Between juggling kids, work and relationships, it can be hard for moms to find some time to relax. Don’t worry, de-stressing can be a lot easier and cheaper than going on vacation. Here are some simple ways to relax.
Meditation is a simple yet effective way to relieve stress. To meditate, find a comfortable place and focus on a relaxing object or place, like a flower or the beach. In as little as 10 minutes, you should feel results. If you have more time, take a yoga or t’ai chi class as they combine meditation with physical movements.
Take a walk or bike ride
Exercise replaces stress hormones with feel-good hormones called endorphins, and people who are physically fit tend to handle long-term stress better. Go on a walk or a bike ride to combine the positives benefits of exercise with another great stress reliever — being outside. Sunlight increases the levels of mood-stabilizing chemicals like serotonin. Breathing in fresh air promotes relaxation and energizes the body.
Listen to music
The music you listen to has a profound effect on your mood. A slower tempo, around 60 beats per minute, can calm your mind and relax your muscles. Your brain syncs with the beat and produces a brainwave frequency similar to when you are naturally relaxed. Studies have shown that music has the same effect on moderating brainwaves as medication. The best types of music to relieve stress are light jazz and easy listening. Make sure to choose music you actually enjoy, though. If you listen to music that irritates you — no matter the tempo — it will cause stress, not relieve it.
Hang out with a friend
When stressed people go out and socialize, they receive a boost of the hormone oxytocin, which reduces anxiety. Talk to a friend about what’s causing you stress. This directs your energy outward, rather than inward, which can help you avoid a breakdown. Listening to your friend talk about her life can be a distraction from your stress as well.
Get a massage
Not only can a massage get out all those tight knots in your muscles, it also can have an effect on your overall mood and health. Frequent massages can reduce the occurrence of headaches and sleep disturbances and increase serotonin levels. Just a single session of massage can cause positive changes in the body. If you don’t have the time to visit a massage therapist, you can purchase some aroma- therapy oils and massage tools to use at home.
Indulge in one or more of these activities on Mother’s Day to recharge your batteries.
Meredith Strom is a MetroKids co-op intern and an English major at Drexel University.