Motherhood can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Here are 19 tips to help you get through mom burnout.
Motherhood comes with its own set of challenges. Not only is it physically tiring, but it also takes a toll on your mental and emotional well-being.
At some point in time, every mom feels exhausted and overloaded. You might see it coming or catch it unawares as a result of an unexpected trigger.
But the impact is the same — you are in danger of hitting a Mom Burnout wall and suffering its consequences.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, take small steps to manage your stress so that you can quickly get back on track again. It’s normal to feel stressed in mom roles!
There is no shame in admitting that things have become too much for you at this moment in time and that you’re in survival mode.
The key here is to not let these feelings fester and intensify, otherwise they will lead to something far more sinister than simple exhaustion — Mom Burnout.
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What is Mom Burnout?
Mom burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. It usually occurs in mothers who are in a situation where they feel unable to cope with the demands that come with the territory. It’s a state of being that has no boundaries.
Mom burnout is not a diagnosable condition or a medical term; it’s simply a state of being that manifests itself in many different ways, depending on the person experiencing it according to mental health experts.
It is often triggered by a major life change, such as a move, a marriage or the birth of a child. It can also be caused by chronic stress, personal health issues, family life, postpartum depression and lifestyle choices.
Why does mom burnout happen?
Mom burnout happens when you feel like you’re swamped with responsibilities and unable to find relief. It’s a state of mental and emotional exhaustion that stems from the strain of juggling too many tasks, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
You might not have the time or energy to care for yourself, your family members and other everyday tasks that need to be done on a daily basis. At this point, your mind and body are on high alert, and this can lead to a state of burnout.
The author of Mommy burnout – family counselor dr. sheryl ziegler – states that parents want to create the ideal childhood for our little ones but this can cause a lot of stress and mommy burnout. If you want a laugh and a relatable read – pick up the audible version here for only a dollar.
What are the signs of Mom Burnout?
Mom burnout is a state that is characterized by a range of emotions. At times, you may feel resentful, angry and frustrated with yourself and your circumstances.
You may feel a sense of hopelessness and feel like you’re drowning in your responsibilities, unable to find a way out until the feeling subsides. Depression is often a sign of mom burnout.
You may find yourself losing interest in activities that used to bring you joy, experiencing changes in your sleep pattern and even experiencing changes in your appetite.
These are just a few of the signs that you may be suffering from mom burnout. It’s important to understand that burnout doesn’t look the same in every person. Your symptoms may not match up with someone else’s, but they’re very real and serious nonetheless.
Tips to help you recover from mom burnout
- Admit to yourself that you are in fact – burnt out.
- Do some serious self-care.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t need to go it alone.
- Make time for activities YOU enjoy.
- Take a break from social media so you don’t compare your life with others.
- Walk away from toxic relationships. You don’t need to be a martyr.
- Take care of your health.
- Make sleep a priority.
- Do a brain dump.
- Put on fresh clothes.
- Get fresh air and exercise regularly – I’m loving these walking workouts right now...but specifically this video with 2000’s hits...
- Reduce your workload.
- Set boundaries.
- Be ok with not getting it all done everyday.
- Leave the house. Go anywhere – just get out.
- Get into a great routine – this is mine!
- Stop the guilt. Let it go.
- Declutter your space – declutter your mind.
- Don’t forget to laugh!
Admit to yourself that you are in fact – burnt out.
Burnout is different from stress. Stress is a short-term, usually transitory response to one or more demands placed on us, whereas burnout is a long-term, cumulative process that occurs when we don’t take care of ourselves and meet our own needs.
It’s important to realise that you can’t keep going the way you are forever — you’ll end up in an extremely dark place if you don’t address the situation right away. Acknowledge to yourself that you are indeed burnt out before it’s too late.
Do some serious self-care.
Invest in self-care, especially fitness and health. This will help you in more ways than one. Not only will it give you a sense of achievement, but it will also help you feel better and more energized, even if you’re a working mom.
If you struggle to find time to exercise, try fitting into your schedule at a different time each day. For example, go for a walk first thing in the morning and then go to work, or squeeze in a quick workout after dropping the kids off at school. This way, you’ll have time to fit it into your day and will likely be less stressed from the added energy boost.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Depending on your situation, there are many avenues for help. These include financial support, emotional support, and even help with housework. Often, the hardest part is actually admitting that you need this help, but take a deep breath and attend to your emotional health and ask for it.
Whether it’s asking a friend or family member to take care of your kids for a few hours so you can take a much-needed nap, or hiring a cleaning service to help with your housework, there are many ways you can get help so you don’t have to go it alone.
Make time for activities YOU enjoy.
All too often, stay at home moms and work out of the home moms focus on the needs of everyone around them. This is particularly true during the first couple of years with a newborn.
But as time progresses, many moms continue to focus on the needs of others, sometimes forgetting about their own needs and wants. This can lead to a serious case of burnout.
There are many ways to combat this. For example, schedule time for activities that you enjoy. This could be anything from attending a yoga class, to reading, to even just going out with friends for coffee. Try your best not to cancel on these activities, even if you are really busy.
You will be grateful that you made it a priority and it can help reset your nervous system, making your life overall easier to manage.
Walk away from toxic relationships.
This could be between you and a family member, or even a friend. Sometimes, people say or do things that are toxic to our mental health and wellbeing. In these situations, you have every right to walk away from these relationships.
While it might be hard to do, it is necessary for your own self-care walk away from toxic relationships. When you are in a toxic relationship, you are likely to bring this negativity into your life. This will then cause you to become stressed, angry, and resentful.
You will be less productive and might even feel depressed.
Take care of your health.
Being fit and healthy will not only help you get through this phase of your life with more ease and grace, but it will also set you up for the long term.
So, however busy you are with your life and whatever excuses you might have as to why you don’t have the time to dedicate to your health, remember that taking care of yourself is the single most important thing you can do for others.
Cut back on caffeine and sugar to reduce the jitters and added stress, and consider taking more time to eat well and get your daily nutrients. If you are low on iron, vitamin B, or calcium, it could be leading to an added sense of fatigue and even headaches.
Make sleep a priority.
We’ve all heard it before: Sleep when the baby sleeps! But how many of us actually put this into practice? As much as possible, try to get into a good sleeping schedule.
Whether you breastfeed or formula feed your baby, there are ways to establish a sleep routine that works for you and your baby in your daily schedule. If you are breastfeeding, try to feed your baby in a quiet, dark environment, and feed for approximately 10 minutes so your baby does not remain at the breast too long and fall asleep.
You can also let your baby suck on his or her fingers or a pacifier to help them settle. Once your baby is asleep, put him or her in a crib or bassinet. If you are bottle-feeding, feed your baby in a quiet, dark environment as well, and try to keep the same routine every day.
Make sure that you burp your baby after each feeding.
Do a brain dump.
When you feel a burning sensation in your head and you’re desperate to get it out — write it all down. Get it out of your head and onto paper. You could also try to visualize it and let the feelings go. Try to space out your tasks throughout the day.
If you have too much to do at once, you will feel more stressed. If tasks pile up, it will feel even more overwhelming. You might even find yourself procrastinating as a result.
If you have kids, try to plan your day around their needs and schedule. This way, you will be able to fit in everything, but not feel like you’re constantly behind. Don’t try to do everything at once. You will only end up with a bigger to-do list!
Put on fresh clothes.
Find yourself constantly changing into the same clothes day after day? Maybe it’s time to put on a clean set of clothes, such as t-shirts or cardigans. Having a set of clothes that are clean and comfortable to wear can really lift your mood.
If you have the time and resources, consider hiring a cleaning service to do a weekly or bi-weekly deep clean. This will free up some of your time and allow you to focus on other things.
You might want to invest in a few helpful items, such as an ironing board and iron, to keep your clothes looking clean and fresh.
Get fresh air and exercise regularly
The benefits of exercise for pregnant moms and moms with small children are many. It can help to alleviate stress and improve your mood, reduce your risk of depression, relieve back pain, and improve your overall health.
Choose an exercise that you enjoy and can do regularly. You might want to choose an activity that can be done indoors or outdoors and can be modified to fit your changing needs throughout your pregnancy. Take advantage of your child’s nap time.
You might want to look into joining a mommy and me exercise class. Not only will you have the chance to meet and make new friends, but your child is also able to play with other children and have fun while you exercise.
Reduce your workload.
You might want to take a look at your overall schedule and reduce your workload. Put your schedule in an easy-to-read calendar and block out time for yourself.
You might want to consider hiring a housecleaner to help you out, especially if you have small children. Ask for help whenever you can. Many people want to help you, but you just have to let them know what you need from them.
You might want to talk to your partner, partner’s family members or friends to see if they can help you with anything.
You might want to let your friends and family know that you need help around the house because you are overwhelmed.
When you feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to make excuses for not wanting to see certain people or go certain places. Don’t fall into this trap of isolation. Meet up with your friends, visit your family, and go out with your partner. You don’t have to always say yes to every invitation.
Sometimes, you just need to say no. When you say no to things, it’s important that you don’t feel bad about it. You have a right to choose how you spend your time and money, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
You don’t have to explain yourself either, but if you feel the need, you could say something like: “I’m really sorry, but I’m just too busy at the moment.”
You don’t have to apologize for not having enough time in the day.
Be ok with not getting it all done everyday.
You can’t do everything in one day. You won’t get it all done and you don’t have to. Accept that you can’t do everything, and focus on doing the most important things.
Try to take care of the important tasks first thing in the day so that you don’t have to worry about them later on in the day. Don’t try to do everything at once either.
Break your tasks and goals down into small, manageable chunks, so that they are easier to achieve.
You might also want to try to have a clean-up time where you clear your desk and other work areas. This way, you can avoid the temptation of putting things off and they won’t overwhelm you.
Leave the house. Go anywhere – just get out.
One of the best ways to reduce mom stress is by leaving the house and getting away from it all. Find time in your schedule to go out with your partner, a friend or family member even if it’s only for a few hours.
You can go for a walk, to the park, shopping or even just go to the movies. You can also take your children out for the day if they are old enough. You can go to the beach, go for a walk, or visit a museum.
Anything will do as long as you are getting out of the house and away from the daily stressors of your life.
Get into a great routine
Having a routine will help you stay focused and organized. It will also give you something to look forward to when you are feeling super stressed. Having a clear routine will also allow you to have some alone time to decompress and have time to reflect on your day/week/month while your kids are napping.
Stop The Mom Guilt
You are doing the best that you can and that is all that matters. You don’t have to be Super Mom who can do everything because that is not realistic. You can’t be everything to everyone.
Be kind and loving towards yourself. Be sure to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Find time to do something that you love to do. Whether that be reading, gardening, painting, baking, hiking, etc.
Declutter your space
Having a messy space full of toys and clothes that are not being used is incredibly stressful! Getting all that stuff out of your home and having a clean space will help a lot!
Decluttering will help you feel so much better and less stressed. It’s also important to declutter your mind, too. Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people and messages.
Try not to let yourself get sucked into toxic friendships or interactions. It’s important to surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart.
Don’t forget to laugh!
Laughter is the best medicine and it is a great way to relieve stress. Make time to do things that you enjoy doing such as watching your favourite tv show, reading a book, or going to a comedy show. If you have small kids then try to find time to make memories with them.
There are some great mom blogs and Facebook groups that feature funny posts. Or you can make your own funny posts! You can also make time for your friendships. The people in your life who support you and encourage you are incredibly important to help get through mom burnout.
These are all things that will help you relieve stress and keep your sanity while also helping you not let mom burnout get the best of you! Now that you know how to avoid mom burnout, it’s time to take action!
Take small steps to manage your stress so that you can quickly get back on track again. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying life again. And remember, you are not alone!
Mom burnout can occur at any stage in motherhood, and it still makes you a good mom, but it’s most often felt during the first year of your child’s life. When you first become a mother, you’re going to be experiencing a whole range of emotions, which will affect your mental health, causing you to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Being that we are our worst inner critic and we set up unrealistic expectations for ourselves, it is so easy to get into the mom burnout rut, especially with sleep deprivation playing a large part of new mom life.
Many new mothers will experience some degree of post-partum depression and anxiety, and the exhaustion that comes with it, but you can take steps to avoid hitting a wall and suffering from mom burnout.
If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned signs, ask yourself if you’re experiencing mom burnout. If so, it’s important that you do something about it in order to prevent it from worsening.