Motherhood these days is, let’s face it, a juggling act. Multi-tasking – a must! Most of us have probably had days where we feel completely overwhelmed. But how good are we at noticing when this is happening and taking preventative measures to stop it becoming too much? Suzy Reading, mum of two, specialises in self-care and helps people manage their stress, emotions and energetic bank balance. These are her top five self care tricks to beat overwhelm.
Avoid the 3 P’s
When you feel the stress hormones start to flood your system, anchor your mind on constructive thinking by steering clear of the 3 Ps. The 3 Ps will rob you of any inner peace. They are:
- Personalisation – thinking you are to blame… e.g. the kids are kicking off, it’s all my fault… I’m a bad mum… No, your kids are behaving like kids. There are lots of different variable at play. It’s going to be ok.
- Pervasiveness – everything is awful! No, it’s just this journey that’s tough or this period of time or this one behaviour. Chunk it down and it will help you get a grip.
- Permanence – it’s going to be like this FOREVER! Breathe, this could all change in an instant, or maybe it will be tough for a while, but it won’t be forever. Hang in there!
Shut down and reboot
Just like our computer needs a reboot every so often, so do we. Unplug yourself and take a minute to recharge by ‘earthing your brow’. Think Homer Simpson saying ‘D’oh’… Bring the back of the hand to the forehead or rest your head in your hands. This is rebooting your nervous system. Take a seat at a table and rest your head on your folded hands for six slow, deep breaths. If you’re in full scale meltdown, get onto the floor and take a child’s pose. This will help.
Pepper your day with micro moments of nourishment
Self-care needn’t take big chunks of time for it to be effective. Give yourself a moment where you set the intention to carve out some peace for yourself. For one minute, let the ‘to do’ list wait. Consciously scan your body and release any tension you find. Maybe take some shoulder rolls and shake out your hands and legs. Spritz some scent and take six relaxed breaths, relishing that the world can wait for you. When you breathe better, you feel better. We all have time for this kind of self-care and it is genuinely potent! Then re-enter the day with focus and vigour. You’ll get done what you can humanly get done and when that overwhelm starts to rise, repeat this exercise.
Break down your day into bite-sized chunks
Chunk down your day – don’t do it all in your head right now, that will fry any mummy’s brain. Tackle the task at hand right now and mentally leave the rest until it is required of you. Take it hour by hour or minute by minute when you have to. Break it down and things feel far more surmountable. And as you knock down all those individual tasks (so often unsung) repeat the mantra: I appreciate me. What you are doing as a Mother is incredible. Get good at reflecting on all you are achieving and see them for the true mini accomplishments that they are.
Shake it off
When all else fails but on some feel good music and ‘shake it off’ in true Taylor Swift style. Music is an instant mood alchemist, as is movement. It can also distract the kids from their gripes. Have an impromptu dance party or karaoke session. Try something upbeat or seek out some classical if you need soothing. The Greatest Showman soundtrack will see me through the week…
Want to hear about more tips and tools to help find greater balance in your motherhood journey? Follow Suzy on Instagram @suzyreading where she regularly shares her wisdom and inspiration. Suzy is also part of a team of wellbeing experts who are planning to launch a new mobile app, Nourish, to support mothers with their emotional wellbeing.