Busy mums know the importance of relaxing, but often it's easier said than done. Here are 20 ways to help you chill out.
It's almost impossible not to unwind in a warm bath. Turn down the lights and light some scented candles so you don't notice that the grout could use a hit with Spray'n'Wipe.
Just taking five minutes to enjoy a cup of tea (ideally herbal) can do wonders to wash away the stress. Drinking it hot will be a bonus.
Research the basics of meditating and make this an essential part of your day. Try to remove all thoughts and emotions from your mind by concentrating on your breathing. It's not easy to do, but with some practice you'll start feeling the positive effects.
You don't need hippy, whale-mating sounds to relax you. If rocking out to music you listened to as a 15-year-old helps you escape, then do it.
It's hard to feel stressed-out when watching a funny, chick-flick. Laughing releases endorphins that fight stress and help you to relax.
Many new mums stay up late to get chores done or to preserve precious time for themselves. But you need your sleep go to bed when you're tired. The chores can wait another day.
Book yourself a massage. A professional massage is best – some massage therapists will come to your house if you can't leave the baby, but even just a shoulder rub from your partner will help you relax.
How often have friends or family offered to help and you've said, "No, I'll be fine." Start taking up those offers – people don't offer unless they really want to help. Let someone get the groceries, run the vacuum around or help get on top of the laundry pile.
When life seems overwhelming, try to focus on the beauty in everything. Once you tune into it, you'll notice it all around you and acknowledging it feels good.
Stress can be contagious, so avoid spending too much time with people who leave you feeling strung-out. Surround yourself with supportive, upbeat, fun people. It will rub off on you.
Make a list of tasks for the day, then organise by importance. If you learn to spend your time more productively, you'll have more free time to relax.
Cut back on sugar and caffeine, and stock up on fresh fruit and vegies. The vitamin hit will relieve stress.
Exercise is the best known, scientifically proven way to significantly reduce stress. Pop your baby in the pram and start eacgh day with a long walk. The fresh air and exercise will make you both feel great.
Escape into the pages of a good book. Having a break from the stresses in your life is important.
Practice some basic yoga moves every day. Yoga relaxes your body as well as helping you get those killer abs.
Sure, you breathe all the time, but take your time to breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this ten times and feel the tension disappear.
Try to spend some time every day near a beach, river or lake. The calming sounds of water are very soothing.
Be aware of the tension that can easily build up in your shoulders. Lowering your shoulders will instantly make you feel more relaxed.
A hobby will get your mind off the things that normally stress you out. You may just need a project to concentrate on every now and then. It could be gardening, sewing, painting or a sport you love to take part in.
This may sound like the opposite of relaxing, but putting off tasks that you know need doing can stress you out. Make a plan to work out how to fit them in around your baby and get to it. The feeling of satisfaction you'll get will outweigh any stress caused by not doing them.