American moms are some of the most stressed-out individuals across the globe, especially in comparison to mothers from other developed countries. Why? A lot of this burnout has to do with a work/life balance problem.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at times. When you’re on the verge of burnout, you might start to feel like you can’t get anything right. It’s not uncommon to feel fatigued, unmotivated, and easily irritable. You might even struggle with anxiety and insomnia because of the overwhelming stress.
Obviously, when you experience these symptoms, not only is it harmful to you, but it’s harmful to your family. By taking a break and finding time for yourself, you’re making your mental and physical health a priority so you can actually take better care of your family and be even more involved.
That’s sometimes easier said than done. So, how can you find the break you deserve?
1. Get More Sleep
Getting a good night’s rest isn’t always easy for parents. If you have a young child, they might be struggling with sleeping through the night. You can help them by setting up a bedtime routine, making sure they stay in their room, and getting rid of electronics in the room at bedtime.
Once your child is asleep, take advantage of that time to get some extra rest, too. It might be tempting to catch up on your favorite television show or get some work done, but sleep is important for your overall well-being. Deep sleep allows your body to restore itself, physically and mentally, each night. Without enough sleep, it’s easier for stress to take over.
2. Pencil in Your Breaks
If you’re not sure when you’ll find time to get a break, schedule one for yourself. Moms who stay organized at home and work are less likely to be overwhelmed by things as they come up throughout the day. But, if you have an exceedingly busy schedule, actually making time to relax could be the best thing you can do.
If you’re a planner, schedule a night out with your spouse, or even just 10 minutes of alone time as you need it. Set reminders on your phone throughout the day to stop and breathe. Even short, periodic breaks can make a difference in how you feel.
3. Get Moving
Exercise is a great way to combat stress. It helps to release endorphins in your brain that make you calmer and give you feelings of happiness. You don’t have to join a gym or go jogging around the neighborhood to get a good workout, especially with kids.
Are your children involved in sports? Walk around the track at their school during their practices, or go on a family bike ride together a few evenings a week. Establishing health goals for yourself will make you more motivated to exercise and eat well, and it will teach your kids the importance of healthy habits, too.
4. Make Mental Health a Priority
While your family may be your top priority, you can’t take care of them the way you might want to if you’re struggling with your own mental health. So, you may need to shift your perspective and take care of yourself before you can effectively deal with everyone else’s needs.
Prioritizing your mental health can take many different forms. For some moms, it means taking 30 minutes each morning to meditate or practice deep breathing exercises. Doing so allows you to clear your thoughts and be more mindful of the present moment, so everything else fades away for a while.
For others, managing things like anxiety includes eating well, talking with friends, keeping a positive attitude, or even getting help from a mental health professional.
If you feel like you can’t do it all on your own, you might also benefit from hiring a nanny, even if it’s just for a few hours each day. There is no shame in asking for help from someone who has experience in dealing with kids.
Every mom needs a break from time to time. If you want to avoid burnout and be the best mother possible to your kids, while keeping your sanity and sense of self, start putting some of these tips into practice.
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Sam Bowman writes about families, wellness, and how the two merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.
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