7 Mental Health Exercises to Reduce Anxiety and Depression

In the hustle and bustle of today's fast-paced world, the toll on mental health is undeniable. Anxiety and depression have become increasingly prevalent, affecting individuals across diverse walks of life. Amidst the myriad challenges, it's crucial to recognize the power of proactive steps in nurturing our mental well-being. This blog dives into seven practical and empowering mental health exercises designed to alleviate anxiety and depression. Each exercise offers a unique approach to cultivating a healthier mind, from mindfulness practices to self-reflection techniques.

Figuring out if you're dealing with everyday ups and downs or something more serious like clinical depression can be a bit tricky. We all face challenges – from juggling tasks to hormonal rollercoasters – and these can stir up emotions that might seem like depression and anxiety. But, clinical depression goes beyond the occasional blues. It's like a persistent cloud hanging over you, changing mood, sleep, and appetite and zapping the joy out of things you used to love. While it's normal to feel a bit overwhelmed now and then, if those feelings start taking over your day-to-day life, it might be a sign of something more. Pay attention to how long it sticks around, how intense it feels, and if it's messing with your usual routine. If you're in doubt, it's totally cool to seek professional advice and support.

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It is important to recognize that maternal mental health (MMH) conditions are the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting at least 1 in 5 mothers each year. 27% of women enter pregnancy with some form of anxiety, while 33% develop symptoms during pregnancy, shares the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance (MMHLA), led by Dr. Adrienne Griffen.

The term maternal mental health (MMH) emphasizes the importance of focusing on a mother's emotional well-being throughout her journey, acknowledging the profound impact of mental health on both the mother and her family.

  • Postpartum depression, or PPD, has historically been an umbrella term for mood changes after childbirth. However, the journey of maternal mental health is not confined to the postpartum period alone. It extends to the antenatal and perinatal phases as well.

  • Perinatal mood disorders (PMDs) or perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) highlight the emotional complexities experienced during the entire perinatal period, from pregnancy through the postpartum months.

Life can get hectic, and we often put ourselves on the back burner. But guess what? It's time to prioritize our well-being. Let's embark on self-discovery and resilience, exploring actionable strategies that can significantly impact our mental health journey. From mindfulness practices to self-reflection techniques, these are not just empty words – they're actionable steps to bring more calm and joy into our lives. So, grab a moment for yourself, join us on this adventure, and let's empower each other to thrive in the beautiful chaos of motherhood.

1. Gratitude Journaling

Amidst the hustle, pause to jot down three things you're grateful for daily. Focusing on positive aspects can shift your perspective and foster a sense of contentment. This practice serves as a mental reset button, shifting your focus from stressors to positive experiences. It could be as profound as appreciating the unconditional love from your child, savoring a delicious homemade meal, or relishing a quiet moment of self-care. No matter how small, these moments of gratitude accumulate, creating a tangible record of the positive aspects of your life.


2. Mindful Moments Amid Chaos

Integrate mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Take a few moments to breathe deeply, centering yourself amidst the chaos. Whether it's a quiet cup of tea or a brief walk, these mindful breaks can make a significant difference.

We created a special Breath Work Series – our curated collection of breathwork tutorials designed for moms seeking tranquility, balance, and rejuvenation amid their busy lives. This series aims to empower mothers with simple yet powerful breathing techniques that can be seamlessly integrated into their daily routines, fostering a sense of calm and well-being.

3. Creative Outlets

Embracing a creative outlet as part of your self-care routine can be a transformative and joyful experience, especially in the whirlwind of motherhood. Whether picking up a sketchbook, journaling, or dancing to your favorite tunes, engaging in a creative activity provides a precious space for self-expression and emotional release.

Nurturing your passions doesn't have to be time-consuming or elaborate; it's about finding joy in the process, not just the end result. So, dust off that paintbrush, open that notebook or turn up the music and let your creative spirit soar. Your chosen creative outlet becomes a sanctuary where you can recharge, rediscover your passions, and find solace in the beauty of self-expression. It's a gift you give yourself amid the demands of motherhood, fostering a sense of balance and fulfillment.


4. Connect with a Mom Village

Reach out to fellow moms for support. Share experiences, joys, and challenges. Building a supportive network can be a game-changer in navigating the rollercoaster of motherhood. We have the village for you! We are a community of moms who support every age and stage of motherhood. From pregnancy through postpartum and beyond, our villages and fitness and wellness programs help make moms strong in body, mind, and spirit. Find your village here.

5. Take Nature Breaks

Stepping into the great outdoors can be a rejuvenating and transformative experience, particularly for mothers navigating the myriad demands of daily life. Whether you opt for a leisurely stroll in a nearby park, joining a Stroller Strides class, finding a cozy spot in your garden, or simply taking a moment to breathe in the fresh air, reconnecting with nature offers many proven benefits for mental well-being.

Taking a break outdoors is not just about physical activity; it's a holistic experience that allows you to unplug, recharge, and gain clarity. Moreover, exposure to natural light and fresh air benefits your overall well-being. It can improve sleep, boost your mood, and enhance your cognitive function, all contributing to a more resilient and balanced state of mind.


6. Have a Meditation Practice

Meditation can be your secret weapon when the world gets a bit too much! We get it; pulling yourself away from the chaos can be tough, but trust us, it's totally worth it. It's like a mental reset button. And guess what? You can meditate almost anywhere and anytime - like in the car waiting for pick-up. Meditating before bedtime is like a ticket to Snoozeville – your body gets the memo, and you'll wake up ready to conquer the day. Your mind and body will thank you, Mama!

Not sure where to start? That’s ok because we have a collection of FREE guided meditations for you. Join us here for a series of guided meditations tailored to support mothers, providing a nurturing space to relax your mind and enhance your emotional well-being. These meditations are thoughtfully crafted to help you navigate the beautiful journey of motherhood with greater ease and self-care.

7. Self-Compassion Mantras

Here's a little secret to add more sunshine to your days: sprinkle some self-compassion into your routine! Life can get pretty wild, and we get it – imperfections are part of the beautiful chaos. So, take a deep breath, cut yourself some slack, and let's embrace a little self-love. Those moments when things don't go as planned? They're not roadblocks; they're part of your unique journey. Treat yourself with the kindness you so freely give to others. Remember, you're doing an amazing job, and every step you take is a victory.

Here are some uplifting mantras to amplify that self-compassion vibe:

  • I embrace the beautiful chaos of my journey.
  • In imperfections, I find my unique strength.
  • My journey is a masterpiece, flaws and all.
  • Self-love is my superpower; I celebrate it every day.
  • I am resilient, and every stumble is a step forward.
  • Kindness begins with me – I deserve the love I give.
  • My path is uniquely mine, and I am exactly where I need to be.
  • In the dance of life, my missteps are part of the rhythm.
  • I release perfection; I embrace authenticity.
  • Every challenge is an opportunity for growth, and I am growing beautifully.

Feel free to pick the mantra that resonates most with you, Mama, and let it be your daily dose of positivity!

Remember, these exercises are like tools in your toolkit – you can pick and choose what works best for you. Here's to cultivating a healthier and happier mind on this journey of motherhood!

8. Bonus! Urgent Attention

In times of crisis and moments when mental health needs urgent attention, it is crucial to have readily accessible resources. Whether you or someone you know is facing an emergency or navigating the complexities of mental health, a network of support is available. The following resources serve as lifelines, offering immediate assistance and guidance.

From local emergency rooms to national hotlines, these contacts are here to provide the necessary support. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and these resources are designed to offer hope, understanding, and assistance when it's needed most. In times of distress, don't hesitate to reach out and connect with the compassionate professionals dedicated to supporting individuals and families on their mental health journey.

  • In an Emergency

    • Go to your local emergency room.

    • Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

    • National Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.

    • National Suicide Prevention Hotline and Website: 1-800-273-8255 &

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: NAMI offers a Helpline that provides information, resources, and support for individuals and families dealing with mental health conditions. Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) for assistance.

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: Counselors provide information, support, brief interventions, and resources: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262) - Call or text, 24/7, English and Spanish

National Domestic Violence Hotline: The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers confidential support for individuals experiencing domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or chat online at for assistance.

Postpartum Support International (PSI): Postpartum Support International (PSI) is the world’s leading organization in providing hope and help to childbearing individuals affected by maternal mental health conditions, as well as their partners and families. Call 800-944-4773 or text 503-894-9453

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