Although we bathe conversations about mommy burnout in humor, it’s no joke. From the mind-boggling overwhelm to the lost sense of sense, mommy burnout is the real deal.
The chronic stress of parenting can bombard any mom—working, single, stay-at-home, work-at-home, etc.—and yet, most moms feel uncomfortable talking about it.
In this post, we’re going to tackle this topic shamelessly. Here are nine real-life tips on how to avoid mommy burnout. Take a deep breath, and let’s do this!
1. Settle for B-Work.
Mommy burnout can hit you hard, draining your vibrancy and making you feel tired all the time—even after you’ve slept. You may also sense feelings of resentment toward your parenting role (or kids and spouse) because it seems like you’re never good enough.
An excellent way to crush these frustrated and hopeless feelings is to settle for B- work instead of continually demanding an A+ all the time.
For example, vacuum every other day or let the dirty dishes rest in the sink for a bit longer. Make peace with laundry that isn’t folded Marie Kondo-style. Letting yourself be less than perfect will instantly relieve stress.
2. Make a list.
Anxiety is the real culprit behind mommy burnout. In other words, there is so much to do and not enough time or energy to complete it all. Mental to-do lists can jar you awake at night or cause you to space out on the highway.
The best way to conquer this anxious annoyance? Get out of your head.
Write down to-do list items, and then prioritize them regularly. One mom chooses three things from her list to accomplish each day. The rest of the items must wait for their moment in the sun. This approach helps to hone in on what genuinely needs doing instead of feeling overwhelmed continually.
3. Take your moment.
It’s safe to say that most moms run short on “me time.” After all, caring for kids, a household, and a partner tend to take priority. All the giving can have you running on fumes for days (or weeks), which is detrimental to your overall health.
Keep in mind that overcoming mommy burnout doesn’t come in one fell swoop. Instead, you conquer it with a series of small, sustainable lifestyle choices each day.
So, take five minutes doing something you love daily—yoga, play an instrument, dance, etc. Remember, doing something “unproductive” is a form of resting, too.
4. Reach out for help.
The title of Super Mom or Wonder Woman has had plenty of time in the spotlight. We get it, and we know we’re awesome! However, playing superhero day in and day out is exhausting. More importantly, it’s a surefire path to mommy burnout.
Instead of trying to do it all, ask for help. Do a babysitting swap with a fellow mom or splurge on a house cleaning service once a month. Reaching out for help doesn’t mean you’re weak or can’t handle it all. It means you value your well-being over what others think of you.
5. Be proactive.
When you feel an unhealthy amount of stress, it’s only natural not to be your best self. Stress levels can quickly escalate to yelling, crying, or “going crazy,” as our title suggests. And, this happens in a flash.
Although it’s a desperate attempt to regain control, most of the time, it feels more disempowering than anything.
Instead of waiting for the downward spiral to have its way with you, pay attention to what ultimately sets you off. What do you feel right before you start yelling? What happens prior to a tear-filled breakdown? Knowing your burnout triggers will help you to manage them better.
6. Connect with others.
A significant problem with mommy burnout is that women often feel isolated. Not only does the stress obliterate most of your social life, but the anxiety-induced guilt can prevent you from genuinely opening up to others. Plus, social media only compounds the problem—for many reasons.
Instead of putting on a brave face or pretending everything is fine, find a trustworthy friend (or a few) to connect with regularly. Perhaps it’s drinking coffee with another mom during your daughter’s dance class, joining a support group, or reconnecting with an old friend.
Most importantly, get off of social media, and get some IRL face-to-face time with a gal pal.
7. Keep moving and eating.
Exercise can be a four-letter word, or it can help keep you from “going crazy” with mommy burnout. However, science supports the latter. Research has proven again and again that hormones released during physical movement help to ward off depression and anxiety, support sound sleep, and boost your mood significantly.
Also, the crust off your child’s morning toast doesn’t qualify as a healthy breakfast. In short, don’t skimp on food. Keep yourself well-fed with fruits, veggies, and whole-grains. Not only will you feel more energized throughout the day, but a balanced diet helps to boost your mood, as well.
8. Let yourself sleep.
Nothing is quite so frustrating than feeling exhausted but being unable to sleep because of racing thoughts. Or, feeling obligated to do as much as you can while the kiddos are down for their nap. The struggle is real.
To overcome mommy burnout, you must cut yourself a break. You are allowed to rest. You need to rest to be your best self. Taking care of others means taking care of yourself first—sleep included.
9. Get dressed.
You’ve probably seen the meme, encouraging people to get up, dress up, and show up. It’s a great saying until you honestly don’t feel like doing it.
Let’s face it; most mornings don’t exactly beg for style or sophistication. If you’re like most moms, you may feel stuck on autopilot or in survival mode. However, by committing to one upgrade—makeup, hair, wardrobe, etc.—you bolster your confidence a little more each day. Amazingly enough, this approach is empowering.
Mommy burnout is no joke. But making small, sustainable changes in your daily life will help you to feel better faster.