Mothers and women in general are burnt the hell out, it’s a tired that no amount of sleep can cure, an emotional exhaustion that we can’t seem to crawl out of.
This conversation keeps showing up in my coaching sessions and in talking with friends, we’re at a breaking point but we don’t know how to stop it. They’re telling me in hushed whispers…
“I’m trying to do everything, I have no time to myself.”
“I’m exhausted and I lose my temper.”
“I don’t even know who I am anymore.”
You love your spouse, your kids, your life but you’re tapped out and you’re running on fumes. There’s nothing more to give but yet we keep pushing, waiting for the answer to our prayers of things to slow down, so we can stop feeling so damn stressed out and anxious all the time.
Self-care is a buzzword we hear a lot now but what does it really mean? The dictionary defines self-care as “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.” We can’t pour from an empty cup, we need to fill ours up first so we can be all that we need to be for the one’s that we love. Especially us mothers we tend to over give of ourselves but the people who love us need us to be happy, not perfect and that means taking care of ourselves.
Maybe that means something as simple as going to get a pedicure, taking a day to read a book and drink tea alone or going on a hike and being in nature… whatever it is, you get to define what self-care is for you.
Here are some tips to help you make self-care a priority:
Be honest with yourself
It’s time to let go of the perfect facade. Who are you trying to impress when you over volunteer your time, say “Yes” to doing things you hate, or strive for perfection for your kid’s birthday party? We have to let go of perfection, shut down Pinterest for a minute and know that done is better than perfect. If you’re overextending yourself to please others and burning yourself out in the process, get use to saying “No” more and making yourself a priority. Find a group of women that you can be authentic and real with, these women are your tribe.
Minimize the time you spend with “energy vampires” basically the people who suck the energy from you. Set your intention for how you want to feel for the day when you first wake up and if something or someone is trying to pull you from feeling the way you want to feel, try to avoid spending as much time with them. Intentions that I often set for the day are to feel calm, connected and to have fun.
Ask for help
Maybe you need to hire a sitter or ask your family for help. You could have your groceries delivered, have someone clean your house, whatever you can do to take some things off your plate so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. We can not nor should we try to do all the things by ourselves, ask for help when you need it and try to ask before you feel the overwhelm as it’s harder to shift out of when you’re in it, with an overflowing calendar of responsibilities.
Make a happy list
Have a list of 20 or more things that you love to do that make you feel seriously happy. This could be listening to you favorite music, dancing in the kitchen while making your kid’s lunches, spending quiet time meditating for a few minutes each day or going to a dance class. This is your list of the things that bring you the most joy, refer to this list often and incorporate as many as you can each day.
If it’s not in the calendar, it’s not going to happen! We are busy and we often put others before ourselves so we have to schedule our self-care time just like everything else. Putting ourselves first is hard and can bring up negative feelings. Let yourself feel them, maybe write them down in your journal and think back to a time when you were told or shown that in order to be liked you had to be everything to everyone or you aren’t a good mother unless you’re running yourself ragged.
Let me know in the comments, are you feeling burnt out? If you currently have a self-care practice and are making it a priority in your life, share with us in the comments.
If you’re feeling the burn and want more help contact me to set up a coaching session, I can help you work through your feelings and give you tools to minimize the stress and anxiety that you’re feeling so you can feel happier and more fulfilled in your life.