Working full time, having a husband and 3 kids, managing a household and making sure I take care of me is a lot to take on every single day. Some days, I feel like I am stuck in an emotional rollercoaster and I can’t get off the ride. I tend to stretch myself thin—trying to do the best I can for my family while still meeting deadlines and managing my team at work. I often find myself juggling 15 things at once and the thought of dropping one makes me feel like I’m letting down the entire world! Sometimes it only takes something small to hit that emotional breaking point. That’s where I feel like I’ve got nothing more to give and can do nothing right.
I’d like to think that I’ve gotten older and wiser—or maybe just better at juggling. Either way, here are some tips I use to prevent working mom burnout:
Remember your priorities: When I start letting work or things outside my control take over my emotions, I take a step back. What are the things that really matter? I have my health. I have my family. I have my faith. I have a home and food on the table. The other things are just that—things. At the end of the day, they don’t matter, so don’t sweat the small stuff!
Be proud of your accomplishments: Even if you need to take a moment at the end of each day to write them down, it’s important to remember all the things you did well. Closing that sale, helping the kids learn to tie their shoes, fixing a broken cabinet pull, heck even getting that mystery stain out of a clothing item! Feel proud and pat yourself on the back! It’s okay to feel good about yourself and your accomplishments.
Read Related: 10 Secrets of Happy Moms
Plan ‘adult only’ time: When was the last time you went on a date with your spouse or significant other? It’s important that you feel loved and have time to remember there are things going on in the world outside of work, diapers, dishes, and disasters! You need adult time and adult connections. Even if it’s only a break out for coffee, you need that time to recharge and remember who you are.
Invest time in YOU: We throw ourselves into work and the lives of our family members so much that we forget about us. There are often days where after the kids are asleep and I sit down for the first time all day, I realize I didn’t eat a thing until dinner. That’s not healthy for anyone. Or after days of wearing my hair in a ponytail because it’s unruly and the roots are showing, I look down to see half of my nail polish is missing and realize that I’m still in sweat pants. I feel horrible about myself. How we can prevent this:
- Take the time to eat and eat healthy—it will make you feel better and more energized. It’s also a good example for your family.
- Pamper yourself—by taking care of my appearance, even if I’m not leaving the house, I feel more beautiful on the inside which changes my overall attitude about myself and my day.
- Get some sleep!—That’s when your body can rest and re-energize. If you’re not getting enough Z’s, it will cause irritability, stress, and exhaustion more rapidly.
Now, every time I write down a deadline, schedule an activity or say yes to another commitment on my calendar, I make sure I’ve scheduled me time. If I haven’t, I call a girlfriend and plan to eat lunch together, unplug from all electronic devices for 30 minutes and blast some upbeat music, or simply read a book. These are the kinds of things that I’m learning to add to my schedule instead of another committed yes.
How about you? What are some of the ways you take care of you to avoid emotional burnout?