EXCLUSIVE: Mother’s Diary: Expert lists ways on how working mothers can take care of their mental health

If your work breaks are often spent in the kitchen preparing snacks or meals, or you have to juggle your work calls and diaper changing sessions, it goes without saying you are working from home mom. While it might sound interesting to be able to spend time with your baby all day, it is nothing but a Herculean task. And all those who have a family to take care of will agree that working from home is not a blessing, but a disturbance.

The same goes for mothers who are busy juggling work and babies and have got no time for themselves. Me time is a myth, work breaks are no longer breaks and, instead, are even tougher. All this and more can definitely take a toll on the mental health of working mothers who are always worrying about the work tasks and daily chores.

However, ignoring one’s mental health is the worst thing one can do. And if you want a happy work and family life, it becomes all the more important to care a little more about your mind.

working mothers

Dr Chandni Tugnait, M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach and Founder-Director, Gateway of Healing, tells you that amidst all the emotional upheaval, taking care of mental health is extremely important to ensure you, as a parent, are more available for your child.

She lists ways that can help working mothers take care of their mental health.

Fix a time for self-care

Mothers should fix at least an hour every day (away from work and household chores) and allocate this time for their self-care. It’s important to stick to the commitment. This will leave them feeling refreshed and recharged, ready to deal with any emotional upheaval that comes along during the day. This also helps create boundaries between personal time, allowing one to regain energy before tackling other duties.

woman relaxing

Creative self-expression

Taking up some creative activity such as painting, dancing, singing or writing can help mothers de-stress after a long day at work/home. It gives them a space to express their feelings and emotions, helping them feel more in control.

Exercise daily

Exercise has many proven benefits for both physical and mental health. In fact, exercise has been proven to enhance mood, improve concentration, and relieve stress. Regular exercise has also been proven to increase energy levels and boost immunity as it boosts circulation and stimulates brain activity, which relaxes the mind and reduces stress levels by releasing endorphins.

exercise is must

Enjoy a healthy meal

Cooking usually helps with stress levels as it gives you something productive to focus on; however, not all working mothers have the time or inclination to prepare meals. A good balance of carbohydrates (containing essential nutrients such as B-complex vitamins, niacin and thiamine), proteins (an excellent source of energy) and fats (helpful in fighting depression) is necessary to keep your mind clear and spirits high. So, if you are going to grab a cup of coffee with a friend, go for a healthy wheat bread sandwich instead of a croissant. You will feel more satisfied if your meal consists of whole grains and fibre rather than processed food that is full of sugar.

Practice meditation and deep breathing

All you need is about 10 minutes of peace and quiet away from the rest of the world. Sit or lie down comfortably with both arms by your side, close your eyes to avoid distractions, breathe deeply as you clear your mind of all thoughts, and repeat a calming mantra (such as “I experience bliss”, “I am loved”, “AUM”, etc.) in your head, so, you don’t let your mind wander. Meditation allows working mothers to relax because it helps clear their minds of stress and other distractions that prevent them from achieving inner peace.

“Most importantly, give yourself permission to relax. While working mothers feel guilty each time, they take some time out for themselves, it is not selfish to give yourself permission to! The last thing you want to do is to break down because you are too stressed out to continue,” Tugnait says.

She adds that in case, the overwhelm is getting to you, seek support from an expert or mental health professional who can help you cope better and experience the joy of balanced life. 

Also Read: Mother’s Diary: Here is why you shouldn’t feel embarrassed for pursuing your dreams after embracing motherhood

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