Self-care is something mothers often neglect until they are burnt out. Many of us (moms) struggle to follow the false idea of a wanna-be perfect mom for our children. But is it healthy?!
Whether you’ve already experienced burnout or are currently struggling, prioritizing self-care will help you enjoy & grow with your children. It’s hard to do, but it’s a necessity for you and your family.
In this article, I’ll talk about the importance of self-care for moms and 3 ways to prevent burnout.
Why do you have to prioritize self-care?
When you don’t prioritize self-care, signs of burnout creep up. But you are too busy or exhausted to think about the most important person, yourself.
Some of the symptoms are:
- sad/cry/no smile
- no longer enjoy what you used to enjoy
- can’t enjoy parenting
- get sick easily
- hair loss
Unfortunately, I experienced all of these symptoms until I finally found out I was suffering from burnout. Since I grew up in Japan where mothers are expected to be perfect, that idea really moulded into my brain. But the negative impact was hard to ignore.
If you are experiencing anything similar, you may be experiencing burnout as well. Sometimes it’s not easy to accept it, but there is something you can do to improve or prevent burnout. So I want you to focus on 3 positive connections: yourself, nature, and others.
1. Connect with yourself
When was the last time you spent time connecting to yourself? More specifically, something you used to enjoy doing like: crafts/yoga/gardening/playing music/hiking…e.t.c. before you became a mom.
The key is to give permission to yourself to be temporarily away from your mom role. It takes time to practice, but nobody can love you more than yourself. As somebody said, “Everyone’s taken!”
Connecting to yourself is like meditation in your own way. And everybody needs some downtime. Yes, I’m talking about you, MOMS! We can’t give the love & care that our children need if we don’t look after ourselves first. Like the emergency procedure on an airplane, you have to put an oxygen mask on yourself before you put one on your children!
Connecting with yourself is definitely very important for your well-being.
2. Connect with nature as a way of self-care
You might have noticed where you often feel burnt out. Isn’t it inside where you feel trapped? Go outside and get some fresh air.
At the same time, notice the beauty of nature. It depends on your children’s age, but even spending 10-15 min during her/his nap in your garden releases tension.
So when you need some support without any judgement, nature is the perfect place. In fact, have you noticed that you subconsciously take a big breath and stretch your body when you step outside?
Connecting with nature has so many benefits for your health & wellness. So give yourself time to relax and rejuvenate.
3. Connect with others
The last one is connecting with others. You may be feeling isolated from the rest of the world. That feeling accelerates mommy burnout.
Find a local mothers’/play/parental group to join if you can. Or look around for other moms in your neighbourhood. There is always help when and wherever you need it. And most likely, they will become mom friends with who you can learn & grow together.
If you have families nearby, that’s great. Make a daily visit and talk to them regularly. If you are not ready to physically join a group, look for a FB parenting group. A private group called ‘mindful parenting’ is a caring community where you get positive support.
Just remember, we all need a supportive community to raise our children. So connect with others, and please don’t be hesitant to ask for help. One day, you’ll be the one who offers support to others.
For families & friends
As an experienced burnout mom, I have a favour to ask you to help support moms.
- give her a big hug, she needs to know that she’s not alone.
- ask her how you can help or what you can do.
- offer some time off. And when you offer, let her know when you can do it. Otherwise, she may not reach out to ask for it.
- check-in with her. Either phone, text, or email messages, she needs to know that you care about her.
- walk with her on the parental path.
- I know you (husband/partner) are also tired when you come home. Take some time before you come into the house, so you are ready to listen to her. And hold your child, so she can physically feel the pressure off her shoulders.
Most importantly, parenting is teamwork. It’s also community work where others like you can step in.
For some mothers, it’s difficult to think about taking time for themselves. But try to take even a 5 min break from your children. You’ll probably feel calm and refreshed.
You’ll eventually extend it, so you can actually go somewhere away from home. Do you remember who/what you’re connecting with to prevent burnout? You’ll connect with yourself, nature, and others!
After all, your children need to see your (mom’s) smiles!❤️
Let me know any comments/questions you have or when you take any action!