19 Jun Mum Burnout: 7 Tips Every Mum Should Know
As mum’s, our lives are often filled with the demands of family, chores and work. Time can be spent carting a carload of screaming children, making endless beds and talking to the boss with a small child attached to your hip. Our minds and time are thinly stretched, making us susceptible to the stress and exhaustion that comes from juggling too many balls in the air.
According to a 2019 Hilda Study, mothers are working approximately 76.5 hours a week. This includes 21.4 hours of paid work, 29.4 hours of housework and 25.7 hours of childcare. It is no wonder that Mum burnout is very real, and the effects can be debilitating.
Looking after yourself is the priority.
It all starts with a good night’s rest. Go to bed around the same time every night. It can be hard to wind down as mums tend to run around at night once the kids are in bed trying to get everything done. Or we are so thankful for the time alone that we stay up for hours on end watching Netflix. But it is important to have a routine and to get enough sleep every night. Consistency is the key.
If you find it hard to wind down at, avoiding technology several hours before hitting the pillow. Reading a book or listening to a meditation session will relax your body and prepare it for sleep.
We have all been there, the kids are asleep, the TV is on and we head to the fridge to sneak a piece of chocolate, some biscuits or chips. It makes us feel good and we enjoy the downtime with a treat. However, establishing healthy eating habits will ensure you have a clearer mind and the ability to focus and more energy. By adding fruits, vegetables and non-processed food to your diet, your body will be getting the fuel it needs.
As a mum, we tend to take a lot on our plates. We fill it continuously until it can’t take anymore and topples over. Saying no is ok and will give you the freedom of having more time to do the things you want to do. Try it and see how freeing it is. The next time someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, just say the magic word, no. It doesn’t have to be an outright no either. Try something like, ‘Thank you for thinking of me, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to (whatever it is) at this time.’ You’ll soon realise that it wasn’t hard after all and you’ve just made your load that little bit lighter.
Exercising is a must but is often the first thing we let go. It will make you feel better, both mentally and physically. Exercise will lift your mood, relax your mind and have you sleep a lot better as well. Do whatever exercise lifts your spirits. Go for a walk through nature, do a Pilates class or swim in the ocean.
Each month write down in your diary or journal what you have accomplished for the month prior. Sometimes we believe that we haven’t done much when in fact we have. It is a great way to reflect on the big and small wins in life. Celebrating the small wins is such an important thing to do.
Think about what makes you happy? Is it watching a movie snuggled up on the couch or calling a girlfriend you haven’t spoken to in a while and having a good laugh? Either way, it is important to make sure you have some ‘you’ time. Do something that doesn’t involve the kids or your partner. Taking time out regularly will lower your stress levels and have you reconnect with yourself. Schedule it ahead of time and make sure you stick to it.
Regular date nights with your partner is not only a fun way to experience some downtime but also reduces stress, promotes better communication and helps you reconnect.
Remember, it is always ok to ask for help. If you feel like everything is too much and you are unable to focus and have lost interest and joy in life, please make an appointment with your GP. Never suffer in silence.