Are you wondering how to beat the mummy burnout? One of the problems with modern-day motherhood is not only the expectation to “do it all” but also to do it and enjoy every moment…’good vibes only’! It makes the motherload heavy. Very heavy. It’s a recipe for feeling frazzled, tired, stressed, not good enough, and depleted.

The real clincher is the fact that we have normalised feeling this way to a point that most mums just brush it off as “part of being a mum” – that feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and frazzled is just the way life is now. No time for yourself. Needed all the time by others. Feeling overwhelmed and like it’s getting harder to cope. Feelings of guilt and failure as a mum. Tired all of the time, and not sleeping well. Feeling a little flat, disconnected and unmotivated.

Are you headed for burnout?

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s an alarm bell telling you that it’s time to put your own needs first – for once – as you could be heading for burnout. It’s really important to recognise these warning signs so you can prevent mummy burnout. Mummy burnout is very serious and takes a long time to recover from – you don’t want to reach the point of burnout, prevention is key.

So, how can we beat burnout?

Here are my top six tips to beat the mummy burnout…

Eat brekkie!

The food you eat has a powerful effect on your stress hormones, gut health, energy and mood. Make sure you start your day right with a balanced breakfast. Missing meals, especially breakfast, can cause blood sugar imbalances, which causes irritability, fatigue, and brain fog. It can even cause your brain to produce excess cortisol, making you feel more stressed and anxious. By eating a breakfast filled with a combination of complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein from whole food sources — you’ll set yourself up to be the best version of yourself for the day ahead.

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Top up your micronutrients

Stress, anxiety, poor sleep, no rest…it can all deplete your micronutrients. You can’t just supplement your way out of burnout, but there is definitely a place for supplements in bridging any gaps and helping you to keep moving along while you heal. You won’t be on supplements forever, once you are on the road to recovery – nutrient-dense food sources will replace the supplements. Supplements to explore that can help boost energy and fight fatigue and stress include Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Copper, Magnesium, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Melatonin, Glycine, Magnesium, Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, CBD, and fat soluble vitamins: A, E and K.

Gut health

Research over the past few years has shown us that our gut health impacts all aspects of our health and wellbeing. If you are looking to improve your mood and mental wellbeing, gut health is the key. Most of your ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, the chemical that controls your mood as well as several functions in your brain, is directly influenced by your gut health. So a happy gut = a happy mood! Kick-start your gut health journey by following these simple tips:

  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  • Add fermented foods into your diet; think kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and miso
  • Include plenty of inflammation-reducing foods in your diet: avocados, berries, broccoli, cacao, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, fatty fish (like wild salmon, mackerel, and sardines), grapes, green tea, mushrooms, onions, peppers, turmeric, walnuts, watermelon.
  • Include plenty of high fibre foods in your diet: avocados, lentils, black beans, chickpeas and most beans.

What makes you happy?

This is all about regularly taking the time to do something you enjoy that nourishes you mentally, emotionally and physically. Try this exercise:

Write a list of things that bring you joy.

What makes you feel good? Not ‘feel good’ in a way that you become numb as with alcohol or zoning out watching TV or scrolling social media – I’m talking about things that make you ‘feel good’ in a way that make you feel alive, connected, set your heart on fire, & refresh your spirit? Not ‘good-numb’. ‘Good-connected’, ‘good-alive’, ‘good-loving’ is what we are aiming for here. Write them all down – big and small.

Write your ‘to do’ list

Make a list of things you do every day – laundry, cooking for the kids, work, chores…

Compare the lists

Usually, there will be some misalignment between how you are spending your time each day and your happy list, there may be very few or even no items from your ‘happy list’ on your daily ‘to do’ list. Just being aware of this is the first step in re-addressing the balance.

Adjust accordingly

Everyone finds this step the hardest. How can you possibly find time in your already jam-packed schedule to fit anything else in? Start with trying to find just 10 minutes a day. Maybe use time when you scroll social media for a ‘joy list’ task. Or cut back on TV. Maybe you could get up 10 minutes earlier? Can something on your ‘to do’ list wait until tomorrow? Prioritising yourself is really important and can make you feel so much more positive and about your day. So what can you do today to bring you joy?

To prevent mummy burnout, Give yourself a little of what you need each day

A massive part of surviving motherhood and mummy burnout is about loving yourself enough to know what you need and then actually giving yourself what you need. So ask yourself 2 questions each morning…

  1. How do I FEEL today? This can be a single word. Tired. Exhausted. Stressed. Calm. Positive. Unmotivated. Meh. Honour and mindfully acknowledge how you feel. It’s vital as it’s the first step to giving yourself what you need.
  2. What do I NEED today? What one thing (it can be a tiny thing) can you give yourself today to help with how you feel? A walk outside. A cup of hot tea. Swapping mindlessly scrolling social media for a hot bath at the end of the day. Swapping numbing yourself with TV for a video call with a great friend to feel more connected….

 Be kind to yourself

  • It can be quite daunting to make changes to your life to achieve balance. So much advice out there and so many things to potentially modify in your day to day. My advice to you is to keep it simple and go little by little until you find something that works for you.
  • Focus on progress, not perfection. It’s the tiny tweaks and subtle shifts in our behaviours and thoughts that add up to make a big difference. So just pick 1 way to show up for yourself today: drink a big glass of water; get outside and go for a walk, take a few long and deep breaths, journal out your thoughts, take a long bath, or swap scrolling social media for reading a book.
  • Set your expectations low. Remind yourself that no one is nailing this, everyone is riding the highs and lows just like you (you just don’t often see all their lows).
  • Look for small moments of magic in your day…bank as many simple joys as you can (a favourite cosy jumper, warm tea, a child’s laugh, falling into bed after a busy day)
  • Move – movement is mood medicine! (even a few sun salutations whilst the kettle boils or pop the kids in-front of the TV for 10 minutes and roll out your mat)
  • Remind yourself that it’s Ok to take a break – to rest, or have fun.
  • Meditate: mindful meditation is proven to have positive effects on all sorts of things from blood pressure to mood, with just 10 minutes going a long way in reducing any stress and overwhelm.
  • Set boundaries: learn to say no and to explain what is and isn’t ok – don’t become everyone’s saviour! Say yes to the most important things and no to the things you don’t have to or want to do.
  • Learn to ask for and receive help: You don’t have to do everything on your own to be a good mama! I hope you know that it’s OK to ask for help.
Article by Louise Murray, founder of Live Well With Lou and The Mama Collective.
Louise studied at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition (IIN), where she studied over 100 dietary theories, learned innovative coaching methods and practical lifestyle medicine with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. Lou has specialist training in hormone health (IIN), as well as being a 10 of zen mindfulness teacher for mums, and is member of the UK Health Coaches Association.

The Mama Collective

The Mama Collective is an online programme launched in September to make health coaching affordable and accessible for busy mums seeking greater energy and alignment. Each week you will have access to 3-4 LIVE coaching sessions on nutrition, mindfulness, self-love and mindset as well as access to a recipe pack with meal planner and shopping list. All sessions are saved on the collective hub so you can watch back on demand in your own time. Priced at £24.99 per month. Use the code “MYBABA” for your first month for free.