In the world of moms, it’s no secret that motherhood is tough. Even the moms that put on a brave face for Facebook or maintain a perfect Pinterest page struggle. Perhaps one of the most challenging things to wrap our brains around is how becoming a mom can be filled with so much joy, and yet we can feel so incredibly sad too. For some of us, we feel like in gaining a child, we also lose a little part of ourselves, typically our identity before mom-life. But, there is no rule that says being a mom means you can’t do things that make you happy.
So, in honor of the International Day of Happiness (March 20th, in case you were wondering), try these four simple tips to become a happier mom now.
As much as we’d all love to pretend that mom-life is a breeze, trying to keep up appearances emotionally can drain you completely. Resist the urge to bottle up your negative feelings and ignore things like anger, sadness, disappointment, and frustration. Instead, look in the mirror and say out loud, “I am feeling tired and angry (or whatever emotion it is you’re feeling).” When you do this, you’re literally telling your brain that it can relax, you’re aware of what’s going on, and you are taking steps to work through your feelings.
Okay, so snagging a few extra ZZZ’s when you’re a mom is like asking a turtle to pick up the pace, but you can do it. Plus, less than 25 minutes is best anyway, so you don’t end up feeling sluggish. When you’re well-rested, you can handle things better (and with more patience), and the tendency to make mountains out of molehills decreases. If you’re having trouble settling into a quick slumber, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and focus on counting. Breathe in for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, then exhale for eight counts.
You know how it goes; treat others how you want them to treat you. Well, wouldn’t you like it if someone did something kind for you? Of course, you would! Doing nice things for others, especially when they least expect it, can also make you feel better about yourself. It’s a win-win, right? So challenge yourself to perform one random act of kindness every day. It doesn’t have to be huge; it could be as simple as holding the door open for someone at the store. Bonus: you’ll also set an excellent example for your kids to do the same.
Sometimes, all it takes is remembering the good things in life to renew our sense of happiness. Each day, take a few seconds to recognize something you are genuinely grateful for in your life. Whether you write it down in a gratitude journal or simply say it out loud, this practice helps you focus on the good instead of wallowing in the negative.
Your happiness is essential, momma, even if the concept is hard for you to accept right now. If you need some extra encouragement in this department, check out MamaZen's comprehensive “Be Happier” series on the app. You’ll find incredible, powerful sessions like ‘Be a Happier Momma’ and ‘Feel Good Taking “Me” Time.’ You’ll start to reframe the way you think about your happiness and learn to honestly believe that (in the words of Maybelline), hey, you’re worth it.
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