Mom Burnout is Real. Here are 5 Ways to Avoid It.
Let me guess: life is feeling a little crazy for you right now. You have work, a new baby and maybe another kid or two at home, a marriage and family to tend to. You’re trying to do it all, and you’re feeling like you’re burning the proverbial candle at both ends, right? You might feel yourself heading toward some major burnout. This might take the form of having a short temper with the people you love, being tired all the time, or feeling symptoms of anxiety like tightness in your chest or a lump in your throat. Mom burnout is real and you’re not alone in wishing you knew how to avoid it. Here is what I recommend.
Tips for Banishing Burnout from Your Life
When I feel stress and anxiety start to creep into my daily existence, I do what I tell all my clients and students: Do the work – the work of taking care of you, the work of figuring out what you need – and actually give that to yourself. Don’t know what you need? Again, you’re not alone. So many people don’t know how to answer the question of what they need, because they have never truly given themselves permission to ask the question before. In all honesty, it might take you some time to figure out what you need to do. Taking these steps will help you put burnout in the rear-view mirror.
Do More of What You Love
This right here. This is my favorite. What do you love to do? Do more of it, please. Write, read, spend time in a garden, watch Modern Family reruns or This is Us, or do whatever else floats your boat. I know if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you might think this is the last thing you have time for. On the contrary, I would argue that if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, this can and should be a priority. When can you give yourself 20 to 30 minutes today to do something you love? Write it down and set it as an intention today. Then, actually do it. I promise you won’t regret it. It’s an act of self-love that will preserve your mental health.
Spend More Time with Your Favorite People
You don’t have to throw a huge party for all of your besties, but you can think of a few people that just always fill you up. Think of the people who totally get you, who love you, who fill up your cup each time you’re with them. Why not put a FaceTime date on the calendar with them? If they live closer, grab coffee or go for a walk and catch up in person. Humans are relational beings, meaning that we weren’t meant to do this life thing alone. Call up a friend and make plans to do something fun together, or just do nothing together. It’s the being together that counts.
Ramp Up the Activity
Remember: We have time for what we prioritize. Along with other ways of avoiding burnout, being active is something we need to prioritize and put into our daily routines. Even if you have to carve a space at home for all the gear to get into the groove. Why? Getting our bodies moving is a way to purge all that anxious and stressed energy. When you move your body, you are allowing it to release the tension it’s been holding in. Giving our bodies that release allows our mind to have a release as well. That, in turn, will help you avoid burnout. Also, it will make you a healthier human in general.
This isn’t meant to contradict my previous suggestion. Stillness is another way to release tension, both bodily and mentally. There are a variety of different ways to practice stillness, including (but not limited to): meditation, prayer, forest bathing, sitting outside in the sun, taking a hot bath, listening to music, savoring a hot cup of tea…the list is endless.
Make Sure to Process Your Feelings
I’m a therapist, so I for sure can’t leave this one out. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious or burned out, you must address those feelings. Practice mindfulness, and go through the process of noticing, naming and accepting your emotions. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, and talk about them with someone you trust. I also highly recommend making an appointment with a therapist, because #therapyiscool.
Which one of these ways of avoiding burnout are you most excited to try? Why not incorporate one into each day of the week? I’m confident you’ll feel healthier, happier and less stressed in no time.