The more families and couples I see in private practice, the more I realize it’s challenging in this day and age to completely avoid burnout in our society. Our schedules are as busy as ever, and we are always on the go. As I’ve talked to more families and gained more experience in my field, I see how the lack of a self-care routine can lead to burnout. So, in today’s post, I’m sharing 5 strategies for self-care to avoid burnout for moms.
Check-In with Yourself
The simplest, yet most important, strategy to implement is to check in with yourself daily. This is something we don’t automatically think to do, yet you have to be super intentional about it. Because people can tolerate different amounts of stress in their life, it’s crucial to be mindful of when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
You can set an alarm at a specific time of day or if you have a small window of quiet time when you’re having coffee or before you go to bed. You can remember to ask yourself the following questions:
- How am I doing?
- What’s going on right now?
- How can I make my life simpler?
Be Mindful of Key Indicators
I’m sure we can all agree that when we are on the precipice of burnout, we can begin to feel and even do specific things. Some examples are:
- Becoming more reactive to people or actions
- Having a hard time sleeping
- Not eating properly
Know your key indicators for when things are getting to be too much. When a car starts to have issues there are lights that turn on and the car makes noises to let you know there is a warning. Our bodies do the same thing too…but we have to pay attention to them.
Be Aware of How Much You Can Handle
Because people can tolerate different amounts of stress in their life, it’s important to really be mindful of when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
- What life stressors do you currently have that are circumstantial?
- What are the stressors that you add to your plate? (i.e. expectations)
- What are the normal everyday stressors?
This is important to evaluate to avoid burnout for moms because if you can make specific shifts in your life to reduce the amount of stress you have daily, the less likely you are to get to the point of burnout. Self-care is sometimes doing things that make life simpler.
Creating Sustainable Self-Care
One of my favorite analogies is the cup analogy. Envision a cup full of water. Every day the liquid in the cup begins to go down because we take from it to help our family, friends, and communities. We keep doing the same things until we realize our cup is almost empty. We then try to quickly fill it up all at once, which is just not sustainable and can sometimes be counterproductive.
What we should do instead is when we take from our cup, we should be adding some self-care in every day to replenish ourselves.
Self-care shouldn’t be big extravagant actions. They should be small bite-sized actions that are done daily, and there are self-care opportunities in every moment of every day.
Acknowledge Your Self-Care Moments
Many times, we are doing self-care strategies in our day to day life. Unfortunately, because our brain is always in speed mode, it doesn’t register these as self-care actions. Therefore it doesn’t compute it to be self-care to help with burn out. Until you mentally acknowledge the self-care actions, your brain doesn’t know any difference between tasks.
When you have one sip of warm (cause it’s never hot by the times we get to it!) coffee, take a deep breath and say “this is for me.” When you laugh with your kids or jam out to your favorite song on the radio, take a moment and think “this is refilling my cup.” Do you see how by taking a moment to acknowledge these positive self-care moments that we actually then register them so they take full effect? Start acknowledging your self-care moments.
We have to remember that as moms, we matter. We are the link between the home and our family, so no matter how the media tells us what self-care looks like, we have to be really intentional with fitting in doable, small self-care actions into our daily routines to combat burnout. Show yourself you matter and make this a daily practice. You are amazing, mama!
Share below how you incorporate self-care into your routine to avoid burnout.