Having a baby can be stressful. Breastfeeding can be stressful. Even trying to find a moment to yourself can be stressful. But, despite all of the things in your life that are new and crazy and turning you into some sort of mom-zombie hybrid, trust us when we say finding a way to relieve that stress is possible.
Taking 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or even half a day to do something that’s enjoyable and helps you unwind is important. Not only can little stress-relieving rituals help you feel more like yourself, they can put you in a better frame of mind for your baby and your partner.
So, that’s why we asked our community of breastfeeding moms what they do to relieve stress. We compiled some of our favorite methods here:
- Take a Bath. A steamy bath or shower is hands down the favorite stress-reliever among our moms. Make it even more special with Epsom salts and soothing essential oils. Bonus points for lounging around in your robe after.
- Work Up a Sweat. Go for a walk or run. Pop in your favorite workout DVD. Dance your butt off in the living room. The endorphins you get from a good workout are some of nature’s best stress relievers!
- Wake Up Early or Stay Up Late. See if you can fit in a little alone time before your little one is up or after they go to bed. Sip your coffee in peace, give yourself a fresh manicure, or watch your favorite show with your partner. Uninterrupted.
- Go Shopping. A little retail therapy can do wonders – especially when you come home with a sassy new pair of shoes or a pretty new top (that isn’t maternity!)
- Get Crafty. Take up knitting. Finish that crochet project. Scrapbook your baby’s first days. Color!
- Play In the Mud. Gardening, or even just weeding the yard, can be a great stress reliever. Plus, getting outside can be a nice change of scenery.
- So, cleaning might not be stress-relieving for everyone. But if you’re one of those people who gets satisfaction from a clean house, by all means, use it as a stress relief tactic.
- Take the Dog for a Walk. If you have a dog (or cat), they’ve probably become second fiddle to your new little bundle of joy. But taking some time with your furry companion has actually been shown to lower blood pressure and increase feelings of happiness.
- Get Spiritual. Whether it’s yoga, prayer, meditation, journaling, or something else entirely, feed your soul with whatever makes you feel at peace.
- Have Sex. Remember how you made that baby in the first place! If you’re feeling up for it, sex can be a great way to connect with your partner, rediscover your body, and lower stress.
- Disconnect from Your Devices. Put your phone away, turn the TV off, and allow yourself to just exist for a few minutes. Of course, you’re allowed to keep the baby monitor on.
- Get Lost in the Music. The research on music and stress relief is immense. Music has the power to relax your mind and body, especially slow and quiet tunes. Alternatively, turn on some nature sounds for a similar stress-melting experience.
- Shout. Swear. Ok, so don’t swear, scream or shout at anyone – especially not your little one! But sometimes the best way to relieve stress is to just let it all out.
- Talk It Out. There’s something magical about adult conversations once you have a baby. So have more of them! Talk with your partner after baby goes to sleep. Talk with your neighbor while you’re out on a walk. Meet a friend for coffee and see how long you can go without talking about breast milk, baby poop, or nap schedules.
Just remember, the best stress relief method for you might be completely different than another mom, so do whatever makes you feel happy and calm. And, if your favorite way to get relief isn’t listed, share it in the comments below.