Shrieking works, but it might scare baby...or worse, wake him or her up. Two tried-and-true tactics for taking off the edge: venting to friends (or other new moms) and getting some exercise. Find mom-to-mom support on online message boards (like ours!) or by joining a mommy group in your area. And exercise doesn’t have to mean a trip to the gym and a total body workout. A brisk walk around the block can work wonders for your nerves.
More strategies: Take a few minutes every day (even five will help) for yourself. Don’t use every minute that baby naps to do chores or work. Instead, have a chat with a friend, grab a long, hot shower or do a few yoga poses. And try to build some overall organization into your routine. Knowing what's on your plate will help you feel more capable of accomplishing it without freaking out.
Here’s what worked for other moms:
“I joined a volleyball league on Tuesday nights to let go of my frustrations. It’s helped me a lot to relieve stress and calm down after a long day of taking care of my four-month-old. I also take a long, hot shower during his naptime to relax.” —Gajohnson
“When my husband comes home from work, I give him the baby for about an hour and go soak in the hot bathtub and read gossip magazines.” —Mermaidvm
“Vent! Venting to other moms who have been there or are going through the same thing is very therapeutic!” —Kelly005purple
“I’m a single mom of four, and it’s very tough for me, so in order for me to not flip out, I put on some of my favorite music, write in a journal or read! It works for me, and sometimes I step outside and get some fresh air and stretch.” —Sonyabunya
“One word...YOGA!” —Etortotice
“Taking advantage of family and friends who live close by helps with the stress levels, even if it's just for a couple hours — those can be valuable in keeping sane.” — Trixiedine
“When I feel like I need to let off steam, I call my mother-in-law (who lives about a mile away) to come and play with baby. She has ‘Nana Magic,’ and baby goes right to sleep in her arms, while I have a grown-up to talk to.” —Loveshockey53
“I go to these with my baby: a breastfeeding group run by my hospital, a moms' group through my church, library story time and the play area at the mall. I know it seems counterintuitive that going out and doing even more helps, but I go nuts when I stay home alone for more than a day.” —Tokenhoser
“Thank you, Nick Cannon, for saving my sanity. A friend recommended Nick Cannon's new comedy album, Mr. Showbiz, to me, and I'm in love! It's been a rough week, with sick kids, and I was thankful for the laughs.” —Billiew80
“I go for walks with the baby and my husband after he comes home from work.” —Eliza