I’m not going to lie to you – motherhood is hard. And I’m not even talking about the sleep deprivation or the poop filled diapers. I’m talking about the emotions that come with motherhood. I honestly felt like an emotional basket case for the first couple of months as a mother. One day I’m super happy and the next day, I’m wondering how I’ll survive, let alone thrive. I’m finally finding balance though and I thought I’d share a few of the things that have helped me find balance and happiness everyday.

These tips are in no particular order. I also don’t believe that you have to follow all of the tips to see a change in your mood. It’s a matter of picking and choosing what works for you and your lifestyle.

Create a routine.
Notice that I said routine and not schedule. With a baby, all schedules have pretty much gone out the window. Routines, however, have helped me feel more balanced. Even the dogs have picked up on the routines which has helped save me a lot of sanity in the mornings and evenings when they’re normally fed. Routines don’t have to be elaborate in order to make you happy. One of the simplest routines I’ve started is cleaning up the kitchen before bed. It takes about 15 minutes but provides a nice calm morning free of stress.

Slow down.
This is probably the biggest tip I can give anyone. Slow down and enjoy your life. If you’re spending all of your time trying to accomplish XYZ, then you’re probably not enjoying any of it. Prioritize your commitments and get rid of anything that’s unnecessary. Life’s too short to let it pass you by in a busy blur.

Take care of yourself.
I have the simplest self care plan ever right now – I make sure that I get a shower in everyday. If I don’t have time for some reason, then I at least wash my face, change my clothes (yes, it may be from one pair of PJs to another), and brush my hair. You have no idea how much the little things can make a difference. Figure out one small thing you can do to take care of yourself daily.

Release your emotions.
Find a way to release your emotions as often as possible. This will look different for everyone. For me, I like to talk about my day and my problems with close friends. Putting things out into the world allows me to move on instead of hang on to the emotions. Other ways to release your emotions include writing, journaling, crafting, drawing, and so on. Find what works for you and incorporate it frequently.

Get up and move!
Our bodies were built for movement. They weren’t built for sitting around all of the time. I’ve found that I’m happiest when I allow time for the blood to get flowing. It doesn’t have to be true “exercise” either. A simple walk around the house or impromptu dance party can do a lot for your mood in the long term. So, take five minutes and get your body moving. You won’t regret it!

What are your favorite ways to stay happy? Are there any activities that you do daily to help lift your mood?