Natural Stress Relief Ideas for New and Experienced Moms!
No matter who we are and what experiences we have had, becoming a new mom for the first time or for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th…time can bring on different kinds of situations and stress. Not only do we have a new little person (aka…huge responsibility) to take care of, but we also have a lot of hormonal changes going on within our body, the requirement to take care of ourselves (so we can care for others) along with many other daily responsibilities. I am going to highlight a few of my favorite techniques and remedies that I use in order to feel more in balance. What I have found is that the more grounded and balanced we are as moms, typically, the more calm and balanced our children can and will be.
- Meditation or Deep Breathing– you can receive benefits even if you only carve out 5-10 minutes each day. Meditation allows you to receive a deeper connection with self and feel more centered. If you do not resonate with meditation you can easily take a few minutes for Deep Breathing, even get your children to join you (they will reap the benefits also). A simple deep breathing practice is to breathe in through our nose for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale through our nose for 4 counts and then hold for 4 counts. That is considered one round. In as soon as 5 rounds our mind can completely shift towards more peaceful thoughts. Simple ways to incorporate meditation or deep breathing can be while you are nursing your little one, before everyone gets up in the morning, or take a few minutes of quiet time when your significant other gets home.
- Eating Well – our emotional and physical health are fueled by the quality and amounts of food that we consume. If we do not eat enough or if consume too much sugar we can experience some dramatic impacts to our blood sugar levels. As a result, we can become more emotional and/or more lethargic. Consuming a consistent amount of whole foods full of healthy fats and proteins can support a more stable mood, energy and mental clarity.
- High Quality Fish Oil – can be very beneficial to supporting mental and physical health. Studies have shown that a higher dose of a clean source of fish oil (a high quality brand that removes heavy metals, etc) can provide additional emotional support.
- Motherwort – can calm excess energy which goes through the heart and nervous system. The name Motherwort comes from the plant’s ability to relieve anxiety in women associated with hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Always check with your health and medical team before starting to take something new.
- Rhodiola -is believed to have many beneficial effects. These include:
- Decreasing Sympathetic Nervous System Activity The sympathetic nervous system is the system that springs into action when the fight or flight response is triggered; including pulse, breathing rate, and adrenal glands. Increased activity of these is either directly or indirectly responsible for all the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, shaking, dizziness, and nausea.
- Increasing Parasympathetic Nervous System Activity The parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system in that it is associated with the slowing of the body’s processes rather than speeding them up, as happens when you are feeling anxious.
- Increasing Serotonin Serotonin is the chemical in the body associated with happiness and relaxation. Serotonin deficiency is seen primarily in people with depression and anxiety conditions.
- Increasing Memory and Focus Feeling scattered and unfocused due to anxiety can have the effect of causing even more anxiety, particularly if you find yourself becoming anxious in the middle of an important meeting, or during a test. Studies suggest that rhodiola improves both memory and focus. In a study of rhodiola as a supplement for memory and focus in which subjects had to take a proofreading test, the subjects who took rhodiola rosea made 88% fewer mistakes when using rhodiola, while the control group who did not use it made 84% more.
- Shortens Recovery Time After Exercise When you experience anxiety, your heart rate tends to rise and your breathing becomes more labored as it does when you exercise for an extended period of time. Rhodiola may be effective for shortening the amount of time it takes your heart rate and breathing to return to normal. In a study of people who took rhodiola rosea before running for 12 miles, the participants were tested 30 minutes in. Those who had not taken rhodiola had pulses 129% higher than a resting heart rate on average, while the pulses of those who had taken the supplement were only 105% higher than a resting rate.
Melanie is the Wellness Coordinator for Willowsong Midwifery Care, a Certified Health Coach (through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and AADP), and more importantly a mom of 3 small children. She is very passionate about empowering moms and children in attaining overall health and wellness and loves supporting Willowsong Families with health classes, free initial prenatal consults, information via blogging and much more! Melanie approaches health from a holistic perspective, meaning that she believes each component of our lives creates our overall health and wellness. You are welcome to connect with Melanie anytime via email (Melanie@Food4Thoughtdm.com).
Please don’t just take Melanie’s experience…as always consult with your medical professional and your own self understanding when making health decision; Melanie is not a medical professional, a nutritionist or dietician. She does not hold a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. Melanie makes no claim to any specialized medical training, nor does she dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, preconception or pregnancy health. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes ONLY. Please consult with your doctor or wellness team if you have questions and then make your own well-informed decisions based upon what is best for your unique genetics, culture, conditions, and stage of life.