More and more as I open up about my mental health issues, I find that so many other moms and women are not only struggling with mental health issues, but are also trying to find ways to improve their mental health.
After thinking about this for a while, I decided that it would be helpful to share with you the top 15 ways to improve your mental health as a mom.
These are ways that I have been working on my mental health during the past 6 months and I just know that these are going to help you.
These tips are ones that you can do, easily, to improve your mental health whether at home, on the go, at work, or anywhere else you find yourself.
If you’d like to check out other blog posts of mine that focus on mental health, head here now.
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10 Key Ways to Improve Your Mental Health as a Mom
1. Open up to someone about your mental health struggles.
To me, this is one of the first things we should do in order to start the process of healing and improving our mental health as a mom.
There are so many ways to open up and so many different paths we can take to open up about our mental health struggles.
Recently, I opened up about my struggle with bipolar disorder in this blog post. It was so incredibly therapeutic to do so – as soon as I hit the “publish” button, I felt a sense of relief.
No one is saying you have to be as public as that in opening up about your mental health issues, but finding a way to open up can truly help you – in more ways than one. These are my suggestions for opening up to someone regarding your mental health, and are ways to improve your mental health as a mom:
- Seek out a therapist: Psychology Today is my favorite place to go to in order to find a therapist that is right for me. Simply go to their website and click on “Find a Therapist” and start by entering your zip code. It will then prompt you to narrow down your search by various filters such as the therapist’s specialties, location, etc.
- Talk to someone in your immediate family: While, sure, loved ones in your immediate family may not be certified therapists (or maybe they don’t even know the first thing about mental health issues), these people can be beneficial to your healing process in that they know you very well. This can be your spouse, your child (if they are an adult), your parent(s), your siblings, or anyone else that you consider your immediate family. If you don’t have anyone in your immediate family that you trust enough to open up to, seek out someone in your friend circle and talk to them.
- Search Instagram for accounts that post about your specific mental health issue: I have found this to be very therapeutic. I have found so many inspiring & encouraging accounts in the past 6 months that I truly look forward to every single day. Sometimes it’s a quote that inspires me, a personal story, or even a meme! Finding a place you can go to where you’re in a crowd of people similar to you is so helpful. You can also start by following me on Instagram. I regularly post about mental health issues.
These are the top 3 ways I recommend you begin to open up about your mental health issues and improve your mental health as a mom.
Are there others you have found to be helpful? Leave a comment letting me know – it may really help someone else who reads this post.
2. Start journaling to get your thoughts & feelings out.
I’m sure you’ve heard of journaling many times – especially if you’re someone who has struggled with mental health issues for a while.
Maybe journaling sounds like something that would not be “fun” to do – or something that would take up too much time.
Let me tell you – journaling doesn’t have to be hard to do nor does it have to be time consuming.
In fact, you don’t even have to buy a journal in order to start! Some of the best “journal entries” I’ve ever written are the ones that I have written on a plain piece of paper inside a notebook.
However, if you are interested in buying a journal that is pretty & cute (and one that may inspire you to write more regularly), I recommend this journal.
If you prefer a journal with prompts (because maybe you’re the type of person who needs a boost to get started journaling), I have found this one to be a really nice one to start with in regard to mental health, and this one which is more of a self-care journal with daily, weekly, and monthly reflections & checklists.
Whether you are using prompts or blank pieces of paper to journal, I recommend setting aside 5 minutes a day to begin with – don’t make it hard on yourself. If you want to gradually work up from 5 minutes, great! If 5 minutes is all you can commit to, that’s fine too!
The key is to write & then reflect on your writing throughout the day. You don’t have to write much – something as simple as a sentence that says “I have really been struggling with my anxiety lately and I don’t know why” is enough to get your brain in “analysis mode” which encourages you to think about why you have been struggling with anxiety lately. Maybe it’ll take several days to realize why – maybe it will only take a day. It’s hard to say – but reflecting on what you have written is beneficial.
Either way, try journaling & see how it works for you – I can almost guarantee that, if you do it consistently, it will improve your mental health as a mom.
3. Start a devotional for moms.
This is something I have just recently begun and have thoroughly enjoyed every single day.
Starting a devotional is very simple: find a devotional that works for you (I am using this one & highly recommend it) and read it once a day until you are finished with the devotional. Easy peasy.
Much like journaling, you don’t have to spend more than a few minutes a day on your devotional – but the effects it will have on the rest of your day are so comforting and inspiring.
There are so many devotionals out there for moms – just Google it or search on Amazon and you will be sure to find one that suits you.
4. Try using sensory bins for small children & quiet time for older children to get your daily “peace & calm break“.
One thing I have noticed since becoming a mom is that there is rarely a chance to just “be” during the day, especially if you are a stay at home mom like me.
When you are home with your children every day, you are in “mom mode” from the time you wake up until the time they go to sleep (and honestly, a lot of times you are in this mode even after they are asleep).
You can always wait until your children go to sleep to have your “peace & calm break” – but you don’t have to wait until then if you don’t want to.
Something that I have found very helpful is getting a sensory bin for children two to five years old (this water sensory bin, ocean sensory bin, and Montessori sensory bin are my three favorites), and saving it for the 10-30 minute time during the day when you simply need a break. The key here is to save it for that time only – so that your children look forward to it and don’t get bored with it quickly.
If you are a mom to older children, having them practice quiet time once a day really helps, too. Get them some special books, coloring books, or even crafts that they can do during quiet time and use this time to take your break.
Your “peace & calm break” doesn’t have to be long – I’ve found that even 10 minutes helps (but of course 30 minutes would be ideal).
It’s a great way to gather yourself together & ready yourself for the rest of the day. It’s also a nice time to just sit down, sip on some coffee or hot tea, and enjoy being “off the clock” for a little while.
If this is something you do regularly, please leave in the comments the benefits you have seen from doing so.
Remember, finding ways to improve your mental health as a mom do not have to be hard.
5. Wake up earlier than your children.
Waking up before your children is one way to improve your mental health as a mom – but perhaps one of the hardest ones (if you’re anything like me and either have a hard time getting up or just like to sleep in as long as you can.)
I’ve found that two of the easiest ways to do this is a) get into the habit of having a healthy nighttime routine & go to sleep at the same time every night (giving yourself at least 8 hours to sleep) and b) take a shower as soon as you wake up – before you do anything else).
It is so beneficial to wake before your children – it gives you time to shower, get ready, maybe do a devotional or read, get breakfast, and have some quiet time before your kids get up.
I wrote a blog post about this a while back & think this would really help you if you’re interesting in starting this habit! You can find it here.
Simple things like waking before your child really can improve your mental health as a mom.
6. Eat as healthy as you can.
It’s no surprise to most of us that physical and mental health go hand in hand.
That’s why so many doctors and therapists suggest eating healthy as a means to improve your mental health. Harvard has a great article on nutritional psychiatry (how eating healthy affects your mental health) – go here now to check it out.
Eating healthy & having a healthy lifestyle is not as hard as it seems – so long as you take baby steps to get in the habit of doing so.
I have a couple blog posts on this topic that you may be interested in – one is about 10 ways to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle, and the other is about how becoming plant-based really improved my health & my life. Go ahead and check them out and let me know what you think!
7. Get enough sleep.
I know I mentioned this earlier in tip #5 for how to improve your mental health as a mom, but I have to mention it again – getting enough sleep is so important for our mental health.
I’ve not always been very good at this one – especially once I had my son. It’s really hard to get to sleep early when nighttime is one of the only times you have to yourself during the day – but it’s so important.
I try my best to go to sleep at 10:30 every night (knowing I want to wake up at around 7:00 in the morning).
When I reach this goal of going to sleep at 10:30, I just feel better the next day. I can feel the affects of too little sleep when I’m up until 11:30 or 12.
Something we did just the other day, in order to improve our sleep, is purchase a new, quality mattress. We actually went for one of the more expensive ones (after spending years getting the cheapest one we could just to save money) – and I truly feel that this step is going to make such a big difference in our lives.
If you’re interested in which mattress we got (which I have sense slept on and seriously had the best sleep of my adult life), you can check it out here. 100% worth the money we spent/invested in it!
Getting good sleep, in my opinion, is one of the easiest ways to improve your mental health as a mom.
8. Get outside every single day.
As far as tips that will improve your mental health as a mom, this is probably one of the easiest ones of all.
Getting outside (for a walk, bike ride, etc.) every single day makes such a big difference with your mental health.
I ensure I do this every single day (and even aim for twice a day), and it really does makes me feel better.
In fact, studies have shown that a quick 20 minutes or so walking outdoors can drastically change how you are feeling.
There’s a really great article, again by Harvard, that goes over the reasons as to why getting outdoors more can improve your mood & overall mental health. You can head here now to read it.
9. Spend time with friends (and people outside of your household) often.
One thing that is particularly hard for me, since I am and extroverted introvert, is following through with intentionally setting aside time to be with my friends.
It not very easy as an introvert – it can be really stressful & draining to socialize, since introverts “recharge” when having alone time.
But, it is so beneficial if you are trying to improve your mental health as a mom.
Something that helps me is making a commitment and sticking to it – no matter what. In fact, that was one of my New Years resolutions for this year and so far, I have done it!
It’s always nice to start with baby steps – commit to just 30 minutes spending time with a friend, and work up from there.
If you are someone who struggles with mental health issues, you will truly feel a difference if you make the time in your life to be with friends & people outside of your household.
Here’s a great article on why spending time with friends reduces stress.
Spending time with friends and people outside of your house is terrific way to improve your mental health as a mom.
10. Try a meditation or breathing app.
This tip for how to improve your mental health as a mom is not necessarily for everyone, but it’s worth a shot.
While I don’t always use my meditation app, it is really helpful when I am anxious or on the verge of having a panic attack. This is the one I use and I really like it.
Another app I recently got is a breathing app and I have used it quite a bit lately and more than anything, it has really helped in teaching me how to breathe during stressful situations. Here’s where you can go to get the app.
I recommend at least trying one of these apps and seeing how it helps you – if it doesn’t, that’s fine. Like I said, it’s definitely not for everyone – but you may find that it works for you!
11. Invest in a good body massager.
This is one of my favorite ways to improve your mental health as a mom: invest in a good body and back massager.
If you are someone who loves massages (as much as I do), having a good quality back massager is crucial to your mental health.
When struggling with mental health issues, it’s very common to be tense a lot of the time, and to experience aches and pains throughout the day or week.
I recently purchased this massager and cannot explain how much I LOVE it. It has about 6 different attachments that cover various areas of the body & the feeling of the massager, and it is just so nice to have.
I use it a couple times a week when my back and shoulders are really tense and finish by putting this cream on the area to numb the area afterwards. This combination works so well.
When your body feels good, your mind feels good. That’s why investing in a good back & body massager is such a good way to improve your mental health as a mom.
12. Dress comfortably but enough to make you feel good.
This tip on how to improve your mental health as a mom is so important & useful.
When the pandemic hit last March, I spent a few months in my lounge clothes (I know, I know, not the best idea) and realized after a while that I was starting to feel “frumpy” and tired because of how low-key I was dressing.
Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dressing comfortably in lounge clothes all the time, but for me, purchasing a few new pieces of clothing that were somewhat stylish but still comfortable really helped how I was feeling.
A few of the really nice clothes I got to improve my “lounging” clothes were these leggings and these shirts. They are so comfortable but still make you feel like you’re somewhat put together, thus helping your mental health.
If you’re interested, I went through & searched for the absolute best leggings last year and came up with this list in a blog post on them. I still recommend all of these to this day!
Just remember: when you feel you look good, you feel good – and that’s a great way to improve your mental health as a mom.
13. Laugh often!
I’m sure you’ve heard how beneficial it is to laugh often, but hear me out: it really does make you feel better!
When I’m feeling down, I do everything in my power to force myself to do something that will make me laugh.
Two of my favorite ways to do this is to read a good, funny book (like this one – it’s even about mental health issues!) or to play a funny game with my husband and kids (like this one – I guaranteed you will laugh when you play it!).
There’s plenty of other ways to get yourself to laugh, but these are my two favorites.
When they say “laughter is the best medicine,” while it may not be the very best, it’s definitely pretty high up on the list.
I’m sure this is one tip on how to improve your mental health as a mom that you will thoroughly enjoy!
14. Get a pet.
I’ve had my cat, Jackson, for nearly 10 years. I’ve had my dog, Max for nearly 5. These two have been monumental in my road to improving my mental health.
As this article points out, pets actually help with anxiety and stress. They can be such an amazing comfort during depression or anxiety – and just generally make you feel better.
There’s really nothing like snuggling with Max or Jackson during a rough time, and there’s nothing like playing with them during easier times!
If you can’t adopt a pet right now, you can always volunteer at your local humane society. That’s a great way to receive the benefits of pets and animals, without having to take one home.
15. Let go of expectations.
The last tip I will leave with you, on how to improve your mental health as a mom, is this one: let go of expectations in your life, regarding your life, and within yourself.
There’s a great quote that I always go back to, when I need a little encouragement as far as expectations are concerned:
“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.”Rachel Marie Martin
I love this quote. It really does put things into perspective for us.
We all had that idea of what our lives would look like as we went through the years – and I think, for most of us, it ended up looking completely differently that what we expected.
But, there’s beauty in that. There’s beauty in freeing yourself of what you think you should do, who you think you should be, what you should have in your life, etc.
It’s freeing because it lets us just be ourselves – which is so powerful.
Sometimes I can be really hard on myself about how I mother my son, or what I’m like as a friend or wife…but at the end of the day, I give my very best effort to be a “good mom” and a “good friend” or “good wife” – and that’s all we really can do.
If there are days where we need more rest time and thus let our kids watch a lot of tv, that’s ok. If there are weeks where we simply feel like we don’t have the energy to make a meal every night, that’s ok, too.
If there are times when we feel that we “missed the mark” when it comes to goals we had (maybe regarding our careers or schooling), that’s ok – because, we can still work towards those goals and try to do better the next day.
I didn’t receive my bachelor’s degree until I was 29 years old – and didn’t receive my master’s degree until I was 36. And that’s ok!
What matters is that I didn’t give up, and I tried to be a graceful as I could with myself while going through the process.
If you have expectations you seem to always fail to do, maybe it’s time you look at them and start to let them go. Just be who you are and do your best and the rest of life will fall into place.
Remember, this is your life, and in order to improve your mental health as a mom, you may have to adjust your train of thoughts.
Moving forward, I hope you know that you are not alone. There are so many moms that struggle with ways to improve their mental health as a mom.
I hope you have read this list & have found at least a few tips that you feel like you can try to make yourself feel better.
If you are interested in reading more of my posts on mental health, head here now to do so.
If you enjoyed this post on ways to improve your mental health as a mom, please do me a favor and share it on any of your social media accounts – the more moms who read this, the better.
Thanks for joining me today, friends. Until next time…