Feeling burnout as a Mom is very common. It does not mean that you are failing as a Mom. It's mostly due to the isolation that a lot of Moms face in our culture, as well as the overscheduling and overwork that a lot of us deal with.
Here are 6 things you can do to prevent burnout and treat it if it comes up.
- Find your tribe: Find a support group of like minded Moms. There are neighbors, people you worship with, family, Moms at storytime, the park, or anywhere else Moms hang out. It's extremely important for Moms to have a social network. Talk about your feelings with someone who won't judge you, and return the favor. Spend time with good friends, and don't forget to nurture your relationship with your spouse.
- Set boundaries: Setting good boundaries isn't just about limits with your kids. Boundaries are something that protect you from being overburdened with other people's responsibilities. Learn to say no to things that don't honor your values, and don't overextend yourself.
- Lose the guilt: Don't feel like you're a bad Mom because you feel burnout from time to time. In fact, you are probably a very conscientious Mom who is neglecting her own needs! Be as forgiving and empathic with yourself as you are with your kids, and remember, when you take care of your own needs, you're in better shape to care for your family. It's kind of like when the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask first in case of emergency!
- Take care of your body: Eating poorly leads to fatigue and stress. Nurture your body with healthy foods and avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, which only deplete you. Exercise is also very important because it helps you deal with stress and floods your body with endorphins, the "feel good hormones." Don't make excuses! Get moving for 20 minutes a day. It doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. Exercise is also good for the kids because it helps them discharge excess energy that they may have from being inside too much. Spending some time every day in the sun is also a good idea. Sunlight improves mood and helps you sleep better.
- Take a break: Nurture yourself every single day in small ways. Take a hot bath by yourself. Go outside for a few minutes and breathe deeply. Say your prayers, journal, pursue a hobby that you love. Even if all you can do are 5 minute increments, take the time!- Focus on what's truly important: If you're feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself that the most important things on your to do list are your children, not the dishes or the dusty blinds. Put everything aside for 15 minutes and just play with your kids. Have fun, laugh together, spend time in nature together, and enjoy life. The rest can wait. Kids have a way of growing up despite us. And keep hugging those babies!
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