5 Basic Lifestyle Choices for Nourishing Mama’s Mental Health

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP

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Small Shifts in Your Lifestyle CHoices Can make All the Difference in Your Mood and Wellbeing, Mama

Motherhood can be overwhelming and it can take a toll on our mental health. Juggling household chores, work responsibilities, and raising kids can leave us feeling drained and burnt out. It is important to take care of our mental well-being to avoid reaching a point of exhaustion.

Fortunately, there are some simple lifestyle choices that we can make to nourish our mental health. In this blog post, we will explore some of the effective strategies that you can use to nourish your mind and improve your overall well-being.

1. Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining good mental health. When we are sleep deprived, we cannot think clearly, we become irritable and we are prone to mood swings. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night will help you feel refreshed and energized throughout the day. 

To improve the quality of your sleep, establish a bedtime routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and create a relaxing environment in your bedroom.

Avoid using electronic devices before bedtime, as the blue light can interfere with your body’s natural production of melatonin. 

Other activities such as journaling, stretching, taking a bath, or drinking a warm beverage also work to send a signal to your body that it is time for sleep. The key is to choose activities that are easy to make into a habit.

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2. Movement

Physical activity is not only important for our physical health, but it also plays a crucial role in our mental well-being. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Find a type of physical activity that you enjoy and try to incorporate it into your daily routine. This could be anything from yoga to walking to weightlifting. Even a short 10-minute walk can help clear your mind and improve your mood.

exercise equipment for positive lifestyle choices

3. Reducing Alcohol and Caffeine Intake

Alcohol and caffeine are known to have a negative impact on our mental health. They can disrupt our sleep patterns, elevate anxiety levels, and lead to feelings of depression.

While caffeine can provide a much-needed boost of energy, it is important to consume it in moderation. Try to limit your caffeine intake to 1-2 cups of coffee per day and avoid drinking it in the afternoon. If you find that you are relying on alcohol or caffeine to cope with stress, consider seeking professional help.

4. Implementing a Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness is a practice that involves keeping our attention focused on the present moment. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and it can help us manage stress more effectively. For a full list of benefits, check out our blog post here.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindful walking. Experiment with different methods and find one that works for you.

Members of the Matrescence Community have access to videos of guided meditations and breathing exercises, journal prompts, and exercise specialists to help you get started on your journey to making more mindful-based lifestyle choices. 

5. Nourishing your Body with Whole Foods and Specific Nutrients

Eating a healthy diet is crucial for maintaining good physical and mental health. Focus on consuming whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Incorporating specific nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin D, can also help support your mental health. Consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine which nutrients you may be lacking and the best sources for them.

Conclusion

As mothers, it is easy to forget to prioritize our own mental health. By making simple lifestyle choices, such as getting more sleep, engaging in physical activity, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, implementing a mindfulness practice, and nourishing our bodies with whole foods and specific nutrients, we can improve our overall well-being.

Remember, taking care of ourselves is not selfish, but rather it allows us to better take care of our families.

Want more education and support to make healthy lifestyle changes?  Join our membership to unlock our top secrets to coping with stress and anxiety while managing family responsibilities.

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Lauren Hays, PMHNP

Lauren Hays, PMHNP

Lauren was a licensed and trained registered nurse in the NICU and has since made a career shift to focus on mental health. Lauren is now a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, focusing on women’s health and wellness. She is a mom of three precious little men who has turned her pain into passion.

mother with eyes closed pressing her face up against her infant to calm her anxious feelings

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