Yesterday was rough. R O U G H. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and wasn’t able to shake my grumpy mood until around dinner time. It was a complete day wasted focusing on doom and gloom instead of being thankful that my family and I are healthy and safe together at home. So what got me around to smiling (other than a cocktail at happy hour)? Putting together this list of 15 Instant Mood Boosters for Moms—and then actually DOING some. It’s crazy how simple things activities can get you out of a rut, even when your mind goes to “the dark place” like mine did yesterday. Be sure to share this list of Instant Mood Boosters for Moms with friends and pin it to your Pinterest board for those “blah” days.
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Take a time out.
I know this might be challenging for those amazing single moms out there, but taking a time out can do WONDERS for your mindset. Yesterday when I could feel like I was going to lose it on my kids, I knocked on the door to my husband’s office and said “Tag, you’re it” and took 20 minutes to myself. It was sheer bliss just being alone and I felt so refreshed when I went back to “mom duties.” Don’t have a partner to rely on? Then find something your child can do independently (here are some activity suggestions), set that up, and then take your time out.
Even if it is cold and gloomy (the Chicago weather REALLY needs to get its act together), bundle up and get outside. Just taking a few deep breaths of fresh air out the window can do WONDERS for your psyche. These hiking trails are great, but just be sure to check and see if they are still open and maintain a safe distance from other hikers.
Watch something that makes you laugh.
While all the screens in your home might be spewing dark and depressing news, they can also provide things that make you laugh so hard you have to check your undies. Whether you are a fan of friends, you have a thing for viral cat videos, or you love the Covid memes like me, find something to make you laugh. And don’t hold it in. Belly laugh so hard that you wake up the dog.
Pet a furry friend.
Speaking of pets, my sweet dog has been the ULTIMATE source of comfort on these dark days. Simply snuggling up with her and petting her makes me feel better. And as long as I’m not disturbing her naps too much, she loves the extra attention, too. No dog? Then cute dog videos like this will have to do until you can get close to your neighbor’s furry friend.
Work Up a Sweat.
I will NEVER be that person who tags you in fitness challenges on social media, but I will either go on a run outside if the weather allows, try out some realistic workout videos at home, and of course do my own yoga practice while my Wednesday morning class is on hiatus. Working up a sweat gets endorphins flowing, so lace up your shoes for a brisk walk, check out some of the many mom-appropriate workout videos available on Instagram, or simply do some jumping jacks with your kiddos. Every little bit of physical activity helps.
Do Something Nice for Someone Else.
It is a scientific fact that helping others ALSO helps you. Not only does it make you happy, it can also lower blood pressure, help with chronic pain, and make the world a better place. So take a moment to donate to your local food pantry or other favorite charity (here is a list of our favorite charities in Chicagoland) or simply do something to cheer up a friend. During quarantine we have gone on “car wave parties” to friends’ houses and don’t let birthdays pass without us decking out our car and singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY as obnoxiously as we can to friends and family who are celebrating birthdays during this difficult time.
Treat Yo’ Self.
This one is my favorite. Why? Because so often we try to limit the treats in our life because we think they might be too expensive, have too many calories, or take up too much time. Ignore the guilt and TREAT YO’ SELF. I LOVE chocolate so incredibly much and every morning of quarantine I have secretly enjoyed a Fannie May Pixie in bed with a hot cup of coffee before dealing with the day. I have also got into the habit of taking baths again—with bath bombs—and it is the perfect way to unwind after a day of homeschooling and trying to maintain my career. Simply painting your nails can be a treat.
Do some screen-free reading.
While I want people to check out my blog posts and social media feeds, there is nothing like reading something ON PAPER. It’s a break for your eyes and I honestly think you feel more connected to a writer or photographer when you are enjoying their work IN PRINT. So tackle the magazines that have been piling up on your nightstand or open up the best-seller you bought way back but never took the time to read. Have a kiddo who loves to read? Snuggle up and have a book marathon—it will be so good for BOTH of you, especially if you read these relaxing favorites.
Set a relaxing mood.
You know how when you walk into a spa it feels like a sanctuary? Create that environment at home! Play soft music, light scented candles that you love (Gathered Boutique and Workshop has the absolute BEST ones), dim the lights, etc. Create a relaxing environment and I swear everyone in your home will become more subdued and relaxed.
Dance it out.
Introduce your kids to the amazingness that is 90’s music and have an impromptu dance party. Friday night is dance party night in our house, complete with a disco ball and silly outfits, but just ten minutes of dancing in the kitchen to your favorite songs provides an instant mood boost.
Phone a friend.
Not a text. Not Facetime (I mean, are people still wearing make up right now?). Call. Talk. Enjoy.
Take a nap.
This might be the hardest thing to do on this list of Instant Mood Boosters for Moms but taking a nap—even just “resting your eyes” for a few minutes can do WONDERS. I know it is hard to rest when the baby is napping because of ALL THE THINGS on a mom’s plate, but catching a few extra winks will make you feel like a supermom.
I mean, there’s a reason why it is so hard to find flour right now. Baking is therapeutic. Whether you bake cookies, a cake, or banana bread, it can be such a relaxing way to ignore the stress of the outside world and create something deliciously perfect.
Write down a blessing.
I have written before about How to Raise Grateful Kids, and right now we ALL need a reminder of things to be grateful for. Even if you don’t have a Gratitude Journal, you can write down a list of blessings you have each and every day. For me, it is having a healthy family, being able to pull back on work responsibilities, and knowing that my family and friends are doing their best to flatten the curve.
Give someone a hug.
As long as you aren’t quarantined alone, this is one of the EASIEST things on this list to complete and it will do wonders for both you and your family. Hug, hug, hug.
Hope this list of Instant Mood Boosters for Moms helps you navigate this uncertain time. For more self-care ideas, check out this list.
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