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Boosting brain health and mood: essential tips for busy moms

Jul 21, 2023

Life as a mom is beautiful and also chaotic. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the daily to-do's, it's easy to forget about our own wellbeing, especially when it comes to brain health and mental health - but taking care of ourselves is important in order to take care of those we love.

So, let's explore some simple yet effective strategies to help you nurture your brain health and boost your mood, all while fitting everything into your busy life. Let's dive in!

  1. Prioritize Restful Sleep: You're busy and sleep may seem like a luxury - I know. The baby's crying, sleep training isn't going as smoothly as you'd hoped, and when the kids are asleep you finally have you time - meaning time for Netflix, reading, and a moment to relax. Though finding time to get enough sleep can be very challenging in this season of life, it is crucial for our brain functioning and mental health. So, let's prioritize it by scheduling it into our routine as best as we can, aiming for 7-8 hours of quality sleep whenever possible. Establish a soothing bedtime routine that you follow every night, helping to signal to the brain that it's time to wind down. Turn in just a bit earlier each night until you hit your desired bedtime (and, yes, that means turning off HGTV and bookmarking your page turner just a bit earlier than you'd like). 

  2. Opt for Brain-Friendly Foods: Nutrition impacts not only the health of our body, but also our brain, and can actually affect our mood.  Research shows us that eating regularly, with an assortment of colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats like avocado, can be beneficial. Start with small changes and substitutions, which over time can create new habits. Stay hydrated with water too! Of course, dietary needs vary based on health conditions and personal factors, so be sure to chat with your healthcare provider about your personal nutritional needs.

  3. Embrace Mindful Moments: Take a few minutes daily (or, better yet, a few times daily) for mindfulness. Breathe deeply, meditate, or focus on the present moment. This practice helps to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, heighten focus, enhance cognitive clarity, and cultivate a sense of calm amidst the chaos.

  4. Exercise Your Brain: Challenge yourself with activities that keep your mind thinking. Make sure to make it fun and something you enjoy, like: reading, learning something new through an online course or a TED talk, or listening to an educational podcast like #TEDtalks and #HubermanLab so it’s boosting your brain and your mood! Interested in a self-paced online course with actionable steps to incorporate brain healthy habits into your busy lifestyle? Be sure to check out our flagship course EMPOWERED: a masterclass in brain health - it was created in between my baby's nap times and can be viewed in segments whenever you find a few spare minutes throughout the day.

  5. Connections & Community: Surround yourself with a strong network of supportive friends and family. Take the time to check in with them, whether through a phone call, coffee date, or happy hour - even if it means scheduling it weeks in advance or making it quick! Quality time with loved ones stimulates your brain and can also boost your mood, increasing your resilience to stress.

  6. Embrace Restorative Breaks: Don't underestimate the power of breaks! Allow moments to relax and unwind. Take short walks, spend time outdoors in the fresh air, and spend a bit of time doing things you enjoy just for the sake of doing them. Time engaging in self-care and hobbies helps to rejuvenate your mind and mood, as well as prevent burnout, and even enhance productivity. And, get creative! Taking time to play outside with the kids, creating sidewalk chalk masterpieces, kicking around the soccer ball, or choreographing a dance together may be active, but they can also provide a restorative break from the hustle and bustle, as well.

Remember that taking care of your brain health and mental health is a gift not only to yourself, but also to your loved ones.

As an act of self-care, try incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine -  you'll be strengthening your mind and boosting your mood, allowing you to be at the top of your game (and enjoying it!) amidst the beautiful chaos of motherhood.

Prioritize self-care, embrace mindfulness, and nourish your brain with healthy habits, sprinkling in some play along the way. You've got this!

So, take a moment - breathe in and then out.

Make a commitment to you - to your brain health, mental health, and wellbeing - and embark on this journey to a more vibrant mind and healthier way of living.