Motherhood and multi-tasking are more or less synonymous, and this can result in overloading and stress, both at home and at work. But there are easy ways to lighten the stress load for even the busiest moms. Incorporate these simple methods in your day-to-day life to help reduce stress, and soon you’ll be breathing easier inside and out! Stress Reduction at Work and Home If your job keeps you behind a desk, stand up and stretch at regular intervals during the day to ease tension that builds up from lack of movement. If you’re on your feet at work, find time to sit down and be sure to do ankle and calf stretches throughout the day. When it’s time to take a break, make sure to leave your desk or work station; a quick getaway, even if it’s just for a few minutes, can be a real stress reliever. Simple exercises that you can do at your desk or anywhere at home – deep breathing, neck and shoulder rolls, for example – are also good for reducing stress. And whether you’re at work or at home, look at your “to do” list, pick the most disagreeable item, and do it first thing. This might not seem like the best way to start your day, but once the task is out of the way it won’t be a stress-inducing reminder hanging over your head. Relieve Stress Naturally Set aside a few minutes each morning to clear your mind with meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. If you can wake up a little while before everyone else in the house, this time is perfect for quiet reflection. This can help put you in a relaxed state of mind to start the day, so you’ll be better prepared to deal with stressful situations that might occur later. Exercise is also a natural stress reducer, whether it’s at the gym or with equipment and DVDs you’ve got at home. If you can’t fit a regular workout into your daily schedule, go outside for a walk. A half hour walk every day is an easy and natural way to reduce stress (and it’s a natural weight loss aid too). Take the kids with you if you’re a stay-at-home mom, or leave them with a neighbor or sitter for some well-earned alone time. It’s a healthy break from your routine, and the fresh air and outdoor view is a terrific stress buster. Listening to music can also reduce stress. Instrumentals or jazz can be very calming – or rocking out to your favorite rock band could do the trick to cheer you up or be a nice distraction from whatever might be stressing you out. Dietary Ways to Reduce Stress Healthy eating habits can also play an important role in stress reduction. Overeating, in addition to not being good for how you look or feel about yourself, can cause sluggishness and irritability, which make you more susceptible to stress. Pay attention to the amount of sugar, caffeine and alcohol in your diet; cutting down on these is a good health choice and may also play a role in stress relief. Replace your afternoon coffee with a cup of herbal tea. Drink water throughout the day – dehydration can make you tired and grumpy and more likely to tense up. Taking daily vitamin and mineral supplements can help get your body and mind in healthy balance. Calcium, which is found in dairy products and can also be taken as a supplement, is essential for women’s bone health, and it can be beneficial for calming your nerves as well.