13 Money-Saving stress relief activities for busy moms
You might have watched a TV series where, when a mom is stressed out, so she books a day at the spa or a weekend away with the gals.
Or maybe she registers for a high-price and trendy yoga class or simply washes the stress away with some fancy-schmancy martinis. Oh, and don’t forget the shopping spree because there’s nothing like spending a bunch of money to get rid of all your worries.
Clearly, you’ve got many options for relieving your stress when you LIVE on television.
But that’s not our reality, is it?
In fact, it’s probably almost no one’s reality, so understand that you’re definitely not alone in wondering how those ladies do it.
In fact, none of the above are mentioned are possible for the mom on the budget. These might sound fascinating but are not ways to stress relief for stay-at-home moms.
And if you’re overworked, overextended, and frazzled, overspending is no way to get yourself back on track. So banish that thought immediately.
In this article, I’m going to share with you some simple stress-busting ideas for stay-at-home moms or even working moms that are affordable to do without breaking a bank.
First Remember This: If Mom is Not Happy, Nobody is Happy
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~ Tenneva Jordan
You’ve probably heard the saying, “If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy,” but have you really thought about what it means? We, mothers, try to do everything for everyone else, often leaving ourselves feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. That stress, in turn, affects our loved ones – the very people we are living each day for.
Think about it. If you’re stressed out, worrying about all the things you have to do each day, it affects the kids. You rush them, you get impatient and they start to feel that stress too.
So even if you feel you can’t reduce your stress just for your sake, realize that when you’re stressed out, it negatively impacts those who are around you.
Still feeling overwhelmed with kids screaming, plus general household responsibilities, and you have a recipe for extremely high levels of stress. Here’s my FREE E-Book that teaches you “How to become a Calm And Happy Mom” when everything drives you crazy.
With that in mind, let’s learn how to help a stressed parent!
So tell me, what coping skills for moms do you adopt when you don’t have a bunch of money to spare to have fun and relieve your stress?
Well, unless there are some serious issues you don’t need expensive therapy and there’s no reason to shell out a bunch of cash for high-price exercise classes.
We’ve got a number of great ways for moms to relax to prove they can beat that stress without breaking the budget.
13 Stress reducing activities for busy moms on a budget
A stressed mom is an unhappy mom. If you’re feeling frazzled, frustrated, or drained from the daily grind of being a busy mom that has sucked the life out of you, you’re not alone. We all are in your shoes!
Learn some simple stress relievers for busy moms tips from a mom who has been in your shoes.
Be Positive and Express Gratitude
Sometimes it’s hard to do, but when you start your day in a positive frame of mind and are thankful for the things you do have (and you almost certainly have plenty), it’s much easier to face what the day throws in your face.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie
Each morning and throughout the day, remind yourself what you are grateful for. Whether it’s your children, your spouse, the roof over your head, or the food on your table, you have plenty to be thankful for.
Maybe it’s your career, a special friend, or a beloved pet. When you remember those little things, you have a much more positive outlook that takes you through the day.
The great thing is, gratitude and appreciation cost you absolutely nothing. In fact, staying positive makes you healthier and probably means you’ll save a ton on Advil and other self-medication. Take a moment each day to remember what you’re grateful for and it makes just about everything else more bearable.
You can write things that you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal or simply buy a notebook that reminds you of everything you need to feel happy about.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
“Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
Please don’t do this to yourself! Please!
It’s one of the worst things you can do to yourself…comparing yourself to someone else.
You see the mom who looks great and does it all, and you think that you should be like that as well.
The problem is, we’re not all the same and you have no idea what that woman’s life is really like. All you know is who you are, so be you.
I have seen parents comparing their kids to others as well. When you compare yourself or your kids with others, you will always have this self-deprivation that you are lesser than the others giving you this stay-at-home mom stress. while being contented gives you peace of mind.
Learn to Say No
For me, this is one of the most unwinding activities and a source of stress relief for stay-at-home moms!
We moms are notorious for being people-pleasers, aren’t we?
If we’re asked to volunteer at school, we do it without question. If a neighbor needs a favor, of course, we do it. Added to that, we’re constantly running around for our families and putting our own individual needs last.
It really doesn’t make sense, does it?
We teach our children to think for themselves, to do what’s right for them, and yet we don’t do it for ourselves.
It’s time we stand up and be role models, right?
When it comes to people asking you to help out, consider the following before simply saying yes like you might normally do.
- Don’t say yes right away. Let the person know you’ll get back to them. Give yourself time to consider because there’s nothing worse than saying yes right away and regretting it five minutes later.
- Don’t let flattery get the best of you. Sure, you might be a great organizer or baker, but there are plenty of other people out there with the same skills who can do that job. It doesn’t always have to be you.
- Drop the guilt. We have a lot of people demanding our time and some will make us feel guilty because we don’t offer enough of it. If you are truly neglecting someone, then you may need to take that into consideration. But in most cases, you have to realize you are only one person and you can only do what you can do.
Now that you know that you have the power to say no, it’s time to look at everything you already have on your plate.
Redo your Schedule and Your To-Do List
“One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Another one of the stress-reducing activities a mom can do on a budget is to make some serious changes to her current schedule. Stress often comes from over-commitment and doing too much.
Slash those commitments and ask for help.
If you’re someone who likes to make to-do lists and feel good when you’re crossing each item off that list, you’d feel even better when most of your list is crossed off, right?
Well, the secret to that is easy. Make a shorter to-do list. Most of the things we put on our to-do lists aren’t really essential. They might be nice to have, but not essential.
It is okay to let things go a little. If the floor isn’t sparkling, the kids will still thrive. If the garage is in a bit of disarray, the sun still shines the very next day.
Give yourself a break and schedule less in your day. Having a me-time is very important to make you feel better and you’ll have more time to appreciate all those precious moments that come from living and enjoying life.
Let your Kids Do their Own Chores
Today’s mom is a superhero who does everything for her family, but often to her own detriment. For goodness sakes, it’s time for our children to experience some independence and responsibility.
“Your child will be better prepared to tackle the bumps on the road of life if he has been given the gift of guided independence.” ~ Jacquie McTaggart
Obviously, how much free range you give your children, will depend on their age and maturity. But chances are, if you’re like many mothers, you aren’t giving your kids the credit they deserve.
Give them a little freedom to do things for themselves like walking to and from school, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Children should be given daily chores and their responsibilities should increase as they get older, especially if they expect more allowance. People don’t get raises at work simply because they’re getting older, but rather because they have more responsibilities, so don’t budge on that one.
Here are Age Appropriate Chores For Kids 1 – 11+ years that you can look for as a guide to teach your kids to do a few household chores themselves.
You can teach your children to:
- Make their school lunches
- Help with dinner or make a weekly meal if they are old enough
- Do the dishes
- Help with laundry
- Take out the garbage
- Organize the recycling
- Feed and care for pets
- Be responsible for their own darned rooms!
Raising responsible, kind, and smart children means they’ll be able to take care of themselves when they reach adulthood. Teach them those important things now and you’ll prepare them for success in the future.
Plus, it means that mom doesn’t have to work so darned hard every day. It is more difficult for a working mom with stress depression to handle everything on her own. That’s when a family should step in.
But it can be difficult to make them do the work without creating drama in your home, right?
Here’s how to Get Your Kids to Do Chores Without the Drama!
Have Some Me-Time Everyday (or atleast on weekends)
If you approach your day in a go, go, go fashion, then you’re probably killing your productivity. Make yourself more efficient by taking a little bit of personal time each day.
When your brain gets a break, it functions a whole lot better when it’s working.
“Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.” ~ Marvin Cohen
Some ideas for taking time for yourself:
- Stop to eat your lunch and don’t do anything else. Eat mindfully and enjoy your food and quiet time.
- Go for a walk. Fresh air is a great rejuvenator.
- Sit down and relax. Just 15 minutes of taking a load off and doing almost nothing is good for you. Really!
- Take a bubble bath; give yourself a pedicure or something else you enjoy.
- Have a skincare session at home to give yourself a nice me-time.
If you can’t seem to find enough time in the day to do these things, then make the changes you need to make it happen because everyone deserves a little bit of time to themselves each day.
Looking for some other ideas? Here are 13 Ways To Invest In Yourself As A Mom!
Ask for your spouse’s support or talk to your children and make it work. Older children can care for younger children. If you only have younger children, set them up with an activity and ask them to give you a little bit of “mommy time on a budget.”
Tell them that if you can have that bit of time, you will be able to do something they’d like right afterward. Whether it’s going to a playground, playing a game, or doing a craft, reward them for letting you reward yourself.
Trust me! This is one of the best stress relief ideas for moms!
Find Some Like Minded Girlfriends
It’s easy to get caught up in our family life with children, our spouses, and all the obligations that come with all that. When I hear about moms telling me they haven’t talked to any of their girlfriends in a long time, my heart breaks.
“Friendship is one mind in two bodies.” ~ Mencius
We all need someone who understands how we feel, to chat with, and to just have fun with. We’re women and we need the company and support of other women.
Make it a priority to keep in touch and see your girlfriends regularly. Even if you can’t get out of the house, arrange a little at-home get-together when the kids have gone to sleep.
You need adult time, and while your spouse should definitely be included in plenty of your adult time you do need to keep your other friendships alive too.
It’s important to surround Yourself With Positive People to cope with the mom stress you’re going through in life.
Get a Relaxing Massage From Your Spouse
See, I didn’t leave your partner out of the equation :D. They are a very important part of your staying happy and stress-free.
I’m sure we’d all love to get to the spa and get a nice, but often overpriced, couples massage, but it’s not in the cards for us. So read up on how to provide a great massage. Get some massage oils and massage tools and have some fun with them.
Massages are great for stress relief, ease pain and tension, help control your blood pressure, and can give you an immunity boost. All these things are good for your overall health and help create a happier and less stressed you. Plus, it can be a whole lot of fun, so go for it.
Sometimes when we’re stressed out, the last thing on our minds is sex. In fact, it can seem quite unappealing when we’re tired and just want to get to sleep.
But just like how we may not feel like exercising when we’re stressed out, it’s really one of the best things for us. Say yes more often and watch the daily stress wither away.
Did you know?
- Sex burns 300 calories per hour? Okay, most of use probably won’t be going for a full hour, but it’s good for your waistline for sure.
- It boosts your immune system. A study of college students in Pennsylvania found that those who had sex once or twice per week had increased immuniglobin A.
- It might help you live longer. In different studies, it has been reported that regular sex can boost your longevity.
And the best thing of all is sex is absolutely free. You’ll never break the budget having more sex, so enjoy.
Exchange Babystitting Service With A Friend
If you’re constantly saying you never get out because you can’t afford a babysitter, forget about that excuse. Certainly, there is someone in your life who also feels trapped at home because it’s too expensive to pay someone responsible to care for the children.
Now, instead of both of you feeling sorry for yourselves, why not exchange babysitting services so you can each get much-needed regular breaks?
Get a free babysitter, so you can:
- Go on a date with your spouse or significant other. You need time together without the kids because it’s your relationship that holds the family together. If you happen to be single, maybe it’s time to meet someone new and enjoy some time out.
- Meet with a friend. Go for coffee or bring homemade appetizers to share at her house. And if you brought a bottle of wine to share, no one should bat an eye. Just make sure to get a safe ride home.
- Use the time to get errands done, all by yourself. Now, I think it’s better if you spend your alone time having fun, but I completely understand the excitement of getting groceries without someone begging to buy everything that catches their eye. Or maybe it’s the opportunity to try on some new clothes for yourself, without fear that your little one will escape under the change room door and run for her life.
It’s a win-win situation for all. You get your time and your family or friend gets her own time. What’s not to love about that?
Declutter and Get Organized
Multiple studies have shown that the clutter in your house is equal to more stress in your life, especially for women.
I don’t know about other moms, but I find it therapeutic when I declutter my house. It feels different when I just run a scheduled clean and lit some candles by the end of the day, looking at a clean house.
Here’s my favorite and one of the best courses to teach you how to organize your home by Hillary.
This feeling is different and a stress reliever for a stay-at-home-mom like me. Unless you are entirely unaffected by chaos, the more stuff you have to manage as a stay-at-home mom, the more stress you will feel.
After decluttering, my small home feels so much bigger! If you want some decluttering inspirations, check out these posts to help you get started:
- How To Declutter Your Home In A Weekend
- How To Keep A Clean House As A Busy Mom
- 9 Ways On How To Make Your Apartment Feel Like Home
Do At Home Exercises (No-Gym Required)
I hear it all the time: “I really need to join a gym, so I can finally get some exercise.”
Where did the notion that exercise is all about cardio machines and weights come from? There are many ways you can incorporate a health and fitness routine for moms that don’t involve paying someone a monthly fee to use equipment in a crowded room.
You can participate in a variety of sports, walk and ride a bike. It’s a great opportunity to explore new things you’ve never done and whether it’s summer or winter, there are plenty of activities to enjoy.
If you happen to like the equipment you find in gyms, you can make your own home gym, too. An exercise ball and a few weights don’t cost too much money and can provide you with enough to get a very good workout at home.
If you’re looking for cardio machines, you can probably find some used ones on websites like craigslist.com.
You can also work to incorporate physical fitness in your everyday life, instead of simply making it an extra chore. Walk or ride a bike instead of taking the car on local errands or tasks.
If you’re looking for home exercises, here are 7 Best at Home Workouts for Busy Moms to Look and Feel Great
Whether it’s to school, the store down the road, or soccer practice, making it a habit is not only good for your health, it’s also good for the pocketbook. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk during your lunch hour.
Be mindful of the opportunities your day presents to you and you’ll find new ways to get physical throughout the day.
We’re bombarded constantly with digital media all day long. We have our iPhones, and we’re connected to our computers.
Then, in the evening, we settle down to watch some TV, play Farmville, or some other digital pursuit without really communicating with our family members, who are also plugged into some other digital devices.
Make an effort to get unplugged and stop all those things that beep at us constantly, disrupting everything we’re doing. Whether you unplug in the evenings or choose an unplugged day for your family, there are many benefits.
You’ll be able to focus on those things you’ve been meaning to get done, and if the family is all unplugged you might be surprised at the fun and connection you can all have together.
Remember, It All Starts with You
No matter what you do from here, remember that relieving the stress you have is all up to you. You can blame your jerk boss or that pesky PTA President who keeps asking you to help with just about everything, but it’s up to you to decide if you need a change.
You’re already a take-charge mom who has a lot on her plate. Move all those unnecessary things over and put taking care of your wellness on that plate.
If you’re already doing a thousand things each and every day, certainly you can banish the stress for your life, too.
When you learn to say no and reprioritize your daily life, you’ll find more time for the things that bring you happiness and joy. You know, you really can have it all…you just need to define what “having it all” really means.
Final Thoughts on Affordable Stress Relief Ideas For Moms
This post could only touch the surface of how to reduce stress as a stay-at-home mom. Stress comes from so many different places that I couldn’t address every stressor we face as moms. For further reading on topics, I didn’t address here see the related articles below: