Guest Post – A Working Mom’s Guide On How To Be Happier

moms guide to happiness, relaxation, self-esteem, building confidence 

As mothers, we often work hard to make sure everyone around us is happy. We want our kids to be happy, as well as our spouses and our employers, but how often do you do things that make you happy? Your happiness and well-being affect the rest of your family.

All mothers need to make sure they take time for themselves. Working mothers need to make some extra effort since they are pulled in multiple directions every day. Whether you work because you really love your job or because you feel like you need to for financial reasons, you should still do the things that make you happy. Here are just a few ways you can work more happiness into your life:

  1. Schedule Everything

Invest in a daily planner that you love, or just really utilize that smartphone, because planning out your week will really help you be happier in your day-to-day life. Don’t just use your schedule as a way of staying on task, but write down things you want to accomplish each day, like spending time with your kids. It may seem weird to check things like that off your to-do list, but you won’t view it as a chore.

  1. Get in Sync With Your Spouse

Compare schedules with your spouse and make sure you are both taking the time you need for yourselves. Trade off kid-watching duties so you can go grab some caffeine at Starbucks by yourself and he can hang out with his friends. You both need time to do things that are important to you. In the end, you will both be happier.

  1. Make the Most of Your Commute

We are happiest when we are productive, both at work and at home. Don’t waste your commute to work, especially if it’s long. Use it as time to listen to podcasts, audiobooks or even learn a new language. You may find a new hobby that you love and make the most of time that is precious.

You can also use your commute as a way to cool down after a long day at work by going through pros and cons of the day. Also, try getting into the mindset of going home after work. When you get home after working all day, you should be present with your kids. So instead of thinking about all the things you need to get done at your job, think about how you can spend quality time at home with them.

  1. Learn How to Say No

No could become the most important word in your vocabulary. If you feel like you didn’t spend enough time with your spouse and kids this week, feel obligated to drive them to birthday parties or play dates. Don’t feel guilty if you have to tell other no, even if they don’t like it. Your family is what is most important.

  1. Make Time to Exercise

We all know that exercise can boost your mood and make you feel better about yourself. Carve out at least 10 to 15 minutes each day to get some exercise. Take a walk, pop in a workout DVD or just do some pushups and sit ups each night. You will feel happier and your body will thank you for it.

  1. Plan Intentional Time With Your Spouse

If you want to be happier, make sure your spouse is happy, too. Weekly or biweekly date nights are a must for a married couple. Be intentional with your time together. Turn off your cellphones and don’t talk about your kids’ schedules. Have fun!

  1. Don’t Compare Yourself With Other Moms

Most importantly, don’t compare yourself to other moms because it will just drag you down. It isn’t fair to you and it isn’t fair to those moms, either. You may think they have it better because they get to stay home with their kids, but you don’t know the whole story. Instead, know that you are setting a great example of a hardworking parent for your kids. Know that you are helping to provide for them and don’t take the time you get with them for granted.

Your happiness depends on you making time for yourself and for your family. How do you improve your own happiness as a working mom?

 

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Jennifer  Landis is a hard-working, distance-running, yoga loving mama, health journalist, and blogger. Find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis

 

 

 

5 Full Body Massages To Try

massage therapy, full body massages, massages, Swedish massage

Do you find yourself tied in knots, stressed out, joints and muscles aching at some point through out the year?  I can relate, life can be stressful and stress can wreck havoc on our minds and bodies. Stress can manifest itself in many ways, which is why we need to pay attention to our bodies and deal with it when it appears.  .

For the past few years, I have treated myself to a full body massage for my birthday. I swear by it. They relieve stress and work out the kinks. I literally leave the spa like a wet noodle. You are so relaxed, it is advised that you not drive after your session. If you have never had a full body massage, you must add this pleasure to your list. Ask your husband or significant other for a gift certificate for your birthday, Christmas or just because. Every woman deserves to be pampered at least once in their lifetime, but be warned once you start you will want to continue the service.  

Here are the massages offered at the spa that I use.  I have had 3 of the 5 listed, the Swedish, Hot Stone and Deep Tissue. I love the Swedish and Hot Stone, but I encourage you to research and make a decision on what you think you would enjoy:   


1.  Swedish –  It’s the most sought after and is used to relax the entire body. The massage therapist uses long strokes to increase the level of oxygen in the blood while decreasing toxins and improving circulation. It eases tension as well. 

2.  Prenatal –  These are great for the mother to be. The massage therapists focuses on decreasing swelling in the arms and legs, and relieve aches and pains in muscles and joints.

3.  Hot Stone – It is amazing what hot stones can do. They literally melt the stress away, eliminates stiff muscles, increases circulation and your metabolism. Because the hot stones relax muscles, the masseuse is able to do a deep muscle massage. 

4.  Deep Tissue – The Deep tissue massage is similar to the Swedish massage. It focuses on deeper pressure with the goal to be the release of chronic muscle tension. This massage is known to drop the blood pressure and boosts your mood and relaxation. 

5  Reflexology – The massage therapist will use the traditional Swedish and sports massage techniques starting with the hands and than moving to the feet, calf, and upper leg area. This is great for athletics or those who have problems with foot or ankle pain.  It also reduces stress. 

The spa that I use also offers packages for couples, girlfriends, mom and daughter/son or mom and granddaughter/grandson. Make it a family affair or  a day of intimacy, you won’t regret it. It will leave you wanting more and more.

11 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

 

holiday stress, Thanksgiving


Gobble Gobble!  The holidays are around the corner and holiday stress levels will start to rise. Thank goodness we no longer head out to the woods to catch our turkeys, pound corn or cook on open fires.  We already have enough things to stress over like what will be on the menu, who’s coming to dinner, what size turkey to buy, who should sit where and the list goes on. 


The holidays can  be a joyous time, but they can be overwhelming at times too.  To avoid unnecessary stress, I use the following tips to reduce holiday stress in my home: [Read more…]

6 Tips To Deal With Stress and Anger: Unleash Your Monster

How do you deal with your stress and anger?  Do you keep your monster hidden?  Women have been groomed to be lady like.  We’ve been taught to hold things in and take care of our family and home. Suck it up! Pray about it or just forget it.  

We’re the backbone, the care givers, we make it work.  Who has time to think about stress or anger, right?  If we do take the time to get in touch with what we’re feeling somebody wants sex, a cookie or Peppa the Pig turned on. We go to bed exhausted, thrive on a few hours of sleep and get up the next morning and do it all over again.  It leads to stress and more stress. When we finally explode or end up sick because we haven’t dealt with anything, we’re looked at as if we’re crazy.  Nobody saw it coming, because it’s our job to hold it down and together
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Anger and stress can cause hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, it can lead to depression and a host of other health issues.  Ladies, we must learn to deal with our anger and stress before it starts affecting our health.  Don’t pretend that you don’t feel angry, stressed or get overwhelmed at times.  Parenting and managing a home are huge responsibilities.  It gets the best of us at times and we should feel no shame.  


Here are a few tips that I have incorporated into my life to reduce anger and stress:


Exercise – Walking or hitting the treadmill is a great way to work off stress and anger.  A walk through the neighborhood, park or your apartment complex is good.  


Remove yourself from people and situations that are not healthy – You know who and what I’m talking about. Lets face it, some people can be toxic. They complain all day and all night.  There’s no happiness within and there never will be.  Run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.  


Accept that you can’t help everybody – There are many people in need, unfortunately we can’t help them all.  I’ve learned that the world is full of people who are down on their luck, but there are also people who don’t want to help themselves.  They would rather have others work and take care of them.  Place your focus on you and your family.


Get proper rest – I’ve found that I don’t need as much sleep as I used to.  Imagine that.  I used to need at least 8 hours, but I can function on 6 or 7 now.  I need that extra hour to blog!


Find a hobby and spend a few hours a week working on it – I unplug and turn to scrapbooking, gardening or reading a magazine or book.  I also enjoy playing games on-line.  


Discuss how you’re feeling with the person you’re angry with or discuss it with your husband, significant other or a girlfriend – Don’t ignore your stress or anger.  Talk about it and leave it on the table.  Sometimes just having someone to listen is all we need.   


What techniques do you use to de-stress or release anger or frustration?  Please share so we can possibly incorporate them into our lives.  


Photo courtesy of clipart101.net