With a new baby comes so much joy, so much to do, and so little sleep. It can affect the mood of even the most positive mom. However, developing daily habits to improve your mood, health, and overall well being doesn’t need to be difficult — especially when you’re a mother who has so many other things on her to-do list. While self-care and your own health is often times not a priority when you’re a parent, adults often struggle with dark moods. However, by making a few small changes each day, you may notice major improvements to your overall mood, and outlook on life. Here are five simple habits that can help keep your spirits up on even the most trying of days.
You may encourage your children to “play outside,” but do you ever take your own advice? A daily change of scenery is needed to decompress from the nonstop sleep-deprived schedule of a new, or even a seasoned mom. When weather permits, go outside and take a walk, read a book in the yard, or have a meal alfresco. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the vitamin D that comes with the sunlight hitting your skin. It is a natural endorphin. This is even an activity you can do with your child. Whether it is a short stroll with the stroller or a long power walk, walking lifts your mood.
This might not be your favorite action item on this list (especially if you’re a busy mom), however, it’s important to make exercise a priority – exercise is good for your mind, in addition to your body. When we exercise, our brain produces endorphins, which minimize discomfort and are shown to improve both energy and mood. Additionally, exercising helps relieve any stress that you may have accumulated throughout a busy day, and even helps you sleep better at night.
Take Brain Healthy Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements
Vitamins taken in the morning, preferably on a full stomach, help fuel your energy for the day. If you find the B vitamins hard to handle, most vitamins can be taken in sublingual form, where the vitamins are absorbed under your tongue and into the bloodstream without upsetting the stomach. Vitamins B2 and B6 are mood boosters, as are vitamin D and vitamin C.
Don’t forget magnesium, selenium and zinc, the three most helpful minerals in improving mood, either. Deficiencies in these minerals can increase the risk of depression. Studies have shown they have a therapeutic effect on improving mood. You will also want to include omega 3s, especially if you are nursing. The advice for taking omega 3s during pregnancy holds true for after you've given birth. The supplement benefits both mother and child and is known to improve mood.
Mindfulness meditations have an extraordinary list of benefits for both mental and physical health. The practice can make us more resilient and able to cope with both the everyday ups and downs of life along with larger issues that arise from time to time. Meditating for just 10 -15 minutes at the start and end to each day will improve your mood and ability to cope with what has happened or for what lies ahead.
Take Time for Yourself
Schedule an hour in your day for yourself, whether it’s for an at-home spa treatment, an exercise routine, your favorite show, or your new favorite book. Taking some “you time” will bring you back to a renewed perspective. The hour spent on yourself will boost your mood and increase your overall energy throughout your day.
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