Moms today are faced with more challenges than ever. Balancing the demands of motherhood while still maintaining a sense of self can feel impossible. Many women are taking over their children’s schooling on top of everything else, while some also have a career outside of the home.
With everything on your plate, it’s understandable that you may be struggling, but self-care isn’t selfish. You must care for yourself, not just your kids. Mom burnout is real, so if you’re feeling run down and worn, try out some different types of self-care to see what works for you:
- Ditch Social Media
Social media can be a fun and mindless way of spending some time, but it could be doing more harm than good. A study of Canadian moms discovered that even though 47% said the representation of motherhood on social media isn’t accurate, 69% said that they feel insecure after spending time on it. Take some time to think about how you feel after scrolling through social media. Do you feel positive and inspired or jealous and depressed? Maybe you even feel a bit of both.
If you genuinely enjoy spending time on social media, consider weeding out certain accounts. Take a look at everyone you follow and keep only those that bring you joy and don’t make you feel less than the amazing person you are.
- Stop Comparing Yourself
Moms are very good at comparing themselves to others. We get jealous of other mothers who seem to have no problem getting out the door on time and wonder how our neighbor can get to the gym every day. Everyone else’s kids are cleaner, and their meals are fancier.
Remember, whatever you see from other moms, in real-life or on social media, is just a highlight reel. You don’t know what is happening in their home or head. Perhaps they look at your life with amazement. Run your own race!
- Try Journaling
If you find you often get trapped in your thoughts, writing may be a good release. There are so many different ways to journal, and you will find something that will work well for you. Gratitude journaling is quick and easy. You take time at the beginning or end of the day to write down a handful of things you’re grateful for.
You could also free-write — set a timer and jot down whatever thoughts come to mind. Some people benefit from a prayer journal. Writing specifically to someone can give your thoughts direction. A guided book can help get you going if you need more structure. No matter what journaling type you choose, don’t edit your feelings. Keep writing until your time is up.
- Make Time for You
Try and find one thing you can do for yourself each day. This may look different depending on what stage of motherhood you are in. Just find something — even if you sit in silence alone for five minutes.
If you have more time, consider taking up a new hobby or one you used to do before becoming a mom. Your interests still matter, and you should make yourself just as much of a priority as your children.
- Nourish Your Body
What we put in our bodies affects our health — mental and physical. However, many moms struggle with proper nutrition. Take time out of your day to make healthy snacks and meal prep. Try batching cooking tasks to save time throughout the week, or prep all your produce the day you bring it home.
Nourishing your body with food that makes you feel good will improve your mental state. Eliminate anything that makes you feel sluggish or sick. Alcohol can wreak havoc on your body if you drink too much and can worsen feelings of depression.
- Drink Lots of Water
Drinking an adequate amount of water each day has a significant impact on your mental health. Water can improve your mood and concentration. People also report having lower levels of anxiety and depression when they drink plenty of water. Any increase in your water intake will bring you varying degrees of these benefits.
Aim for at least 11 cups of water per day, but if you exercise, carry extra weight or live in a hot climate, you will need to drink even more. The good news is that your water intake can come from food, too. Watermelon, cucumber and apples are just a few foods that contain plenty of water.
- Get Some Movement
The endorphins you get from exercise go a long way in combatting a negative mental state. Working out encourages new activity in your brain, which, along with the mindfulness that comes with exercise, can improve feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
Working out can also improve your self-esteem and give you more energy. Busy moms may struggle to find time to exercise, but even five minutes is an improvement over none at all. Your daily activity doesn’t even need to look like a traditional workout. Cleaning your house, walking the dog and chasing your kids around count, too.
- Prioritize Good Sleep
Moms can all agree that getting a good night’s sleep is hard. Kids wake up unexpectedly, or you go to bed late trying to finish just one more thing. However, sleep is when your brain gets to rest and recuperate. If you aren’t getting an adequate amount, your mental health will suffer.
Sleep deprivation can lead to irritability and depression. Admitting you’re tired and getting some shuteye will make you a better mom in the long run. Get more sleep by creating a bedtime routine focused on relaxation. Stay off your phone and set a bedtime that you keep every night.
Focus on Yourself
If you’ve tried some of these tips but still feel depressed, burned out or anxious, you should talk to someone about it. Everyone needs extra help from time to time.
Do what you can to boost your mental health and fully enjoy your life as a mom.