Monday, November 18, 2013

How To Avoid Mommy Burnout

I fell into some serious mommy burnout over the summer. We moved an hour away from the small community of friends we had built in Orange County, to a wonderful new home in Fallbrook. Though the location was just what we'd been waiting for, my mommy life began to suffer.

Our summer began to lack structure as my husband and I struggled to settle into our new home, on our own. No family or friends around to help out and bear, being used to running right out side to meet her friends, for the first time had no one to play with. We were all in a rut, and I kept having melt downs and I didn't know why, I was lonely and burnt out.

It took serious burn out to realize that I wasn't taking good care of myself. Taking care of yourself is a must when it comes to warding off stress and being a good mom. I use to think that letting my personal time slip through the cracks was the best thing for our family. But that's far from the truth; as they say pre-boarding "put your oxygen mask on first, then help those sitting next to you." I was out of oxygen and if you're out of oxygen, you've got nothing left in your tank.

Here are some tips I've learned along the way:

1) Set a specific time of the week when you know you can get away and take 100% personal time for yourself. This doesn't mean folding laundry while watching your favorite TV series on Netflix (which is what I use to think of as "personal time").

2) Learn to let go of the mess! It's not going anywhere, let it go a bit and take a break for yourself. Drink a cup of tea in silence, pick up a book, doodle, write... whatever it is your heart feels like doing, do it! 

3) Take a break from social media! Being glued to Facebook, twitter, etc., can really wreak havoc on your stress. It can even leave you feeling a little down or anxious; and not to mention it keeps you from being present. 

4) Get some fresh air! Even if it's with the kids, or a minute break from your desk, a little fresh air really relaxes your nerves.

5) Exercise! It doesn't have to be a lot or something that you hate, just do something to get your heart rate up. Those wonderful endorphins will put you in a good place.

6) Practice a little gratitude. It helps during those moments when you feel overwhelmed and like things just aren't going right. I list off things that I'm grateful for when I start falling into a rut.

7) Remember that you're not alone. Pick up the phone and reach out to a good friend or family member. A nice phone call from my best friend back in NY always picks me up!

Taking time for yourself will refresh you, it'll recharge your battery. When you return home, or to your office, you'll feel more inspired, you'll enjoy your time more with your kids, and even your daily chores might become a little less mundane.

Do you have any tips for warding off burn out? Please share!

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