It's Monday and the list of to-dos for the week is long. You're stressed and the week just started a few hours ago. Women are so focused on caring for everyone else, we often feel lost in the mix.
Mental Health is in the news frequently and even more so now that Prince Harry and Oprah are talking about it for their newest program series. Mental health looks different for everyone. In one article, Prince Harry was talking about vulnerability and how people don't often want to show that side of them. It's true when you're a working mom. There are so many stereotypes that we want to push past.
While pushing past stereotypes and proving we can be a good employee/boss and a great mom, the stress builds. Many working moms don't even admit it until they're too far past their limits.
What is the importance of taking care of yourself?
We are taught from an early age that it's our role to take care of others. But what we aren't taught is that by never taking care of yourself, you don't have the energy and strength (mental and physical) to do it!
Life is hectic and we often feel guilt when we step away and do something nice for ourselves. Who's going to take care of making dinner while I'm gone? Honey, order the pizza. Go get the haircut, the mani or whatever you need to break free!
When you don't take care of yourself, stress is going to overwhelm you. Physically it can increase the amount of ailments you have or make something worse. Mentally it creates burnout. When either of these happen, it impacts your happiness and enjoyment in life.
HOW?! How do I take care of myself when there is just so much to do?
Ok, take a deep breath here! That's actually step 1. Here are some tips for getting on the right path to self care and taking a chunk out of the burnout you're already feeling.
#1 - Ditch multi-tasking!
This is a shocker, right? How are we ever going to get anything completed? Studies actually show that multi-tasking diminishes our mental capacity! It takes the brain longer to switch tasks repeatedly then to complete one thing at a time. Working on a project and waiting for an urgent email? Give yourself 15 minutes to work, then check email. Your brain will thank you!
#2 - Take a day off!
By myself? Yes!! Taking a real break away from the daily stressors will help. Drop the kids off at school, call in sick and take a mental health day. Do something you love! Keep your mind off the to-do list and see how your happiness increases because the chronic stress is on the back burner.
#3 - Sleep!
Stress often robs us from true sleep. We wake up in the middle of the night, more exhausted and dwelling on, well, everything! Creating a sleep schedule with a firm bedtime and wake time, along with putting electronic devices out of reach, will help you to create the sleep ritual that promotes better heart rates, balanced blood sugar and even helps with weight control.
#4 - Learn to say No.
It's hard to say no to someone. Especially when it's your family or boss or really close friend. But saying yes when you're at burnout levels doesn't do you any good. Know your limits and if it's not an important ask, it's ok to say no. There is no reason why you need to be super woman for everyone and everything. As you learn to accept the word "no", you'll find you enjoy that soccer game a little more when you didn't commit to being the assistant coach!
#5 - Continue Hobbies!
Being a mom doesn't mean you have to give up who you were before. Whether it's reading or photography or something more exciting, schedule a time in your week that is yours... and DO IT!This is for you and your mental health will benefit from it!
So what do I do now?
If you're struggling to see how to get one or more of these into your life, let’s set up some time to chat here. When we look at the big picture with someone who understands the struggle, it's relieving to know help is available in ways we can't see. Say goodby to burnout and hello to relief!
With love and health,