While parenting is rewarding and filled with many joyful moments, at Ovia we know that there are also many stressful and downright exhausting points along the way. That’s why we hosted a virtual event all about stressing less with tips and tools to help you prioritize self-care, brought to you by our partners: Airwick, Beyond Yoga, & Enfamil.
We meditated with Faith Hunter, learned about the importance of sleep with Angela Holliday-Bell, and participated in a healing, positive affirmation exercise with Leasa Wright.
Here are the most important moments from the event, hosted by Denise Albert, in case you weren’t able to attend.
A short, guided meditation session with Faith Hunter
Breath work gives us the ability to center ourselves. Faith led us in a breathing exercise that you can do at home; here’s how:
- Take your right hand, close your index and middle finger towards your palm
- Take your right thumb and use it to close your right nostril
- Breath in through your left nostril
- Close off your left nostril with your ring finder
- Release your right nostril
- Exhale through your right nostril
- Inhale through your right nostril
- Close it off
- Exhale through your left nostril
- Inhale through your left nostril
Stress management & self-care with Dinah Eke, Amanda McKay, and Brooke Davis
Dinah, Amanda, and Brooke discussed the importance of taking small moments in the middle of the day to be mindful. Check in with yourself: How are you feeling? Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting a little movement? Are you getting outside? Take a little time for yourself.
When it comes to practical ways to destress, there are two options: address the stress head-on or escape it through distraction.
Dinah offered some advice about the way list-making helps her de-stress. Just writing down the thoughts that are leading to stress when the kids are asleep can make it feel more manageable. And when you just need to escape the stress, Amanda recommends distracting yourself away by getting outside, listening to a podcast, or just laying down for a moment.
When the mom guilt creeps up on you, remember: you are doing a fantastic job. It’s OK to take time for yourself, to feel overwhelmed by your kids, to have hard days. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you’re feeling. These feelings don’t make you less of a parent or less of a caregiver.
And remember, it’s OK to bring other people into the conversation. Ask for help from family and friends. Ask for flexibility from your manager.
Self-care tips from Amanda McKay, Self-Care Coach for Moms
- Schedule it
- Ask for help
- Remember you need and deserve a break
- It’s ok to set boundaries and say no
Wellness check with Elaine Bishop
Signs that you are experiencing an amount of stress that could be damaging to your mental health:
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness
- Difficulty enjoying things you used to enjoy
- Relationship changes: Are you having more trouble reading other people’s social signals? Are you declining social invitations more than usual?
- Appetite changes: Are you experiencing significant increased or decreased appetite?
- Substance use: Are you turning to drink more often than before? Are you developing feelings of dependence?
- Thoughts of harming yourself
If you are feeling any of these feelings, know that there is help. Try contacting the National Alliance on Mental Illness either by phone at: 1800-950-6264 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips from physician and sleep specialist, Dr. Holliday-Bell
Many parents find quality sleep to be a bit evasive, but the first step to getting better sleep is prioritizing better sleep. Dr. Holliday-Bell outlined a few specific tips:
- Decide on a bedtime and wake time
- Stick to a consistent schedule (weekends count too!)
- Create a relaxing, 30-60 min bedtime routine
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool
- Master a relaxation technique (like deep breathing)
Breath work and affirmation practice with Leasa Wright
We closed out Stressless Fest with a series of affirmations from Leasa Wright. To practice this at home, close your eyes and think of a happy memory or a happy place. Then repeat out loud to yourself:
- I live in my truth
- I boldly and freely express myself
- I follow my dreams
- I welcome goodness; I welcome love
This may feel uncomfortable at first, but after a few rounds of these affirmations, the Stressless Fest attendees felt calmer, lighter, and more confident. We hope you will too!
Sponsored by Airwick, Enfamil, and Beyond Yoga