Being a working mom can be stressful. You are juggling your job, family, and personal responsibilities all at once. These quick and natural ways to reduce stress as a working mom will help you reduce the burden that is weighing on you so heavily.

Reduce your caffeine intake

In your day-to-day life, there is a lot of demand on you, whether that’s at work or at home. You probably aren’t sleeping enough, and the sleep you do get is not high quality because of all the stress you are under. Grabbing that extra coffee, soda, or energy drink can be so tempting, but it is actually hurting you in the long term.

Caffeine is a stimulant and for most people, this will keep you awake longer and give you less efficient sleep by suppressing your production of melatonin. It also makes the quality of your sleep worse. Caffeine can also make you irritable and increase your anxiety over the long-term.

Caffeine can also be incredibly addictive, and its effects are very uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous to your health. Your body will start to rely on the caffeine bumps to keep its energy level up and will feel sluggish without it.

But by reducing or even eliminating caffeine, your body will again adapt and will learn to better regulate its energy on a natural cycle. You will be able to focus again on your own and be better rested in the morning.

Occasional or limited caffeine consumption won’t derail you, but if you’re using caffeine as a crutch to get through the day, you are actually causing more long-term stress and anxiety in your body!

Try to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media or scrolling through your phone

Our interconnected world is a beautiful thing, but too much of anything is bad, and the same goes for screens.

Screen time and social media have been shown to reduce your overall mental health. This is because these types of screens reduce the amount of time that you spend doing things in person, like exercising or spending time with friends and family. One way to reduce stress as a working mom is by limiting your screen time to reduce the negative impacts on your mental health.

Scrolling on your phone might be an easy way to zone out, but by not participating actively in social media, you might end up feeling negative feelings like inadequacy, jealousy, or envy by doing so much “looking” and not enough “acting.”

Instead of scrolling through your phone aimlessly, make it a point to leave a comment on almost every post you see. Set a timer for 15 minutes and engage with people for that time. When the timer is up, close your phone and move on to something else! You will make other people feel good by leaving comments, reconnect with your friends in a deeper way, and you will feel better about your screen time overall.

If you don’t have time to comment and engage with people, then you don’t have time to scroll.

Exercise regularly – even if it’s just a walk around the block

As a working mom, it can be difficult to find time to exercise regularly. With all of the other tasks you’re managing (hello, all of the appointments for the whole family, cleaning tasks, plus everything at work!), a regular workout is just not in the cards.

But exercise is so good for you! Studies have proven again and again that regular movement is incredibly beneficial to our mental health and how our bodies feel.

The key is to start slow and start small. Any movement is better than no movement.

Can you start a nightly walk around the block with your family? Or maybe post-dinner you can leave your kids with your husband or a family member and take 20 minutes to do some stretches and go for a walk alone.

Can you find 20 minutes to decompress with some type of movement each day?

If you’re struggling to start with a full 20 minute block, start even smaller! Take 5 minutes to do some stretches, a chore that requires movement or walking, jumping jacks, even marching in place. Do that four different times throughout the day and now you’ve successfully incorporated regular movement! It’s always better to start small and start somewhere, than to never start at all because it’s not perfect.

Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins and generating feel-good hormones. It may also reduce feelings of feeling overwhelmed or helpless which happen when we are constantly trying to do too much at once: a common problem for working moms.

Make sure to get enough sleep every night (this includes shutting off electronics an hour before bed)

Getting enough sleep every night can be a task for a mom. Whether you have kids that wake up in the night, or you stay up late or wake up early to get things done for yourself and around the house before going to work, sleep is usually the first thing to go.

However, sleep is so important for stress reduction and also for healthy living in general. You might think that this tip is over-used, but the reason it’s always mentioned is because it’s THAT important. Sleep is absolutely essential for the proper function of body and mind.

Set a bedtime and shutting off electronics an hour before bed will help reduce the amount of light exposure you get in the evening. This will reduce the negative effects of artificial lighting such as sleep disturbance, disrupted circadian rhythms, and increased anxiety.

Cutting down on your caffeine can also help you achieve your sleep goal too! Too much caffeine may disrupt your sleep patterns, making it harder to fall asleep or remain asleep for long without waking up.

A chronic sleep deprivation can cause anxiety and poor physical functioning, and increase your cortisol and overall stress levels.

Take deep breaths throughout the day

Meditation is a valuable way to reduce stress, but it can be hard to fit into your routine regularly, especially when you’re already feeling overwhelmed. The whole concept can be intimidating! Where do you even start?

Rather than get hung up on doing the perfect meditation, simply slowing down to take some deep breaths can help calm your nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety.

Think of it this way. Stress and anxiety originates from the flight or fight response that was developed by the primitive brain to keep us safe. While society has advanced, your primitive brain still falls back on these basic responses. But, our developed brain knows that most of the issues that we are dealing with are not actually life or death decisions, so instead we’re left feeling stressed and anxious.

If we were in a fight or flight mode, our breathing is shallow and fast. You can’t breathe deeply if you’re sprinting away from a wild animal!

So doing a deep breathing exercise will teach your nervous system that you are not actually in a fight or flight scenario, and will help to reset it so your stress and anxiety can calm down. This may not always work 100%, but it should give you a good start towards reducing the stress and anxiety throughout your day in an easy way.

The easiest deep breathing method to start with is the 4-4-4 method. Breathe in deeply for 4 counts, hold your breath for 4 counts, and breathe out slowly for 4 counts. Repeat this for as many times as you need until you feel your body start to relax.

Spend more time with friends and family

Spending time with the people we love is essential. Humans did not develop to spend all of their time alone. Even for introverted people, spending quality time with others is essential and should be in-line with your recharge time so you can enjoy the company of others and still balance your energy.

A simple coffee date, sharing a meal with someone, or going for a walk together can help you to reconnect and most importantly, LAUGH. When we are stressed and constantly on the go, it’s easy to get focused on what we’re doing and forget to have fun doing it. Laughter is a proven stress reducer, so make sure to spend time with people who make you belly laugh!

To make it even easier to do this, try to meet up at a restaurant or out of the house for meals so that you don’t have to worry about the dishes, preparing a meal, or making sure your house is “company ready.” You are stressed enough without having to add on those additional stressors.

Use aromatherapy to help unwind

Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds extracted from plants. Plants emit these volatile molecules that act as chemical language required for their emotional and physical wellbeing. These molecules are detected by receptors in our nose and translated into various emotional or physical feelings in the brain. Aromatherapy works by inhaling the scent of these volatile molecules, which elicit a therapeutic response within the body that calms us down or stimulates us to feel better.

There are many different ways to use aromatherapy for stress relief throughout the day. You can diffuse a few drops of a soothing oil like lavender at work or in your car and apply some to your wrists. Starting with something like lavender takes the guess work out of essential oils and it is also a multi-purpose and very loved oil.

Don’t buy your essential oils from Wal-Mart, though. For it to be effective, you need to trust your manufacturer. Rocky Mountain Oils and Plant Therapy are two trusted sources of essential oils that you can order from without making any long-term commitments. Essential oils are powerful plant medicine and should be treated as such!

In Conclusion…

There’s not one easy way that will work for every mom, but making these changes will reduce stress and help you to feel more balanced while working.

The tips we’ve shared can be a great starting point to help you reduce your stress. Don’t forget, the most important thing is that you do something! If these ideas don’t work for you or if they seem too overwhelming in the moment, just start with one small change and keep going from there. You’ll find it much easier than expected when you’re able to take care of yourself each day. Which tips are working best for you?