Mom burnout is no joke. Instagram and social media shows us the picture of smiling children, accompanied by a calm mother resting with a book on the couch. Then, she leads them to the park and has fun chatting with a girlfriend.
It can be a huge shock to a young mother when she finally realizes this is just a “glossy photo”. Sure, it is a magic moment when you hold your baby for the first time. But, a woman still has to face many emotions and experiences.
So, what is emotional burnout? Emotional burnout is emotional exhaustion. It happens from the accumulation of stressors in our life. In such a state, it can be difficult to respond to the needs of a child.
How does burnout arise?
Stress accumulates because of the hard emotional work that a woman does on a daily basis:
- Constant responsibility for the safety and health of the child.
- Day planning – where to go, what to buy, what to take.
- Response to fights – “who is to blame” and “who will clean it”.
- Recycling of own emotions – all these “I am a bad mother” and “I do everything wrong,” feelings, followed by joy – several times a day up and down.
- Negative emotions that need to be kept under wraps.
Who may experience more burnout?
- Parents with children with a difference of less than 5 years.
- Parents of a sick child. These may be frequent colds, or families with children with high needs.
- Single-parent families, where the entire burden of raising a child falls on one adult.
- Families who live in difficult living conditions.
- Desire to be “the perfect mother”. The child should always be washed, beautiful, fed, smart. If that does not happen mom, starts to feel anxious. Perfectionism is a direct path to emotional burnout.
How to recover from mom burnout
1. Practice self-care
Find something that brings you joy. It is important to always practice self-care and take the time you need to recharge. When you spend the entire day focused on others, it’s easy to forget that you are a person too. You have needs that need to be attended to. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
2. Stick to a regular sleep schedule
It may be difficult, but regulating your sleep schedule can have a profound effect on your mental health. If possible, take short naps during the day to ensure you are well rested. Going to bed a bit earlier, or waking up a bit later can also make a big difference. If you are feeling restless before bed, try a warm cup of tea and a sleep meditation. Spotify and YouTube have some free meditations available to help you unwind. There are also paid apps available.
Whether you are working out at home, or jogging outside in the fresh air, exercise is important. Even if its just a quick stretch in the morning, keeping active can keep us healthy. You don’t need to break the bank to stay fit. There are plenty of free exercises available on YouTube.
4. Meet other moms
Socializing with other moms in the neighborhood can be therapeutic. You may even meet other moms at the park, at school, or during events.
5. Ask for help
Remember that it is always ok to ask for help. Communicate to your loved ones if you are starting to feel burnt out and need some things taken off your plate. Nobody can help you if you do not ask. Even if its as simple as a single chore, let someone else contribute to your workload. Is there anything better than crossing things off the “to-do” list?
6. Stop scrolling
Social media sets high, unrealistic expectations of what our lives should look like. If possible, take a break from scrolling on Instagram and put the phone away. If you are looking to unwind, try reading a fiction book. Getting lost in a story is a great way to escape our hectic lives for a short while.
7. Keep things clean
A tidy, organized home has a significant impact on our wellbeing. We waste a lot of time running around looking for things we have misplaced. If our spaces are clean, our stress levels can decrease. This helps prevent exhaustion and burnout.
8. See your loved ones
Sometimes, seeing family and friends is just what the doctor ordered. If you are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, set aside some time to see the people you love the most.
9. Write it out
Journaling can be an excellent way to sort out our thoughts. You don’t need a long time to journal. Even if its for a few minutes before bed, it can be very therapeutic to write out our emotions.
10. Don’t blame yourself
Last but not least, do not blame yourself for being burnout. It is likely that you are burnt out because you are doing the best that you can (and more). Pushing aside the guilt and accepting the fact that we are tired is a huge step in recovering.
Have you ever experienced mom burnout? What things did you do to help recover?