Four Easy Ways Moms Can Relieve Stress

There’s a reason “motherhood” and “stress” are two words often found in the same sentence: life as a mom is HARD!


I jumped right into parenting when my husband and I adopted a teenager, so I skipped over some of the chaotic childhood moments. But I found myself smack in the middle of others I wasn’t prepared for, like drivers’ ed classes, college applications, scholarship essays, filling out the FAFSA… you get the picture.


So how can moms manage it all without getting overwhelmed by the stress?


Have a “Top Three”
Particularly when your kids are little, just surviving (you AND them!) is hard enough. The quickest way to get overwhelmed and judge yourself is to set unachievable expectations. Pick 3, and only 3 things that are your priority. Maybe you’ll set 3 a day, maybe 3 a week – up to you. By selecting the three most important things, and admitting to yourself that the rest is negotiable, your stress will be better under control.


Go Social Media-Free
Maybe you tell yourself you use social media time as a way to distress and chill out – but beware. Glimpses of handmade Valentines on Pinterest are going to have you judging yourself. And that neighbor down the street just took her kids to the zoo during the last Monday holiday – don’t the kids look SO happy in the Facebook pictures?! Man, you should really do that for your kids… and so the guilt goes. Kicking your social media habit, even if for a short while like a single weekend, helps you break that spiral of comparing yourself to others.


Find Your Flow State
You know that moms need down time, too. You just don’t know how or where to find it! One simple solution is to find an activity that puts you in a state of “flow.” Flow state research shows that when you are participating in an activity that’s difficult but achievable, your brain is at its optimum state. Because we all have different skills and abilities, where we’ll find flow state is unique, but you might find it playing tennis, or knitting, or drawing… all things you can do with your children nearby!


Determine Whose Priority Is It, Anyway?
Everyone has advice for what moms “need” to do. Your spouse has ideas about how to raise the kids and run the house, your mom wants to add her two cents, your best friend can’t wait to share what’s working for her, and the moms in your moms group have read ALL the latest research. You can’t help but be overwhelmed with what you “should” be doing as a mom. But some opinions matter more than others, and you need to determine whose those are. Yours, for sure, should be at the top of the list, along with perhaps their father and the pediatrician. Now go back to tactic #1, and figure out what your “Top Three’ should be, and arrange your priority list accordingly. If it isn’t your priority, then don’t give it precious brain space!



Handling chaos requires a delicate balance of accomplishing some of the things on the to do list, while not getting frazzled by the belief that you must immediately accomplish ALL of the things on the to do list. By employing these 4 techniques, moms will find themselves checking off the “big” stuff, and not sweating the small stuff.