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How to recover from mom burnout

Talking about mom burnout on the blog today.

Hi friends! I hope you’re having a wonderful morning so far. I’m meeting with a friend for coffee and then working on a few things for Fit Team. If you haven’t joined us yet, you can sign up now and take advantage of the flash sale!!

For today’s post, I wanted to talk a bit about mom burnout. While I’m in a positive space with motherhood, there have absolutely been times when I’ve felt overwhelmed and burned out. I wanted to dedicate this post to discussing mommy burnout, and share some of the things I’ve learned. Of course, I always love hearing your thoughts and perspectives, too. I also recognize that as a mom, I’m fortunate and privileged in many aspects of life and am grateful for all of them. There will always be those who have it better or worse than yourself; the best you can do is have gratitude for the blessings in your life, and compassion for those who are having a difficult time.

What is mom burnout exactly?

I think of it as a state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion that most moms are likely to experience at one point in their lives. I’ve learned over time that various factors can contribute to mom burnout. It can happen when you have maxed out your capacity to care for others, and it can also come from the invisible emotional and mental load mothers need to carry. Peer pressure, unrealistic expectations, and social media can also contribute to feelings of burnout, and I think it’s SO important for moms to fill their own cups first.

Mom burnout should not be taken lightly. If not addressed appropriately, mom burnout can lead to even more serious health issues. If you feel like you are suffering, please reach out and get the help you deserve. Please keep in mind that I’m NOT a professional on this matter, just a mom who can relate to other moms experiencing burnout, sharing my story and things I’ve learned. You can absolutely love your kids like crazy and still experience mom burnout. It doesn’t mean you’re not a good mom; you just need a little extra TLC.

How to recover from mom burnout

Taking breaks and taking time to recharge

This can be so hard to do, especially if you have a tiny newborn. Use any opportunity you have to take a break and recharge, even if it’s for a short nap, a hot shower, or 10 minutes to blankly stare at the wall.

Talk it out

When you feel overwhelmed, whether you’re dealing with parenting exhaustion or life stuff, it can be so helpful to talk it out. It can be with a trusted friend, partner, family members, or a professional. The good news is that, often just speaking your frustrations can feel like a load has been lifted. Also, when you say things out loud, it’s easier to develop an action plan or objectively see the situation without so many emotions attached to it.

Prioritizing self care

This can be a tricky one, especially when you’re so devoted to caring for others, but I’m a big believer that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Making self-care a regular part of your routine is a great way to alleviate stress. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be *all the things*; it could be one thing that you look forward to each week or each day. Some self-care ideas include attending your favorite weekly yoga class, a phone call with a friend, a hike or walk outside, reading a book, or soaking in a bubble bath.

Focus on the bare essentials

When you feel burned out, try to delete the unnecessary tasks from your routine. This might be something like having an impeccably clean house and crossing off all of the items on your to-do list. Keeping other humans alive, happy, and fed is a huge task, and, along with taking care of yourself, should be enough to give you a sense of accomplishment. You should feel proud of yourself without feeling like you need to do more. <3

Do something that makes you feel like YOU

This can be something like dusting off your ukulele, reading a book, a dinner date with your partner, meeting up with a friend for coffee, or a solo shopping trip. Even if it only lasts for 15 minutes during nap time, try to do something that brings you joy and that was a part of your life before kids that you’ve been missing since.

Delegate anything you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help

Wherever it makes sense for your family and budget, outsource as many things as possible. For even more effective stress management, consider outsourcing the tasks that you despise. For example, if you love cooking but hate grocery shopping, try grocery delivery. If you hate cooking, try some pre-made meals each week from a service you like. (Some of my clients have found out that their husbands love to cook, so they’ve taken over the meal prep and dinner duties.) Hire someone to clean the house if that works for you (it is a lifesaver for me, and I sacrifice other things to carve this into our budget), or any other household chores or tasks that are adding additional stress. See what can be deleted, and delegate as much as you can.

Drop the mom guilt

I feel like it’s SO easy to feel guilty about so many different things, especially when there’s so much…passionate… messaging online. Whether you’re one of the working moms with a full-time office job or you work part-time from home job, are a stay-at-home-mom, have a vaginal birth or c-section, breastfeed your baby, do attachment parenting, sleep routines, medical decisions, etc. People have a lot of opinions about how you choose to raise your kids. At the end of the day, you have to trust that you’re making the best decision for your family and drop as much mom guilt as you can. (This is something I’m working on myself, and often feel guilty whenever I have to work or film videos and the kids are home.)

Meet with a professional to get hormones and nutrient deficiencies addressed

When I was going through postpartum anxiety and depression, there was a lot going on (a cancer diagnosis in the family and a baby with severe reflux), but I was also facing nutrient deficiencies, sleep deprivation (this makes everything worse), and significant hormone imbalances. Once these things were addressed, the dark cloud lifted, and I finally started to feel more like myself.

If you feel off, I think it’s absolutely worth speaking with your doctor or functional medicine practitioner. They can work with you to come up with a plan to help you feel better! Also, I can’t say enough good things about therapy. It’s helped me through many situations in my life and has been a key factor in managing chronic stress. I can’t say it enough: I’m grateful for the kind and experienced therapists out there.

Invest in relationships

Take the time to invest in the relationships that are meaningful for you. This is huge for overall health and mental wellbeing, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted. Connect with your tribe and reach out to those you love, even if it’s just a quick text to say hi.

Surround yourself with positive and inspiring examples of motherhood

I’m so so thankful to be surrounded by a group of moms who also love being moms. We can share our challenging moments with each other, but we also cheer each other on. Their positivity and perspective always brings me a dose of positive energy. They inspire me to be a better mom and experience true joy in motherhood. Try to connect with other moms who will encourage and inspire you, whether they’re family, friends, or potential friends, and set boundaries to distance yourself from anyone who drags you down.

On the same note:

Watch out for social media. Don’t be afraid to do a social media cleanup or detox.

It took me a while to realize that social media can be triggering for me on the motherhood front. When I first had Liv, it’s like you weren’t allowed to say that anything was difficult or challenging or you were a *bad mom.* (And I’ve totally been called this, multiple times, by strangers on the internet.) Now, on the other hand, if you exude too much happiness, you can be accused of “toxic positivity.”

I feel like a lot of the messaging around motherhood, in an effort to be *real* has ended up being extremely negative in various accounts. One video that stood out to me showed a mom giving her child a plate of alphabet chicken nuggets that spelled out “f you.” The child clapped and joyfully ate the nuggets while the mom snickered behind the screen. It wasn’t *real* to me. It was cruel, and I cried after I watched the video.

That moment, and many other unfortunate ones like it, led to me realizing I needed to be more conscious of who I follow on social media. I like to follow accounts ran by moms who share their fun adventures with their kids. While they absolutely share snippets of more difficult experiences, on the whole, they enjoy the members of their family.

You have to assess what type of messaging you like seeing online, and act accordingly. Delete the accounts that make you feel sad, and the ones that spread negativity, encourage comparison, or are harmful for your mental health. It also feels good to put the phone on airplane mode for a day or even a few hours whenever you need a time-out. 😉

Remember that all stages of motherhood are fleeting

Not too long ago, I would often get used to a certain routine or specific habits and then within a couple of weeks, everything would change. Now that the kids are older and way more independent, I’m constantly aware of how quickly time passes. You don’t have to enjoy every single moment (especially when you’re sleep-deprived, covered in milk stains, and recovering from birth), but I think it can be helpful to remember that time really does go quickly. Before you know it, you can ask them to do their homework.. and they’ll do it… by themselves. It’s wild, I tell ya.

So tell me, friends: what motherhood accounts do you like to follow online?

Any tips for mom burnout, or burnout in general?

xoxo

Gina

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