I need a mental health day... I'm sure there are other Moms out there who get to a point where they don't know what to do with all of the stress and consider running for the hills. I am there today, and while running for the hills isn't really an option, I am on the right track.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. I just read an article from the Mayo Clinic that explains the mental health benefits of exercise. First of all, the activity increases your endorphins which are feel-good chemicals in your body. So, instant mood lifter!
The article goes on to mention that focusing on the activity you are performing will help to take your mind off of what is bothering you and provide a bit of clarity to the situation. I can definitely see where this works. When I go on a run I put my headphones on and listen to my own music and get lost in my thoughts. Most of the time when I'm finished running I have come up with another way to address the problem of the day.
The last thing the article talks about is that exercise helps improve your confidence and self image and is therefore an overall mood lifter. I'm going to take this a step further, I think exercise is also something you can control for yourself. As a Mom, I feel that most of my life is spent reacting to the needs of others, my kids, my husband, the dog... But, when I'm working out, I'm spending time devoted just to me. And, taking that little bit of the day for myself makes me a better wife and mommy.
So, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the pressures of life, take a walk, pop in a yoga dvd, or even do some push-ups or crunches, anything to get the blood flowing. You will be much happier for it!
I'm headed for the treadmill, catch you later!