Saving Your Sanity: 5 Steps To Help Moms Destress

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Saving Your Sanity: 5 Steps To Help Moms Destress [EXPERT]
A mother's guide to creating and living a healthier, less stressful life.

If you are a full-time stay-at-home mom or are a mother who works part-time and feel like you are about to crash and burn, know that you are not alone. You have a stressful job and there's science to prove it! Mothers who work full-time report better mental and physical health than stay-at-home moms or women who work part-time.

A new study from researchers at Penn State University and University of Akron found that women who go back to work after having children have more energy and mobility and less depression at the age of 40 than mothers who stay at home. But you could have told them that, couldn't you? 

There is good news, however. You can save your sanity and long-term health by balancing your life so that you can enjoy it and be there for the ones you love. Here's how:

1. Set up routines. Routines sound boring and laborious, but in reality, routines help you have more free time to do other things that are fun and relaxing (just what every mom needs). Make a list of routines that have to be done daily and weekly. Focus in on the parts that cause you the most stress and list ways to get these things done more efficiently than you have been.

For example, if getting the kids off to school is one of your most stressful times of the day, list things that you can do the night before to ease your morning workload. Some ideas that may help are to pack lunches as you clean up the supper dishes, and lay out your outfit for the next day. 4 Ways To Cheat-Proof Your Marriage

Is supper your most hectic time? Set a time earlier in the day to make parts of the meal ahead of time. A salad (with dressing on the side) or desert can be made while drinking your morning coffee. Invest in a cookbook that has uncomplicated, fast recipes (one of my favorites: Jamie Oliver's Meals In Minutes).

2. Sell the idea of teamwork to your children. Be enthusiastic and positive when you approach your children with a list of ideas about how they can help around the house. Give them a sense of empowerment and pride by allowing them to choose the tasks that they will be responsible for completing. Let them know that their hard work will bring them rewards because you will have more free time to do fun things with them. Some ideas? Bring them to the ice cream shop after their Saturday morning tasks are completed. Take the kids out to a Friday night movie, go for a picnic lunch at their favorite park, or let take them for a swim at the local pool. You can celebrate their accomplishments by going out to dinner as a family.

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