When things get out of control, who you gonna call? Pampering!
A 2010 survey showed that women are more likely to experience physical and emotional effects of stress, such as stomach upset, headache, and the urge to cry. More recent research found that working moms are “drowning in stress” as a result of the pressure that comes with impossible ideals at work and home.
At the same time, mothers are often ashamed to confess they are overwhelmed because having kids is surely the most beautiful thing in the world. But it’s normal to “freak out” when you step on a Lego for the fifth time in a day when you’re exasperated by fussy eaters when the school principal calls you for a talk… And when things get out of control, as they do even in the most ideal home, you deserve a little pampering for making it all work so long.
To say it in the immortal words of Olivia Newton-John: Let’s get physical. Yes, you’re probably tired from all the work already, and you probably don’t have time for hitting the gym. However, physical activity is a great way of de-stressing, especially when you take it outdoors. It doesn’t have to be something extraordinary. Take a walk around the block. Go jogging. Take your bike out for a spin. Close your bedroom door and dance –or dance with your kids.
Hit the mall
When was the last time you went shopping on your own? If you’re like most moms, you probably shop hastily for yourself and spend most of your shopping time in the kids’ department or toy stores. So this time, go alone. Browse around and try on some outfits even if you’re not planning on buying – just like in the old days.
Treat your skin well
Stress and poor sleep leave marks on the skin. Some examples of the impact of stress on the skin include clogged pores, breakouts, redness, rashes, hives, and flare-ups. Treat your skin with regular care, which includes exfoliation, cleansing, serum, and moisturizing. To minimize the appearance of wrinkles and make your skin firmer, treat yourself with microneedling. Make sure to also add collagen-boosting foods to your diet and apply sunscreen regularly (even on cloudy days).
Indulge in some beauty treatments
We all need to feel beautiful sometimes if not all the time. Don’t consider it a luxury to get your hair done. Change your hairstyle or simply get a blowout. Go for a mani-pedi. Reward yourself with a spa treatment. You deserve it. Your skin will be softer, your hair nicer, and you will feel better.
“Me time” is a precious gift, especially for mothers. If you have some free time when the kids are at school or on a field trip, don’t use it to tick chores off your list. We know you’d rather not leave some things for tomorrow, but you need that time. Turn off the lights, play some music, read a book, binge-watch a TV show. Prepare a warm bubbly bath and pour yourself a glass of wine.
Get some food to boost your mood
While the general advice (especially for de-stressing) is to eat a balanced diet, you need to allow yourself a treat from time to time. And when we say a treat, we mean anything you like. Don’t prepare the meal – order in or go to a restaurant. The whole point of treating yourself is investing no effort and getting all the rewards.
Get together with some friends
When was the last time you went out with your friends or invited them to your place (without the kids)? Can’t remember? Well, that means you should do that soon. You might invite them to catch up on real talk, go to the movies, or even do some physical activities together. Talking to adults can be healing, especially if you spend your days solving math problems, reading kids’ books, and discussing the intentions of Goldilocks with your kids.
Say no to request and yes to helping hands
Finally, what gets in the way of you and the much-needed pampering are the people who are asking you favors. That might be your boss asking you to stay a couple of hours longer this week or your mother asking you to prepare a holiday meal for the entire family, for instance. It is okay to say no if you are not mentally or physically capable of taking on another obligation. And it is also okay to ask for help when you can’t accomplish everything. Your partner can pitch in, as well as some of your friends or family members.
Life can be overwhelming, and juggling a bunch of responsibilities is often stressful. As a mother, you can’t escape these responsibilities, but you do deserve some peace and self-love. Take some time to pamper yourself – because a happy and well-rested mother is the best mother a child can have.
Holly Schaeffer is a long-time writer focusing on health, lifestyle, and home improvement. Originally from New Jersey, she moved to California to pursue a degree in creative writing. She now spends her days split between writing and raising her two young sons.