Hope you all had a relaxing weekend.
Excited to share second post for #CauseaChatter. This year, I am writing with #Mentalhealthtalk theme for #CauseaChatter and hoping my posts will help in raising mental health awareness.
Honestly for writing this post, I had thought a lot.
During last few weeks, I had read many posts from amazing co-bloggers for same campaign and category (#Causeachatter #mentalhealthtalks), and while reading, I had felt that there are many important aspects of mental health that has already been covered and a lot has been said about mental health and other related important aspects.
After thinking a while, I had found that there is one important mental health aspects that has been less covered and need a proper attention from all of us. This is the aspect that we all understood properly but somehow, with multiple responsibilities would not get much needed attention from us.
I am talking about “Motherhood and mental health”.
Do not you think, that being a busy mom, we always had a long to do list and responsibilities and taking care of our mental health remain last in list.
The constant pressure of completing multiple responsibilities often create a state of mental exhaustion and mommy burn out for many moms. And they get suffer from various mental health related issues like depression and anxiety.
Look at these statists:
According to a recent report published in the journal frontier of psychology (from the university Catholique de Louvain) in Belgium confirmed that “Just as people can burn out from their professional jobs, mothers and fathers can burn out too”.
During this survey, the study is conducted on more than 2000 patients. And they had found that “12.9% of mothers had a state of high burn out”, it means they felt exhausted, less productive and emotionally withdrawn with the pressure of completing multiple parenting responsibilities. The constant parental pressure led to a state of mental exhaustion and a mental state of irritability and short temperedness.
I am sure you all would be agreeing that these statistics are not shocking. And as a parent, we all had faced those emotions once or more in our lifetime.
There is no doubt that joy and amazement of parenthood is simply incredible. Nothing could be more satisfying than raising and nurturing our little ones. but another side, being a parent means 24 into 7 responsibilities and duties. And these continuous pressures of completing responsibilities often lead to a state of “Mental and emotional exhaustion”.
So, in this post I am sharing 5 effective ways to improve mental health for moms. Hoping these tips will help moms to prioritize their happiness and stay sane and calm even with pressure of multiple responsibilities.
Motherhood and mental health: 5 effective ways that can improve mental health for busy moms!
Follow Healthy lifestyle basics (Healthy diet, regular exercise and sleep on time)
I know these points sounds like pretty basics and give us a feeling that “” Ya, we know these already”, but during hectic and busy life, these are the factors that create a major difference in your mental health and overall wellbeing.
Here is a quick reminder list:
- Try to eat on time and include more fruits, veggies and whole grain in your routine diet. Along with your family, make your dietary habits and schedule a priority. Leave the habit of eating left over (from kids’ plate), as it may disturb your needed calorie and nutrition requirements.
- As busy moms, we all move around whole day but all these counts only as an exertion, not an exercise. Plan a flexible and easy to follow exercise routine or just take out some time for walking or biking. Make fitness fun and family activity. Include your kids in your fitness routine. With this step, you can spend some quality time as a family and can get amazing advantages of being physically active.
- As a mom, we always take our kid’s “bed time routine” so seriously but when it comes to us, we forget to give it a proper attention. A good night sleep is so essential for good and sound mental health. And it is very important to take this aspect seriously. Try to carve a good night time ritual, like follow a 10-minute guided sleep meditation or writing a gratitude journal. Also, put down your phone and other digital devices at least 3o minutes before sleep. These small steps will make a major impact on your sleep pattern and will improve your mental and emotional health.
- Keep a check on your stress level. As a mom, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and pressurized with multiple parental responsibilities. Sometimes, this constant pressure left unchecked and create major mental health problem (like depression and anxiety) in future. So, it always best to keep a check on your stress level and try to manage it effectively with stress relieving techniques. Try different options (meditation, progressive muscular relaxation) and see what work best for you.
Honestly, it is not easy to follow all above mentioned steps all the time but yes, I try my best to be on track, when it comes to follow healthy lifestyle rules. Healthy eating and regular exercise (walking or biking) is something that I enjoyed thoroughly. Also, I try to keep a check on my stress level. Whenever, I feel that things (personal and professional responsibilities) are creating a havoc on my mental or physical health, I cut down my to-do list and try to focus only on those things that matters most to me.
Carve out more “Me Time”
Carve out more “Me Time” is second most important way that always works great in reliving parenting exhaustion and improving mental health. As a busy parent, we are always in a process of serving our family. A continuous cycle of cooking, feeding and completing other mothering and household responsibilities often lead a state of mental and physical exhaustion.
For breaking the monotony of mommy routine, it is very important to carve out some quality “me time”.
As it has been said that “practice self-rescue first, before you help someone”. So, try to carve out some quality “Me time” for yourself and focus on things that you actually want to and love to do. This precious “Me time” activity will give you much needed energy and power to re-energized yourself and you will be on your “Mommy track” in no time.
Though I loved to keep myself engage in different form of creative activities (painting, crafting, DIY activities) but among all these writing and working on my blog is my most favorite, “Me time” activity.
Around 5 years ago, I had started my blog just as a hobby to share my parenting journey with other moms. But now, this hobby has become an integral part of my life. With this “Me Time” activity, I always feel refreshed and get a new and positive energy to work again to complete my household and parental responsibilities.
Positive communication with friends and family
“Positive and heart to heart communication” is one of the strong factors for sound mental health. Nowadays, we lived in a high-tech world where everyone is busy in their own world. Even, members of same family have their own fixed schedule and find it hard to make time for talking to dear ones.
The constant state of detachment and poor communication create a situation of mental isolation, where people (even young kids) find it hard to express themselves and talk about their feelings.
For moms, it is also a common scenario where they feel themselves lost and get trapped in a state of mental exhaustion and anxiousness.
Maintaining a heart-to-heart conversation is very essential to relive day to day stress. It is the key that strength your power to deal and face many routine parental issues. The more you talk, the more you realize that you are not alone.
For me, my mom is my best friend and I could not resist talking to her, even on a single day. It is a kind of ritual activity that helps a lot in relieving stress. With this simple chit-chat I always feel more positive and confident.
Be creative with your routine
As a parent, we all bound to do same sequence of repetitive tasks every day. And sometimes these routine responsibilities create a state of exhaustion and boredom. adding a creative touch to your routine stuff helps a lot in relieving stress and boredom. Being creative is the key to feel refreshed and rejuvenated with hectic and busy lifestyle.
Here are some of my favorite ways to add a creative flavor to routine things.
- Plan a different cuisine for lunch or dinner
- Change home décor
- Do a cool DIY project with my girls, (here are 5 cool DIY activities for kids, to get an inspiration)
- Plan a random outing or shopping
- Plan some family workout routine or study routine for my girls.
By doing these simplest things, I feel refreshed and get a good mood and positive energy. These things work wonderfully in relieving parental stress and exhaustion.
Go for a nature walk and spend some quite moments with nature
It is a well-known fact, that nature has amazing healing qualities. Nature works great in reliving mental, physical and emotional stress. Even with few quite moments spend with nature works wonderfully for your improving our overall wellbeing.
Whenever I feel exhausted or overstressed, I just go for a long nature walk, I sit down and spend some quite moments with nature, and this tiny step helps me to feel refreshed and rejuvenated in no time.
- Keep a “Self-compassion” approach and be gentle on yourself. Avoid chasing perfectionism and accept your flaws. Acknowledge your feelings and try to comfort and care yourself, when you are having a hard time.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Your surrounding aura had a strong impact on your mental health and overall well-being.
- Avoid making comparisons. Comparing your life/achievements with others often lead a state of negativity and lower self-esteem.
- Practice gratitude. Gratitude is one of the most amazing gesture that could bring a smile on your face and take away strong negative emotions such anger and frustration.
- Limit social media usage. Unlimited use of social media for long hours create a state of disconnection with real world and also causes many other serious mental issues.
- Try to live in present moment and practice mindfulness. Thinking too much about past or worrying about future is another major cause of poor mental health.
- Learn to say “NO”. As a mom, it is hardest thing to do but it is very important to set boundaries and know your upper limit for serving others.
- Last but not the least, enjoy small moments of life, rather than chasing or worrying about future things.
Things to keep remember
Being a holistic therapist, I want to end this post with a caution note.
Though feeling little tired or exhausted is a normal part of parenting journey and with these tiny steps you can get new energy and positive mood, but if you suffer from some serious signs of mental exhaustion for a long time then do not ignore it.
It could be a warning sign of any other serious mental illness (such as depression) or parental burnt out.
“Sometimes long and chronic parenting stress could lead to a state of severe physical, mental and emotion exhaustion. In this state, parents usually always feel tired, no matter how much sleep they get. Also, a feeling of reduced personal accomplishment and mental irritation is common with mommy or parental burn out.”
Though it is not a serious medical condition but symptoms are more severe than normal exhaustion that includes
- Loss of sleep for long time
- Mood swing
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic tiredness
- High level of mental and physical stress
- Not able to concentrate properly etc.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms since long time, do not ignore it and do not hesitate to ask for professional help.
Hoping these pointers will help moms to improve their mental and emotional health.
What are your thoughts? Please share with me.
This post is a part of #CauseAChatter with Blogchatter.