Why is it important to look after yourself? Well, who gives their best to anything when they are tired, overwhelmed and cranky?
I think as mothers, we expect ourselves to be putting others’ needs first. That’s what mothers do, right? Yes, that’s what a lot of us do but after having three children I realize I am a better mom when I make a little time for myself and connect to things that make me relaxed and happy. It is not being selfish. It is being kind to yourself.
When I meet new moms and say this to them I am often met with “how am I supposed to fit that in?”. If you don’t plan it and make it a priority, it won’t happen. Stop believing you have to do everything and take a little time where and whenever you can. When you are less depleted you can get more done in the end.
Tips for Stressed Moms
Below is a list of 33 things a stressed mom can do and say to look after herself. Keep in mind that you may not feel able to do many of the things listed here all at once. The most important thing is to do what you are able, no more, no less. Take small steps, try not to be too hard on yourself and take one day at a time.
- Do not expect too much from yourself right now.
- Take short breaks from the baby.
- Go for a short walk.
- Avoid strict or rigid schedules.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Avoid overdoing anything.
- Get out of the house.
- Set small goals for yourself.
- Rest when your baby naps or if your child is older, take time for yourself when they are at preschool/school. Don’t just do errands.
- Eat healthily every 3 -4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels(and therefore mood) even.
- Screen phone calls.
- Set limits with your guests.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Delegate household duties.
- Let others know what they can do to help.
- Let your partner/family/friends know how you are feeling.
- Be very specific about what you need from your partner.
- Avoid people who make you feel bad and seek out those who make you feel good.
- Set boundaries with people you can’t avoid.
- Lose any expectations you have of yourself & others that can’t possibly be fulfilled.
- Trust your instincts. You are doing many things right!
- Expect some good days and some bad days.
- Prioritize what needs to be done and what can wait.
- Thank your partner/family/friends for helping you.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Do not blame yourself.
- Do the best you can. If it doesn’t feel like enough, it’s enough for now.
- Encourage your partner to also seek support from friends and outside activities.
- Give yourself permission to have negative feelings but also catch yourself doing something well or experiencing something positive rather than only dwelling on the negatives.
- Confide in someone you trust.
- Remind yourself that all adjustment takes time.
- Don’t feel guilty, it wastes energy.
Lastly, remember take the time to nurture yourself so you have the physical & emotional strength to take care of your family.
I have worked with hundreds of moms in the last 20 years and know it is not always easy to put yourself first. If you would like support in feeling more yourself and less overwhelmed, please reach out.
I see clients in my Northbrook office or for your convenience,
If you have any questions about how to be less stressed and overwhelmed
contact me at 847 791-7722 or on the form below.