Do you ever feel like you are completely overwhelmed? With everyday work tasks, family obligations, household tasks and personal responsibilities, it’s not unusual to find yourself feeling a little (or a lot) stressed out at times. This time of year is always difficult for me, especially with trying to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. I’ve found that a few minor changes to my daily schedule can make a huge difference in my stress level.
10 Tips for Overwhelmed Moms
1. Go to bed. I mean it. Don’t stay up late to finish that tv show or talk to people on Facebook. Go to bed. When you are feeling overwhelmed, your body needs rest.
2. Drink lots of water. Being dehydrated can affect you in a multitude of ways. It can cause a lack of energy, a lack of mental clarity, and physical aches and pains. Of course, everyone has a different suggestion for how much water you actually need, but you should definitely be taking in a minimum of 10 cups of water each day. And no, coffee, soda, and tea don’t count, even though that have water in them.
3. Eat well. Just like with getting enough water, a lack of essential nutrients can affect you both mentally and physically. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet, and if you think you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, take a supplement. Many people tend to eat junk when they are stressed, and that just makes things even worse. Your body can’t function properly if you aren’t giving it the fuel it needs!
4. Write it down. If you are anything like me, you have a million things going through your head at any given moment. That is stressful and can be physically exhausting! Write down all the things you are thinking about, so that you don’t have to obsessively worry about forgetting them. Whether you use a notepad or some sort of app on your phone, get it out of your head and down on paper. You’ll feel better right away, trust me.
5. Let things go. If you are really overwhelmed, then let some things slide that you normally wouldn’t. It won’t hurt anything for the bathroom to get cleaned another day, or for the laundry to sit in a basket until tomorrow. Sometimes you just need to take a break.
6. Ask for help. Often times, others are more than willing to help us if we just ask. It’s not a sign of weakness, and it doesn’t mean you failed. No one is perfect, and sometimes we need a helping hand. Ask your friend, neighbor, spouse, or children (if they are old enough) to help you out with specific tasks that are crowding your plate.
7. Re-evaluate your priorities. Are you trying to do too many things at once? Even if they are obligations that you really enjoy, if you’re trying to be the room parent for two kids, a Sunday school teacher, soccer mom, PTA board member, and more, you might be taking on too much. Figure out what is MOST important to you, and politely let go of the rest. Things won’t fall apart with out you there to run the show, I promise. If you need help figuring out what your most important priorities are, Bernice from The Stressed Mom has put together a great ebook called Find Your Balance with activities to help you do just that! It’s only $4.99 and well worth it!
8. Make time for yourself. Even if it’s just 20 minutes in the tub after the kids go to bed, or an hour with a favorite book during nap time, be sure to set aside that time just for you. Going to the grocery store alone does not count, by the way. You need to have time each day where you can do nothing other than relax. Doing #3 helps a lot before your “me” time, otherwise you’ll be thinking about that stuff the whole time, which kinda defeats the whole purpose.
9. Spend time with your family. Just taking an hour or two to really be in the moment with your family can be really rejuvenating. Put away your phone, and get off the computer, and just be in the moment with your partner and children. Play a game, talk about your favorite past vacation, tell silly jokes, make cookies together, do whatever you want! You may be surprised by how relaxed and fulfilled you’ll feel just from spending that quality time together.
10. Know when to get help. Sometimes a feeling of being overwhelmed is a more than that. Sometimes it can be a sign of depression. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s something that can be managed and even defeated with help. If you are feeling overly stressed, tired, sick, angry, or even feeling nothing at all, you may want to talk to your doctor. If you don’t have the ability to pay for a counselor, contact your local mental health office or local churches, as there are many free and low cost organizations that provide counseling services.
In addition to the tips above, I have put together a list of posts from a few of my favorite bloggers that I think you may find helpful. These are all moms that have been there and know exactly where you are coming from, and all of them offer great tips to help you lower your stress level and hopefully do away with that feeling of being overwhelmed.
1. Bernice from The Stressed Mom encourages others to utilize chore charts, for both adults and children, to help reduce stress. One point that she makes that applies to almost all mothers is this: “One major cause of stress for moms is the fact that we try to do everything ourselves.”
2. Kathleen from My Best of Both Worlds opens up about the mommy guilt she felt when she went back to work after the birth of her child. She shares this simple sentiment, that I think speaks volumes: ”There is no shame in having help.”
3. Ashley from Crunchy Frugalista talks about all of the different “hats” we wear each day. She says something that I think we can all relate to, “some days I wake up feeling frazzle because there just isn’t enough of me to go through the day!”
4. Darcy from Darcy and Brian put together 5 helpful tips for new and expectant moms. My favorite is “don’t stress when things don’t go as planned.“
5. Laura from Day By Day In Our World shares about having “me” time in this post. I love this quote, “Yes, you can carve out time for yourself. BUT, it might not be how you envisioned.”
6. Desiree from Stress Free Baby asks you to really think about what it means to have a good day, and shares a beautiful, thought provoking video about being grateful for each day that we are blessed with.
Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed some days? What do you do to help reduce your stress level? Please take a moment to share your tips below, I’d love to hear what you have to say!