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Camino Health Center

Empowering Moms: Strategies to Prioritize Mental Health & Reduce Stress

As Mental Health Awareness Month unfolds across the nation and we begin to wrap up our celebration of Mother’s Day, this is the perfect moment to reflect on the well-being of the superheroes in our lives: moms. Navigating the demands of family, work, and personal goals can lead many of these incredible women to sacrifice their own health to ensure those around them are taken care of. Over time, this can lead them to feel stressed out, overwhelmed, stretched thin, and burnt out. Does this sound familiar? As we celebrate the love of our mothers, or if you’re a mother who has experienced some of the feelings mentioned above, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of prioritizing mental health. This blog post aims to provide busy moms with tips and strategies to reduce stress and garner a better sense of balance in their daily lives. So, if you’re a busy mom who feels like the walls are caving in around you, take a deep breath and pause for a moment because investing in your mental health is the best gift you can give to yourself.

I had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Odette Valder, a highly esteemed psychiatrist based in Charlotte, to write this blog. With a degree from Baylor College of Medicine and over 33 years of experience in the medical field, Dr. Valder brings invaluable expertise to our discussion. Her insights allowed me to better understand the complexities of mental health and ways to healthily manage it. The tips she provided, which we’ll cover shortly, are crucial steps that mothers can take to prioritize their mental well-being. We’ll begin by first discussing what stress is and where it stems from in the lives of mothers. 

What is Stress and Where Does it Come From? 

In our conversation, Dr. Valder explained that stress is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it at some point, and there is often a negative perception of it. People tend to assume that stress is bad and that it further complicates life. However, Dr. Valder emphasized that stress is not inherently negative; it can serve as a driving force, motivating individuals to prepare and focus on crucial tasks. It is only when stress levels are neglected or poorly managed that it can become detrimental to individuals’ health.

While stress affects everyone differently, this blog specifically addresses the unique challenges faced by mothers. Some common stressors include the struggle to find personal time, the delicate balance between work and family obligations, coping with burnout, and feeling unsupported. To learn more about common stressors for moms, check out this detailed blog post.

Tips to Reduce Stress and Prioritize Mental Health

Here are the tips Dr. Valder offered to help all the mothers out there manage and reduce their stress. I’ve summarized them to help you digest the information to easily put the tips into practice.

1. Practice Self-Reflection: When moments of stress start to creep in, hit the pause button and do some self-reflection. Ask yourself these questions to truly gauge and understand your emotions and needs:

  • What Needs My Attention?
    • When you begin to feel stressed out, it’s important to determine what needs your immediate attention. Is it your child’s needs, household chores, or personal alone time? 
  • Is it Internal or External Factors?
    • Are external demands like work or household chores causing you stress? Or are the stressors stemming from internal thoughts and behaviors?
  • Am I Surpassing My Limits?
    • Are you allowing yourself enough time to recover and recharge? Or are you pushing past your limits? 

As you practice self-reflection, you will begin to better understand yourself and your needs as a mom. Addressing these questions will allow you to identify stressors, make informed decisions, and prioritize your mental well-being.

2. Prioritize Your Basic Needs: As a mom, you’re probably used to neglecting your needs to prioritize your family’s. That’s all the more reason that it’s crucial to prioritize self-care. Ensure that you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep. If you’re caring for an infant, have your partner help out with some of the nighttime responsibilities. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to stay hydrated, and aim for a daily movement like walking, yoga, hiking, gardening, or gym classes to boost your energy. Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare providers and seek support from your friends and family when needed. By prioritizing self-care, you’re not only nurturing yourself but also setting a positive example for your family.

3. Focus On Your Emotional Health: Make time for regular, meaningful communication with your partner to create a stronger bond. Take the initiative and reach out to your friends to make plans with one another. Arrange playdates for your child so you can both engage in social interactions. Revisit and stay connected to your own goals and aspirations and never lose sight of them. Try to recognize and understand the signs of depression and anxiety, and seek professional help if needed. Read materials that uplift and inspire you, and explore resources for parenting support. These are all ways that you can prioritize your emotional health, which allows you to better understand yourself and manage the stress that comes with life. 

4. Attend to Your Spiritual Needs: Fostering a sense of connection and inner peace as a mom is crucial to managing and reducing stress, which is why you should tend to your spiritual needs. Engage in community and spiritual practices that resonate with you. This can help you find a source of strength and support. Practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises to center yourself and regain perspective amidst the chaos of daily life. Embrace prayer and moments of silence as a way to reconnect with your inner self and find solace in moments of solitude. By prioritizing your spiritual well-being, you cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and resilience amidst the challenges of motherhood.

The Takeaway

As we wrap up this blog, we hope you’ve found valuable insights to navigate the daily stressors of motherhood. While our aim is to equip you with effective stress management tips, we recognize the immense challenge when it feels like the weight of the world rests upon you. But here’s the comforting truth: You’re not alone in this journey! If you find yourself overwhelmed by stress or facing any other mental health concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out. Give us a call today at 704.596.5606 to connect with one of our experienced providers. Your well-being matters, and we’re here to offer support every step of the way!

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