Feeling stressed, unmotivated, burnt out is sadly quite common for mums. We all want so much, for ourselves, and our families – the desire to be a great mum and always do our best for everyone, often means that there’s not much time left for looking after ourselves. This is where feeling overwhelmed usually hits us the hardest.
- It’s that feeling you get when there’s much to do that you don’t know where to start.
- It’s when you’re so tired and frustrated because you’ve boiled the kettle 4 times already today, and never actually been able to make yourself a cup of tea.
- It’s when you have a deadline at work, but your child is sick for the next two days, and there’s just nothing you can do about it.
- It’s when you have been going and going and going and going, looking after everyone else’s needs for so long, and now when you need it most, you’ve got nothing left to give.
- It’s when you end up doing ten things all at once (and not very well), and it all comes crashing down.
- It’s when you rush, rush, rush around seemingly busy, but don’t actually know what you’re being busy about!
It’s an emotional, exhausting, upsetting feeling. I’ve had it, and so have you. It surges up and surprises you, usually when you’re really tired! However, we all have different signs that tell us it’s coming, so if you are more aware of the signs, you can use my 5 step formula to help manage that feeling, so that it doesn’t bring you to a grinding halt.
Notice the signs
First of all, you need to
(Trust me, I know all the signs!)
As soon as you notice your signs, try this 5 step formula:
- STOP! Just stop what you are doing. Break the pattern, take a step back, give yourself a chance to collect your thoughts.
- Get it out. You can either write it all down, or talk it out with someone, but take a moment to pinpoint those swirling thoughts and reel them in. This alone is guaranteed to release some stress and help you stop feeling overwhelmed.
- Re-focus and re-order. Collect your thoughts and put them in order again. Even if it’s the same order that you had before, just doing that double check, and giving yourself a reminder to slow down is helpful.
- Take action. You can still get lots done, but in a more focused and intentional manner – one thing at a time. It’s usually helpful to do the thing you’ve been putting off first. That way, it doesn’t hang over you and
addto the stress. It’s like working out what’s for dinner in the morning, instead of having to think about it all day – once it’s done, you can move on to the next thing.
- Call a ‘Time Out’ – for you. When you can, take some quiet time. Solitude is a lovely thing and can heal, refresh and refocus you. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT step. If you don’t take time out, your stress levels will continue to rise, and you will keep running on empty. You need to charge your battery.
Bonus step: Go to bed early.
Even if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you will get more than you normally do and can start the day without feeling overwhelmed, and more in control. With direction, focus and more energy.
What are your triggers for feeling overwhelmed?
As I said earlier, knowing the signs of your increasing stress are important. I listed a few that I know of about me. What signs do you have that you are feeling overwhelmed? I’d love it if you shared your top 3 – there may be some we all have in common!
Your Next Step