10 Mental Health Tips for IEP Moms

Mental Health Tips for Moms

Being an IEP mom is no easy task. In addition to all the other mom chores we do, we have the added burden of learning the cumbersome IEP process. And it’s a process that isn’t exactly parent friendly. It’s no wonder our mental health can decline.

Mental health should not be taken lightly. It is an important part of one’s wellbeing, yet it often goes overlooked. When moms are too busy taking care of their families, they can easily forget to care for themselves.

mom relaxing

Here are ten ways that moms can take care of their mental health.

Mental Health Care for Moms

Many mothers worry about how to take care of their mental health. Moms need to take care of their mental health, or it will affect them and their families in the future. 

It’s not easy to find time for yourself when you’re taking care of your family and working outside the home, but there are ways to find some balance. The most important thing is finding the time.

mom tying a child's hood

It may seem like there isn’t enough time in the day for everything, but there are ways to make time for yourself that don’t involve anything more than a few minutes. 

Moms in today’s society face a lot of pressure and stress. They’re expected to be the best mom, women, workers, and so much more.

To make matters worse, most moms don’t get enough sleep at night because they have to wake up in the middle of the night for one reason or another.

And when you combine lack of sleep with other aspects of motherhood, such as long work hours and limited social interactions, your mental health goes out the window! 

10 Mental Health Tips for Moms

When we take care of our mental health, we feel better and can be more present in life. As a mom, it is not easy to make time for ourselves and focus on our mental health. That’s why we need to make some changes in the way we live and work.

We don’t have to give up any of our responsibilities or obligations; instead, we need to find ways to take care of our mental health with the time that we have. Here are ten easy suggestions to help you get started! 

  1. Socialize-Socializing is important for mothers who are staying at home with their children. They need to have time to themselves, even while taking care of their children. Socializing with friends and loved ones is one of the things that helps to reduce stress levels. When a mother does not socialize, they can get depressed, lonely, or anxious. This often will lead to more severe mental illnesses. Try to find time to socialize as often as you can. This could be a playdate with another mom or calling your own mom on the phone. It is also important to connect with others who can provide support and understanding during difficult times, such as friends, family members, or professionals who specialize in helping parents with children having difficulties coping with an illness or other stressors in their lives.
  1. Active and Outdoors-“I know I need to work on my fitness, but I don’t have time.” Sound familiar? We all know that we should exercise and eat healthily, but it can be difficult to make time for the gym when you are busy caring for children. Exercise releases endorphins into the body, which are responsible for making us feel good and happy! Maybe you can do some kids’ yoga together or go for a jog with your baby in the stroller. There are lots of outdoors activities you can do with your autistic child.
  1. Be Kind to Yourself– This is something that most moms neglect. It is very important to care for your needs so you can also be there for your child. If you are not resting, eating properly, and taking care of your physical and mental health, you are not being kind to yourself or being the best mom you can be. There are different ways to be kinder to yourself as a mom – schedule time for self-care, take care of your physical health by eating right and exercising, take care of your mental health by finding ways to relax. Remember that it’s okay if you don’t have it all together. Give yourself plenty of grace, and do not feel guilty if you have a bad day. All we need to do as moms is to be a little better every day; we do not have to be perfect. 
  1. One Day at a Time-This is a phrase made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous, but it applies to so much in our lives. I know what it’s like to spend countless hours communicating with a school, fighting with an insurance company, or on hold trying to schedule a medical appointment. I’ve learned to count my accomplishments rather than focus on the list of things to still be done. You know what? Some days all I accomplish is writing down what I need to do, or a phone number. But tomorrow is another day. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and focus on the day. Remember that alcohol is not a healthy coping mechanism, but Moms have been socialized to think it is.
  1. Write in a Journal-Journaling is an excellent way to release pent-up energy and emotions, leading to better mental health overall. This is a great way to express your feelings and help you find the good in the day-to-day things of life. You can make a gratitude journal that will help you find joy even when things get hard. Or write in a regular journal and just release anything and everything in this safe place. 
  1. Schedule Time for Yourself-Schedule time to do things you enjoy or take care of personal needs, such as getting a manicure, going for a walk, or reading a book. Do not feel guilty about taking some time for yourself; you need this crucial time. Identify one thing that makes you happy and do it for five minutes every day. This is an easy way to start making time for yourself and practice self-care when you feel you will never have enough time. 
  1. Express Your Feelings-It is perfectly okay to express all your feelings, even the ones you feel guilty for. Motherhood is hard, and you do not have to like every aspect of it. It is okay to want a break or want to give up. You cannot bury those feelings, and often, as soon as you express them, you feel lighter and happier. Find someone you can trust and let out all the feelings you have buried inside of you. Try to do this daily or at least weekly so you can be free from those overwhelming thoughts. 
  1. Daily Meditation-Meditation has countless benefits, especially for your mental health. Meditation daily can help you start your day off on the right foot and help clear your mind to focus on the daily tasks at hand. The great thing about meditation is that you can always do a simple two-minute or five-minute one. Those often can make all the difference. Start small and go from there. You can even do mindfulness activities with your child or spouse.
woman meditating
  1. Unplug from Social Media-Unplug from social media and the world so you can tune into your thoughts and feelings instead. Social media can be so harmful to moms as it is so easy to compare to all the other moms you see who seem to be “handling life gracefully.” So, take a break! See how you feel. You will begin to feel refreshed and happier as you can focus on your family’s needs rather than get upset over things beyond your control. Remind yourself that what people share on social media is only their highlight reel.
  1. Declutter-Clutter, whether mental or physical, can hurt us. Not only do we feel like we live in a mess, but it also clogs us mentally. Try to declutter as often as you can. You do not have to get rid of things all the time, but every week try to go through just a few things to see what you don’t use anymore. Decluttering is a process, not a one-time event. Tackle that project that has been on your to-do list for weeks now. Organizing will give you a sense of control and accomplishment and help you see your progress as the task is completed.

There is no such thing as a perfect mom. But we can all put in the time and effort to make sure we are taking care of our mental health. The healthier you are mentally, the better mother you are for your precious little ones. Try to find a few minutes every day to focus on your mental health. 

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