their mental health as they find it hard to get out and about. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or just sit outside and enjoy the day.
You will feel so much better!
5. Write In A Journal
Why is journaling good for mental health? Journaling is an excellent way to release pent-up energy and emotions, leading to better mental health overall!
This is a great way to express your feelings and help you find the good in the day-to-day things of life.
You can make a gratitude journal that will help you find joy even when things get hard. Or write in a regular journal and just release anything and everything in this safe place.
6. Schedule Time For Yourself
Schedule time to do things you enjoy or take care of personal needs, such as getting a manicure, going for a walk, or reading a book. Do not feel guilty about taking some time for yourself; you need this crucial time.
Identify one thing that makes you happy and do it for five minutes every day. This is an easy way to start making time for yourself and practice self-care when you feel you will never have enough time.
7. Express Your Feelings
It is perfectly okay to express all your feelings, even the ones you feel guilty for. Motherhood is hard, and you do not have to like every aspect of it.
It is okay to want a break or want to give up.
You cannot bury those feelings, and often, as soon as you express them, you feel lighter and happier. Find someone you can trust and let out all the feelings you have buried inside of you.
Try to do this daily or at least weekly so you can be free from those overwhelming thoughts.
For me, it involved going to see a counselor. I was nervous to do it and worried about being judged, but it was the BEST thing I could have done. I LOVE my counselor, who is not at all judgemental but who helps me learn more about myself and make crucial changes.
And now, thanks to COVID, you can get terrific counseling from the comfort of your own home! I love seeing my counselor virtually – it saves me time and helps me become the mom and wife I want to be. 😍
8. Meditate Daily For Good Mental Health
Meditation has countless benefits, especially for your mental health. Meditation daily can help you start your day off on the right foot and help clear your mind to focus on the daily tasks at hand.
The great thing about meditation is that you can always do a simple two-minute or five-minute one. Those often can make all the difference. Start small and go from there.
9. Unplug From Social Media
Unplug from social media and the world so you can tune into your thoughts and feelings instead. Social media can be so harmful to moms as it is so easy to compare to all the other moms you see who seem to be “handling life gracefully.”
So, take a break! See how you feel. You will begin to feel refreshed and happier as you can focus on your family’s needs rather than get upset over things beyond your control.
I LOVE taking a once- or twice-a-year break from social media. It’s good for my soul! 🙂
Clutter, mental AND physical, will always hurt us.
Not only do we feel like we live in a mess, but it also clogs us mentally. Try to declutter as often as you can.
You do not have to get rid of things all the time, but every week try to go through just a few things to see what you don’t use anymore. Decluttering is a process, not a one-time event.
Tackle that project that has been on your to-do list for weeks now. Organizing will give you a sense of control and accomplishment and help you see your progress as the task is completed.
Good Books For Good Mental Health
If you want to learn more about mental health or grab a few resources to help improve your own mental health, try this list of incredible books!
This book is a great reminder that we all struggle in different ways and we’re not alone. Grab the audible version so you can listen while you exercise!
The Self-Care Prescription by Robyn Gobin PhD
This book is for moms everywhere because it provides resources for coping with life’s unavoidable stressors. Grab the audible version so you can listen while you exercise!
The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel von der Kolk, MD
Trauma is a part of life, but sadly most people don’t deal with it so it eats away at them from the inside out. Transform your life without drugs or talk therapy with this incredible book. Or grab the audible version.
Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
Codependency is more prevalent than many people realize and is passed down from generation to generation. Learn ways to care for yourself and set healthy boundaries. Or grab the audible version.
Burnout: The Secret To Unlocking The Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski PhD
This book shows you what you can do to complete the biological stress cycle—and return your body to a state of relaxation. Listen on the go with the audible version.
It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn
Depression. Anxiety. Chronic Pain. Phobias. Obsessive thoughts. The evidence shows that the roots of these difficulties reside in the lives of our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Grab the audible version.
The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
This book offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives into a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. Grab the audible version
What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey
This book provides a deep dive into the legacy of childhood trauma, and how we can confront it, learn from it, and find a means of moving forward. Grab the audible version.
Learn How To Practice Good Mental Health As A Mom And Transform Your Life
There is no such thing as a perfect mom. But we can all put in the time and effort to make sure we are taking care of our mental health.
The healthier you are mentally, the better mother you’ll be for your precious little ones. Try to find a few minutes every day to focus on your mental health! It’s worth it!