If you’re a working mom, you might feel like you are pulled in a million different directions, and you’re about to snap. It’s understandable — the COVID-19 pandemic added a heaping serving of extra work to a plate that was already overflowing. As a result, you might find a few new frown lines appearing when you look in the mirror.

What can you do to return the smile to your face? It begins by taking a deep breath — or three — to restore your sense of calm. Then, you need to realize all of the things you have to feel thankful for to get on the gratitude frequency and cultivate habits that make you feel more positive.

1. Embrace the Variety — and Chaos

When was the last time that you felt bored? “Who on earth has the time for that,” you might think, “I’m always on the go.” While you don’t want to run yourself ragged, having a busy schedule has some benefits. You get to have new experiences every day, and not everyone can say the same.

All you need to do is control the chaos instead of letting it rule you. Learn how to cultivate calming techniques like meditation to remain cool when everyone else is losing their minds. You’ll gain a reputation as a reliable problem-solver in the workplace, which can significantly benefit your career trajectory.

2. Take Pride in Your Financial Savvy

When the news of the pandemic broke, you took your tax refund and stimulus check and squirreled the money away — just in case. Now that things appear on track to return to somewhat normal, you have a well-padded emergency fund. You deserve a pat on the back for your financial savvy.

Plus, being a working mom means not having to rely entirely on your partner. You know that you have what it takes to hustle, and you should congratulate yourself on that regularly.

3. Use Your Commute Time

Your morning commute doesn’t have to be a nightmare of road rage. Why not use that quiet time for a bit of self-care? You can find tons of podcasts for working moms to re-energize your spirit and pump you up for your day. You’ll hardly notice when traffic slows to a crawl because you’ll be busy feeding your mind and soul.

4. Communicate With Your Partner

It may be 2020, but even when the woman is the primary breadwinner in her relationship, she still tackles the lioness’ share of the housework. Is it any wonder that you feel as if you are walking a tightrope over a pool of sharks some days?

The best way to get the help you need is to communicate openly with your partner. Pick a time when you both feel calm — maybe right before date night — and make a schedule of chores that you are each responsible for managing. Then, let your other half carry their load and free yourself from the urge to nag.

5. Learn Something New Each Day

As a working mom, you have twice the opportunity to increase your knowledge every day. Maybe one of your colleagues teaches yoga on the side, and she can show you some moves to relieve stress at your desk. Perhaps your 10-year-old discovered something fascinating while working on a school project that gives you a new way of looking at the world. Embrace these learning opportunities and give thanks for them.

6. Find Your Tribe

If you were a stay-at-home parent, your social circle might consist of no one but other moms. While it’s lovely to have folks to plan playdates with, it’s even better to mix and mingle with a diverse group of people. Maybe nobody in your playground gang shares your love of crochet, but one of your colleagues might. Cherish the opportunity to make that friendship.

7. Go for a Post-Dinner Walk

Do you sometimes feel so overwhelmed that you are ready to snap when your 4-year-old asks why the sky is blue? Slow yourself down and spend some time with your kids and partner by taking a post-dinner walk together. Make it mindful by focusing on the sensation of the earth beneath your feet and the fresh air hitting your skin. Children who won’t open up around the supper table will sometimes become regular chatterboxes outdoors, and paying them needed attention makes them feel loved.

8. Play at the Park

What’s the best part about being a mom? You get to play like a kid without feeling at all awkward about doing so. Go down the sliding board and climb those monkey bars with your little ones. Hop on the swings yourself — you’ll burn calories and work your core while having a blast.

9. Kiss Your Little Ones Goodnight

Your babies won’t stay little forever, so give thanks for the time you have with them by tucking them into bed and reading them a story. Even older children often appreciate a kiss goodnight, although they may not show it. Yes — afterward, you can engage in your nightly self-care routine. Wash your face, floss your teeth, and pour yourself a cup of tea and congratulate yourself on another successful day as a career professional and a mom.

Embrace Gratitude as a Working Mom

Working moms have it tough, and when it seems overwhelming, embracing gratitude can help you find the silver lining. Give thanks for the people you cherish and the opportunities you enjoy and watch your mindset improve.