Tips and tricks to help you stay sane
People love to offer this advice to new and/or frazzled moms: “Don’t sweat the small stuff!” Easy for them to say. But it’s not always so easy when your mind is going in a million directions or when you have more demands on your time than hours in a day.
So, how are you supposed to cope when you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, and when everything feels like “big stuff”? Here are our six favorite tips for staying as sane as possible.
This may sound like a no-brainer for anyone who’s feeling stressed—but in the midst of chaos, we sometimes forget the power of unplugging, both literally and figuratively. Try this: don’t look at your email first thing in the morning unless you’re waiting for an important response or absolutely must to check on something. The barrage of news updates, sales promotions, neighborhood announcements, and PTA reminders can wait until later (promise!).
Use a list app to track random thoughts
If a never-ending stream of ideas, worries, to-do items, and other thoughts are constantly swirling around in your head, clear your mind by using a list app to note down anything you don’t want to forget. Some popular list-making apps include: Evernote, Wunderlist, Google Tasks, and Todoist (or, put pen to paper if you’re more of an analog person). Your mind will be freer and clearer—and your thoughts will all be in one place so you can revisit them later, as needed.
Unwind before bed
Step away from your electronic devices and try to find at least a few minutes for yourself at the end of the day, once the kids are in bed. Read a chapter or two in a book you’re loving; take a bath; or even catch up on your favorite TV show if it doesn’t interfere with your ability to go to sleep.
Remember to breathe
Literally! When you’re feeling overwhelmed, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Try a mindfulness, meditation, or breathing-exercises app, and learn to slow your heart rate, reduce your anxiety, and increase your energy. Sometimes a few calming breaths are all you need to keep things in perspective and feel more relaxed.
Do something for yourself
It can sometimes feel impossible to “get away” or treat yourself even for thirty minutes, but sometimes you need to make it happen. Ask a family member, friend, or a babysitter to watch your child while you grab coffee with a friend, get a manicure, or do whatever makes you feel more like yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
Plan ahead where you can
Again, this may seem obvious, but when we’re so caught up in the day-to-day, thinking ahead can feel almost impossible. If you can find a few small ways to plan ahead—whether it means kitchen prep-work while baby naps, laying out an outfit for the next day, or setting up auto-orders for baby supplies, these small victories add up. And, when you find a strategy that’s making your life easier—make a note of it, and keep doing it!
Sometimes, no matter how organized or Zen you may be, you’re going to feel like “it’s all small stuff.” But, try to just take a deep breath, keep things in perspective, and take it all one day at a time. (And let us know if you have any awesome, out-of-the-box techniques for staying sane.) Serenity now!