Stress Relief For Busy Women

What is mindful self-care & how to turn it into a daily routine?

Stress-reducing mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or yoga, are highly effective. This can now even be backed up by ample scientific evidence. BUT… Unfortunately, most of us fail when it comes to implementing those precious stress-relieving tools on a daily basis. Especially women have difficulties coping. 2020 has worsened the situation for women drastically. Now we even work from home next to our kids, who are self-centered by nature. Not only do they need to be entertained, but somehow we also have to tackle homeschooling. Meanwhile, we are supposed to please our clients, our employer and… Last but not least, you also want to fit in a bit of quality time with your partner, too.

Judith Eppacher Resilience and self mastery
Living with ease. Allow more play in everyday life!

Women are expected to be cool, calm, and collected, all while looking good at the same time… As a woman, you should show poise in every situation while dazzling those around you with a “radiant appearance”.

Table of Contents

How NOT to lose your sanity while juggling job & family

Once you give birth to your first child, life as you know it changes in an instant: Sleepless nights and a suddenly unpredictable daily rhythm become the new norm. Many women feel overwhelmed by all those changes. In addition, our hormones take us in new directions. This can have an unpleasant effect on our mood, and for many women also on the hips. To make things worse, there is hardly any time left to relax and hang out with friends, or simply letting your mind wander. And forget sports. But this does not mean we should wait inactively for better times to come.

Are mindfulness practices for mothers an illusion?

On the contrary, during challenging times it is vital to incorporate simple but effective mindfulness exercises into our daily routine. Does meditation work for mothers? Especially with small kids, it is hard for women to live mindfully day-in, day-out. It is almost impossible to implement stress-reducing activities when you are struggling to juggle work, home and family.

Are mindfulness practices for mothers an illusion?

water, grounding and detox
Grounding - connecting with nature - is an effective mindfulness strategy against stress.

How to integrate mindful self-care into a fast-paced lifestyle?

I am constantly in search of effective solutions to help working mothers achieve greater resilience. Some approaches have proven to be successful for me. There are great experts who provide profound knowledge and know-how regarding mindfulness-based solutions for everyday life. Kate Northrup talks in her book “Do Less”, about self-optimization for women. Kate (following the traits of feminism of her mother, Christiane Northrup), invites women to pay more attention to the female cycle and thus master life more effectively and resiliently.

As a matter of fact, self-mastery is vital for coping in this fast-paced society. One of your biggest assets might be mastering your capabilities, in order to bring greater value to yourself and others. Having said that, I also recommend the bestselling book from Kate Northrup to women who long for more financial self-determination “Money, A Love-Story”.

Unleashing a woman's superpowers: Live in sync with your cycle

The “Cycle Syncing” method by Alissa Vitti, the founder of FloLiving, invites women to live in sync with their feminine powers. If you allow yourself as a woman to live in harmony with the monthly cycle, you get so much more out of life: prosperity, health, beauty and contentment. This is old knowledge, newly interpreted for the 21st century!

You can compare your infradian rhythm to the four seasons. Our energy levels shift with our cycle. Over the past year, I have made an effort to live according to my female cycle. I prepare for new projects in the first half of my cycle and leave socializing, pitching or presentations for the ovulation days. Diving deep into projects works best later in the cycle, in the first part of the luteal phase. A few days before the menstrual phase and during menstruation, I allow myself to lean back and reflect. It is normal to have little energy on those days or feel less social. I have stopped beating myself up for it. If we manage to live in sync with our cycle, we encounter less resistance and we get far more done. Thus, cycle syncing is the best biohack for women I can think of.

Self-mastery for women: start with simple habits that stick

A tip in advance: Reduce your mindfulness exercises to the simplest level. They must fit into YOUR everyday life and meet YOUR needs. Take it slow. Small steps can have a big impact in the long run. Your plan to meditate for an hour a day is worthless when you discard the idea on day one when your kids disrupt your peaceful moment after the first 10 minutes.

Therefore, focus on tiny steps, such as short diaphragmatic breathing techniques, which you can also do while driving a car or cooking. Have you ever experienced anxiety when driving? On the other hand, have you ever experienced the stress-reducing effect of deep breathing when being stuck in traffic?

Deep breathing for keeping calm when being stuck in traffic

When I’m driving on busy roads or when I’m stuck in traffic, I manage to keep calm with the 4–7–8 technique by Dr. Andrew Weil.  Deep inhale to the count of 4, hold the breath while counting to 7, exhale to the count of 8.

%Rest and digest - circadian rhythm, sleep hacks and sleep remedies%

The breath is the connection between body and mind. Every action, every thought, every emotion influences our breathing. Through the attention we give to our breath in our exercises, we can learn to control our physical and mental condition and to get rid of unhealthy breathing, thinking and behavior patterns. We learn to collect ourselves, to react more calmly, to cleanse our body and to smooth our mind.

According to James Nestor, author of “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art”, the art of conscious breathing stems from ancient techniques like yoga and meditation. The best thing, you can perform it everywhere and you feel an effect instantly.

Breathwork stimulates the flow of energy in the body and helps with insomnia and digestive problems. It is even one of the most effective detox tools we have.

Here is another effective breathing technique I love. This one gives you more clarity and helps you let go and thus get through your day more relaxed. In her TedX Talk, Tina Sodhi demonstrates a very effective stress-reducing breathing technique that helped me very often. It can bring more ease and clarity into your life in an instant. Talking about the magic of conscious breathing, she says:

The power of breathwork

According to James Nestor, Author of “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art”, at the basis of all those ancient techniques like Yoga and meditation there is the art of conscious breathing. The best thing, you can perform it everywhere and you feel an instant effect. Breathwork stimulates the flow of energy in the body and helps with many complaints such as stress, insomnia, digestive problems. It is even one of the most effective detox tools we have at hand.

For learning stress-relieving breathing techniques depth and correctly, I highly recommend the ‘Breath is Life’ — Breathwork & Pranayama course by Michaël Bijker. This is a non-paid promotion. I just find his courses so hands-on and versatile. Although I am his trainee for becoming a breathwork instructor myself, I so appreciate his course on Udemy. Via the app, I choose very brief breathing -, meditation – and yoga exercises. They last between 5 and 15 minutes. That even fits into everyday life for mothers with a tight time schedule. 

If I have 5 minutes only, I just go for few rounds of Kapalbhati: therefore, use a forced short exhale, which is followed by an instinctive inhale. Bring the navel center towards the spine during the exhale. You can do a set of 3 rounds: begin with a couple of slow diaphragmatic breaths, then alternate strong 30-second Kapalbhati breaths, with slow deep breaths. End with a couple of slow deep breaths. 

Here is another effective breathing technique I love. This one gives you more clarity and helps you to let go and thus to go more relaxed through everyday life. In her TedX Talk, Tina Sodhi demonstrates a very effective stress-reducing breathing technique that helped me very often. It can bring more ease and clarity into your life in an instant. She says about the magic of conscious breathing:

Breathwork is meditative, simple, time-efficient and incredibly effective. I learned I could practice these tools anywhere at any time.

Breathing for greater mental clarity

Here is a powerful exercise that gets your mind clear for the day. It has a rhythmic pattern that stimulates your glandular system and your nervous system. To begin, place your hands on your belly. Inhale deeply, followed by a deep exhale twice. Close your eyes and start with this 4-segment breathing technique: Take 4 short inhales without exhaling. You can prime the effect by raising your hands simultaneously. Exhale 4 short times while lowering your hands in 4 sequences down to the hips. The slower your breath, the sharper your mind will get. Continue the breathing sequences with a smile on your face for a couple of minutes. Allow each inhalation to be an act of abundance. Let each exhale be the act of letting go. Let go of everything that does not serve you, like fear and anger. Eventually, take a couple of slow deep breaths. Inhale deeply and hold, then exhale slowly and completely. Open your eyes. This is strong deep breathing, followed by slow deep breathing. You can now exhale much longer than you normally would. You can watch this breathing exercise guided by Tina Sodhi in this video. You can also watch a short version of this effective breathing exercise on my Instagram.

How to practice mindfulness every day without feeling overwhelmed

All that talk about self-care and mindfulness can feel overwhelming when your attempt to fit it into your lifestyle fails. The breathing techniques I have introduced last no longer than a few minutes. If you are totally caught up in daily activities, then I advise you to set up a little habit-reminder: you can set the alarm clock at different times throughout the day when you want to be reminded to do 5-minute body & mind hacks, like deep breathing, some stretching, dancing, singing, journaling or whatever else helps you to activate your rest and digest mode. That will not only keep you from burning out, it will also preserve your health and beauty.

Additionally, for more clarity of mind and weight control, make sure to boost your quality of sleep. Find out how to boost your sleep, HERE.

Fit for the day

Proteinreiches Frühstück

Daily energy-booster

Bloodsugarfreindly coffee break

… enjoy coffee before 2 pm: coffee contains polyphenols that act as prebiotics. Rather, I add some licorice root or cocoa nips to the coffee powder. Almond butter or coconut oil replaces the milk. Speaking of nuts: they are a great coffee break snack. They give you energy without sending your blood sugar into a crazy “roller coaster”.