Mom burn out. We’ve all been there. The day you wake up and realize you really haven’t cared much about anything for the past week, you snap at your kids at the drop of a hat and you’re just waiting till bedtime so you can turn on Netflix and be brain dead for 30 minutes before one of the kids is up, yet again.
Yikes, I felt exhausted just writing that.
I think there are cycles to Motherhood. Sometimes they last days, weeks, months. Other times they last seconds or hours.
It’s okay to not feel super happy and amazing one hundred percent of the time. What’s important is recognizing when you are burnt out and trying to snap out of it.
You may be burnt out if:
- You are snapping at your kids for every small thing, especially things that don’t really matter.
- You’re exhausted to the point that waking up is a chore.
- You wake up feeling heavy and hopeless before the day has even started.
- You’ve stopped laughing, and everything is a big deal.
1. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU REALLY WANNA DO?
Not like, it would be nice to go see a movie.
I’m talking deep down in your soul, that something that makes you feel giddy and excited and kind of sort of crazy.
- Go hiking in the Andes
- Write a book
- Run a marathon
- START running!
- Spend a week or two in Tokyo or Paris
- Start a business
- Sell everything you own and travel in an RV!
Maybe none of those things does it for you so try to find the something that makes you feel kind of nervous but still happy thinking about it. Like, it’s crazy, right? And if you told anyone they’d be like what?
Maybe it’s something you’ve had hiding deep down for years. Maybe it just hit you now! Whatever it is, WRITE IT DOWN, PHYSICALLY, ON PAPER.
I want to_________________________________________________________________ because _______________________________!
Now, look at at it. And drink up those feelings it brings.
I think it’s really easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of having kids and use them as an excuse not to work toward something that lights up your soul.
Our kids do light up our souls, yes. But they also exhaust us on the deepest levels. And we need something to replenish us, for US.
Do one thing every day that brings you closer to whatever it is you want to do. If it’s traveling, skip eating out once a week and put the money in a savings account. If it’s writing a book, allot yourself just 10 minutes per day to sit down and WRITE.
Take the first steps toward your dream.
2. EXERCISE TO BEAT MOM BURN OUT
I know, it seems counter-intuitive to try to exercise when you’re tired and have no energy for anything. And that’s why starting to exercise is the hardest part. You have to convince your very tired and not motivated mind to get up and try to start DOING something.
Exercising release endorphins (everyone knows that, right?) but what does that really mean for YOU, momma, who is burnt out?
That endorphin release can actually leave you feeling euphoric. Which in turn can make dealing with your kids a hell of a lot easier.
I always noticed my patience was much better after a walk, a run, a small work out. Not only does it make you feel GOOD and like you can accomplish anything, it raises your patience back up and makes everything much easier to deal with.
3. MAKE BETTER FOOD CHOICES
Again, easy to say. NOT easy to do. Oh boy, do I know how hard it is.
The problem is that we get into cycles of eating something that makes us feel momentarily good or gives us an immediate (short) boost of energy.
So we start craving these things- bread, chips, chocolate, sugary drinks/sweets/snacks.
And then it’s hard to break the cycle of being exhausted/burnt out—>reaching for that momentary pick me up—>repeat.
Try reaching for something that is nutrient dense that you don’t have to feel guilty about. Something that will take away the feelings of fogginess and give you a clean, long burning energy.
Some examples would be:
- Brazil nuts
- Hummus and veggies
- Berries with coconut yogurt and granola
Have you heard of the Daily Dozen? It’s a free app created by Dr. M. Greger, the author of “How Not To Die.” The foods on the Daily Dozen are the healthiest foods you could possibly be eating everyday and this app helps you to keep track of what you’re getting! I’ve been using it on and off for about 2 years. Super motivating and helpful!
4. TURN OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE
Being constantly on our phones and flicking through social media, flicking through email, checking this, checking that-
is NOT helpful on a good day, let alone when you have succumbed to mom burn out.
Tap into how you feel when you are scrolling through social media or the news. You will notice that you are having physical reactions to what you’re seeing; anger, sadness, jealousy, anxiety, etc.
Because even though you are just looking at pictures on a screen, your mind cannot differentiate the distinction between that and NO IMMEDIATE DANGER.
Look around you.
What do you see?
Chances are that you’re safe. You’re reading this on a phone so you have money to pay for that. You have a roof over your head. Clean drinking water. Food in the fridge.
So, yes, some of the things that you’re looking at may be happening. But they are happening elsewhere in the world. Can you physically do anything to stop/help/change right now, at this very moment?
Probably not. And it’s not helpful to you or your kids to be in a constant state of worry/anxiety/jealousy because of these things that you have no control over.
5. STEP BACK AND REMEMBER
Remember that the days are long, but the years are short.
Remember the moment you saw that faint positive line on that pregnancy test, the one where your whole life changed.
Remember the day they were born, the day you started the journey of uncovering parts of yourself you never knew existed.
Remember that toothless smile. Remember all the teeth that came in!
Those first steps, that first word that had you gasping in awe and laughing with joy.
Remember the sleepless nights that felt like an eternity but really, it was only a few short months.
Remember the day they started to joke with you, to reason.
Step back, and try to remember that one day they won’t even be in your house, let alone your bed.
They’ll be spreading their wings and experiencing life, joy, heartbreak, sorrow.
And a hug from mom won’t protect them anymore.
Embrace the mom burn out because one day, there won’t be anything to cause it.
It’s hard. It’s so damn hard some days.
Step back and remember that they’re tiny, they need you and you are their rock. You can do it momma. You can absolutely do it.