Movement is Mama Medicine: How Exercise and Movement Relieve Stress and Tension

Movement is Mama Medicine: How Exercise and Movement Relieve Stress and Tension

Bringing your bundle of joy home comes with a rollercoaster of emotions ‚Äď from the highest highs to the lowest lows. When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, the instinct can be to curl up in a ball on the couch and wish it away (we've been there many times). However, the best thing you can do is to get up, move those muscles, and get your endorphins flowing. Your endorphins are natural hormones released when you do pleasurable activities such as eating, exercising, and that thing you did to make a baby :). They alleviate pain, lower stress, improve mood, and enhance your sense of well-being and self-love‚Äďsomething we can all use more of.

Now, we get it. The thought of squeezing in a workout when you're already juggling a gazillion priorities and running on baby-induced sleep deprivation might sound as likely as a unicorn sighting. But trust us, taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it's a necessity. Let's face it, a happy and healthy mama means a happy and healthy family. Your secret to surviving the chaos can be as simple as a brisk stroll around the neighborhood or dancing in the kitchen (even when everyone is watching). 

While movement and exercise can significantly benefit physical and mental well-being, it's crucial to acknowledge that not all mothers may experience the same effects. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious condition that affects many women after childbirth. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that 6.5% to 20% of women experience PPD, which most commonly occurs within 6 weeks after childbirth. 

If you find yourself experiencing severe mood swings, frequent crying spells, persistent anxiety, or difficulty sleeping, it's essential to take action and seek appropriate help. We urge you to prioritize your mental health and well-being by contacting your primary healthcare provider or obstetrician/gynecologist. They can provide the support and resources necessary to navigate this challenging time. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. You're not alone; support is available to help you through this journey. Your health and happiness matter, and taking proactive steps toward seeking assistance is a vital part of self-care for you and your baby.

Now that we've addressed PPD and the signs to watch out for let's get moving on how to shake off stress and overwhelm the next time they sneak up on you. We've put together a list of insights and fun reminders on the importance of busting out your own version of Mommy Moves:

Why Exercise is Your Secret Weapon:

  1. Endorphin Euphoria: Move your body, and let those endorphins, the body's natural mood elevators, flood your system. It's like a burst of sunshine for your soul, reducing stress one happy chemical at a time.
  2. Cortisol Calm-Down: Exercise is your stress-busting hero, lowering those pesky cortisol levels that can skyrocket during times of stress. Keep those stressors at bay and your cortisol levels balanced with a good sweat session.
  3. Sleepy-Time Serenade: Say goodbye to sleepless nights as regular exercise invites better quality sleep to the party. A well-rested mama is a stress-resistant mama.
  4. Dance Away Distractions: There is truth to the phrase "Dance like no one's watching." (Even though we like to dance when everyone IS watching!) Moving your body can distract you from the million worries buzzing in your head, providing a mental break and promoting relaxation.
  5. Happy Hormones: Exercise is your mood-boosting elixir, stimulating the production of serotonin and dopamine. Embrace the joyous side effects, making you a happier mama.
  6. Mind-Body Magic: Dive into mindful movement with activities like yoga or tai chi, connecting your mind and body. Breathe, stretch, and let the stress melt away. 
  7. Mommy Mixer: Exercise isn't just about burning calories; it's also an opportunity for social interaction. Join mommy and me classes or stroller meetups for a dose of social magic. Because laughter is the best medicine.
  8. Chillax Mode:¬†Stretch, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation ‚Äď it's not just exercise; it's a journey to physical relaxation.¬†Throw in some warm therapy, and¬†you've got the ultimate recipe for unwinding.

 

Buddy Up to Better Health:

You can turn your exercise routine into a family affair, too! From mommy and me swim lessons to mom and baby yoga, make those workouts a bonding experience. It's not just good for you; it's setting the stage for your family to establish healthy habits for years to come.

So, dear Mama, put on those workout shoes, cue the baby¬†playlist,¬†and let the Mommy Moves revolution begin. When you commit to being a better version of yourself, you're not just doing it for yourself ‚Äď you're doing it for your mini-me, too.¬†

Happy Mama, happy baby, happy family! ūüí™ūüĎ∂ūüĆą