If feeling completely and utterly drained, struggling to juggle everything on your plate, or resenting the little-to-no alone time you have sounds familiar, you may be suffering from mom burnout-a condition affecting moms at alarming levels.
We’ve all been there a time a two.
Being so overwhelmed in motherhood that it literally feels like you are drowning.
Mom burnout is not something that should not be taken lightly.
And not addressing it can become a recipe for disaster.
I think we are all guilty of spreading ourselves too thin but from personal experience, this comes with some very serious consequences.
Modern moms are burned out now more than ever thanks to the unrealistic expectations to be perfect, get everything done, be a homeschool teacher, chef, housecleaner, while feeling like we should never complain.
With three kids ages four and under, I see your frustrations and struggles!
While mom burnout is a very real and even debilitating at times, luckily there are some realistic and tangible solutions to help prevent, minimize or recover from burnout and get out of survival mode.
And sometimes one of the best things we can do remind ourselves that there is no award for best performance in motherhood!
Symtoms of Mom Burnout?
It is important to recognize that mom burnout looks different for everyone.
And admitting that you are burned out can be hard because then the mom guilt sets in.
However, if you are feeling any of these things, know that you are not alone!
15 Tips To Recover From Mom Burnout When You Feel Like Your Drowning
1. Admit You Are Burned Out
One of the hardest things for moms to do is admit that they are overwhelmed.
However, you will never learn to take care of yourself or set boundaries if you are first unable to admit that you are burned out.
We all want to be that super mom who does it all without struggle, right?
If you really want to recover from mom burnout, you need to first recognize and admit that you are overwhelmed.
Otherwise, you will just continue to add more to your plate and never get a chance to keep you head above water.
Once you have acknowledged you’re feelings, you can then move forward in making necessary changes to reduce your feelings of overwhelm.
Communicating your feelings might feel harder than actually admitting you are burned out.
Us mamas have a phenominal poker face!
But remember, your family cannot read your mind and often times, us moms are taken for granted because no one can see how much we are bursting in frustration on the inside.
You cannot get the support and help you need unless you communicate your needs and feelings.
And talking about your feelings to an outsider like family, friends or even a counselor can also help you put things into perspective.
An outside perspective can help you see the bigger picture instead of the one things you THINK you need to do in order to be a good mom.
3. Take a Social Media Detox
Comparison is the thief of joy and it is so easy to compare your life to the unrealistic expectations of what we see on social media.
This is only a recipe for disaster and it can make you feel like you are never doing enough.
Remember, most people only share the best parts of their lives on social media.
We don’t see most peoples struggles and truth is, most moms are probably struggling just as much as you.
Take a week off from social media and focus on you, your family and your home.
When you decide to come back to it, be objective and realistic in how you view peoples lives and avoid allowing yourself to feel like you are constantly falling short.
The time you spent on social media can be much better spent on things that will serve you better such as exercising, spending time with your kids or even tackling a project around the house.
4. Move Your Body
Learning to use exercise as a tool to help your mind and body function better and not just to change how your body looks, will help you develop a whole new relationship with exercise.
Moving your body releases endorphins that actually helps your brain think better and more clearly.
Squeezing in a workout may feel impossible when you already feel overwhelmed.
However, recovering from mom burnout requires self care and exercising is one of the best things you can do to combat those feelings of stress and anxiety.
Even just 10-15 minutes can help your body release feel good endorphins that will help your mind think more clearly.
5. Set Boundaries
One thing I have learned after having three kids is that learning to say “no” can be completely liberating.
Just because you CAN do something, does not mean that you SHOULD.
Protecting your mental capacity and energy levels by learning to set boundaries will prevent you from spreading yourself too thin and becoming overwhelmed.
When you are feeling overwhelmed and someone asks something of you, ask yourself , “can I do this?”or “should I do this?”
I promise you the world will keep turning, your family will still love you and your friends will still want to see you because you will feel much more free and relaxed!
6. Delegate or Ask For Help
It only took three kids and five years of motherhood for me to learn how liberating asking for help and delegating tasks can be.
Blame it on control issues but regardless, this has only led to a lot of resentment and frustrations.
Get your husband more involved with the household work by delegating some of the tasks to him.
Teach your kids to be responsible and help with chores around the house.
Making lists of things your husband and kids can help with will help you feel less resentful and allow them to appreciate more of what you do.
7. Improve Your Sleep Schedule
Not prioritizing sleep is a huge recipe for mom burnout.
It is impossible to think clearly and rationally when you are physically exhausted.
I used to think I was superhuman and could survive on little to no sleep.
However, as I’ve gotten older, I realize that surviving and thriving are two different things.
In order to recover from mom burnout and thrive in motherhood, you must get some rest!
Sometimes getting the sleep you need is physically impossible, especially if you have newborns or children that do not sleep well.
If you can, try 20 minute power naps during the day or go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
Feeling rested can make you feel like a brand new mom!
8. Get Out of The House
A simple change in environment can do wonders for your mood and energy levels.
Make a point to get outside every single day.
It doesn’t have to be a full blow excursion but just enough to soak in some sunlight and fresh air.
Go for a walk, play in the backyard with your kids, have a picnic, or exercise outdoors (weather permitting).
And if you have toddlers, getting outdoors is a great way for them to burn off pent up energy which can help tremendously with behavior and tantrums.
Visual clutter actually causes mental clutter.
It is hard to feel relaxed when you are consciously or subconsciously over stimulated by too much stuff.
And the amount of time we spend just trying to maintain our belongings is shocking.
This is time that could be better spent on more productive things like self care.
One of the best things I have done to help cope with the anxiety of motherhood is simply remove excess clutter.
I has helped me feel more organized and in control of my home which reduces feelings of stress and overwhelm.
And believe it or not, studies have shown that decluttering also helps you to lose weight which can help you feel even more liberated from mom burnout.
9. Get Organized
Disorganization can lead to a huge amount of stress and frustration because it sucks up time and energy when you can never find what you need, when you need it.
Decluttering and getting organized will help you feel like you have more control over your home and your life which can reduce stress and anxiety.
A more organized home helps it to run more smoothly removes some of the chaos that leads to feeling overwhelmed.
And remember, it does not have to be picture perfect.
Keep it simple, functional and realistic for you and your family.
10. Force Yourself To Dress Like You Are Going To Work
One of the perks of being a stay at home or work at home mom is that you don’t have to get dressed up everyday for work.
However, over time this can lead to feelings of insecurity and loss of identity.
By forcing yourself to get dressed, even if it is just cute workout clothes, helps you to feel more energized, purposeful and confident.
And if you really need a little pick-me-up, simply putting on some tinted moisturizer and mascara can help you feel like a brand new mom!
11. Revamp Your Routines
Routines are important because they set the foundation of the day and ensure that your family is getting what they need to thrive.
They help turn your days from chaos to calm and help you have more time for things that will help you feel less overwhelmed.
When my family gets off routine, everything gets flipped upside down leaving everyone grumpy, especially me.
Having a consistent schedule and established routines is one the best ways to help you feel more organized and in control of your home which will help reduce stress.
12. Make Time For Friends
For some moms, one of the first things to go after becoming a mom is their social life.
Sometimes we all just need those mom friends that can help us find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles.
As hard as it can feel to find motivation to slap on some make-up and wear something other than lounge clothes, having a girls night out is one of the best things you can do to prevent and even recover from mom burnout.
Socializing with friends can help you communicate your feelings and frustrations to someone who probably understands exactly what you are going through.
Plus, it’s amazing what a little make-up and high heals can do for your mood and confidence!
12. Put Your Thoughts On Paper
If you are constantly feeling forgetful, it’s probably because your brain is clearly overloaded.
When our minds are overwhelmed with 1000 things at one time, it is easy to lack mental space to remember things, like what you walked into the garage for.
Taking a few moments to write down your most important tasks or projects for the day will help get them off your mind to make room for other things you need to remember.
13. Shift Your Thinking
Like my own mother used to say, “look at the glass half full instead of half empty.”
As hard as it is when you feel completely and utterly drained, try to focus on appreciating what you have instead of getting stuck in how hard everything feels.
This has been a game changer!
Tough times are only temporary and one way to break through those tough times is to free yourself from the negative self talk.
For example, if you resent your husband for getting a little extra sleep at night because you are breastfeeding, be thankful that you are able to breastfeed and know that it is only temporary.
All babies eventually learn to sleep, I promise!
14. Lower Your Expectations
In a world that is constantly bombarded by images of perfection on social media, it can feel like we are constantly falling short of unrealistic expectations.
When these expectation are not met, we feel defeated and like we aren’t good enough.
Not good for an overwhelmed and burned out mom.
Let your kids have a little more screen time then normal, order takeout so you don’t have to clean after dinner.
If your house is a mess, soak it up as a season of life and do what you can make it feel comfortable for you and your family.
I’m not saying do this every day but once will help you feel more relaxed.
Trust me, your kids won’t complain about the extra screen time or cheat meal!
15. Let Go of the Guilt
Small doses of mom guilt might be productive.
If your kids are eating junk food all day and you feel guilty for it, this might be a good motivator to provide more nutritious meals.
However, if you start losing sleep at night because you constantly feel like you are falling short of unrealistic expectations, this can become detrimental to your health and your sanity.
Taking a step back and avoiding subconscious comparisons to other moms will help you regain confidence, reduce stress and prevent you from feeling more overwhelmed.
Final Thoughts On Recovering From Mom Burnout
Recovering from or preventing mom burnout is not easy.
Espcially because putting yourself first might feel impossible.
But the old saying, “if mama ain’t happy, aint ‘nobody happy” has some major truth to it.
This means one of the best things you can do for you AND your loved ones, is to take care of yourself so you have more to offer others who need you most!
I am always one email away if you need a non-judgmental mom friend who knows exactly what it feels like to be burned out!
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.