Been feeling incredibly overwhelmed lately and need to find ways to help ease the stress so you don’t lose your cool? Looking for ways to get you through those rough parenting days?
Being a mom can be extremely overwhelming sometimes. I mean, we go from only having to worry about ourselves, to being in charge of multiple little people’s lives. Not to mention, all of the other random duties that come along with motherhood.
But, being overwhelmed can be debilitating and exhausting. We simply can’t function when our brains and senses are overloaded. We get stressed, flustered, start questioning our parenting techniques, and may even end up yelling (and then regretting it). So, how can we find relief in the moment, so we can remain calm and collected?
Listed below, are 8 instant ways to help ease your stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood.
8 Instant Stress Busters for the Overwhelmed Mom
When everything just seems to be too much, and you’re feeling incredibly overwhelmed, try these 8 instant stress busters to help calm you down.
1. ) Step Away
When your kids are just being too much, and you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that you need to get done, just step away for a second. Place your baby and/or toddler in a safe space, and lock yourself in the other room for a minute or two, so you can calm down, scream in a pillow, or do whatever you got to do. Your kids will be fine for just a few minutes, and you can come back cool, collected, and able to address the situation with a level-head.
If you’re hubby happens to be at home, ask him to take the kids for a few minutes, so you can catch your breathe, take a bath, or maybe even go for a run. I’ve found that stepping outside for even just a few minutes really helps me to collect my thoughts.
2.) 4-7-8 Breathing
There’s just some magic to the 4-7-8 breathing. To perform this relaxing breathing exercise, you’re going to:
1. Sit up straight in a chair or on the floor.
2. Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to release all your air out.
3. Close your mouth and place the tip of your tongue up against the roof of your mouth.
4. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4.
5. Hold your breathe for a count of 7.
6. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8, making a whoosh sound as you’re breathing.
7. Repeat this cycle 3 more times.
This is a wonderful technique to use if you’re unable to step away from your stressors. By focusing on your breathe and counting, you’ll take your mind off your anxieties and calm your nervous system. When performed on a regular basis, this technique has even been shown to improve circulation and digestion and reduce blood pressure (source).
3.) Phone a Friend
You guys, support is crucial during motherhood! You need mommy friends that understand what you’re going through and can help you talk through your problems, and remind you that you’re not crazy. Motherhood is just incredibly overwhelming sometimes.
When your heart and thoughts start racing, phone a friend. Let them know what’s going on and ask them to pray for you. They’ll be there to help lift you up and calm you down. They’ll remind you what a great mother you are, and that we’re simply can’t be superwoman. I can’t tell you how incredibly grateful I am for my new friends from my postpartum support group. They always make me feel better. 🙂
4.) Walk Through Your 5 Senses
You can also use your 5 senses to help tame your stress. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, perform this grounding technique by counting down with your senses:
5. Sight: Look around and point out five items you see in your surroundings. Describe them in as much detail as possible. For example, you may see “a large white truck” or a “soft blue blanket.”
4. Hearing: Close your eyes, and try to identify and describe four different sounds you can hear. Again, try to be detailed. For example, “I hear my toddler banging loudly on her toy drum”, or “I hear the water running through the dishwasher.”
3. Touch: Find three things in your environment that you can interact with through your sense of touch. Can you feel your feet pressing against the ground, your fingers running through the water, or the wind blowing against your cheeks?
2. Smell: Catching on? Now, you’ll find two things in your environment to smell. My baby’s head and my coffee are two of my absolute favorite scents.
1. Taste: Lastly, try to find one thing to taste. Do you have a cup of coffee nearby or a few blueberries you can pop in your mouth?
This exercise is excellent for taking your mind off everything, and reconnecting with your body. It will help you feel calm, refreshed, and ready to tackle your challenges.
5.) Reduce Stimulation
For me, I’ve actually noticed that I really start to spiral when I’m overstimulated by my senses. I get easily overwhelmed if there’s too much going on in the environment surrounding me. That combined with all the thoughts running through my mommy brain is just too much.
So, when I start to get overwhelmed I need to shut off the music, t.v., and anything else that I can control the volume of. I also need to tidy up the area surrounding me and just get rid of all the clutter. Decluttering can seriously help reduce your stress. All that visual overstimulation will be gone.
A little exercise is always a great way to quiet the mind and release some tension. Now, of course we’re not always capable to just dart out the door and head for the gym. I mean, we are moms after all.
Luckily, there are tons of simple exercises we can do right at home. No equipment needed. When thoughts begin to flood your mind, overpower them by doing some jumping jacks, push ups, squats, sit ups, calf raises, or some yoga. Your toddler will probably join in and you can either wear your baby or put him in the playpen while you get some relief.
7.) Restructure Your To-Do Lists
Much like with clutter, a long to-do list can be overwhelming. Especially, because as moms, our to-do lists are never ending. Long lists can make it seem like things are just never getting done. In actuality, we ARE getting things done. We are just blinded by our massive amounts of duties that come along with motherhood.
Approach your agenda according to importance and urgency. Restructure your to-lists so that they’re short and simple. You may even want to start categorizing them.
For me, I like to write my daily to-do lists on the fridge white board, and try to keep it to 4-5 tasks. I keep a list on long-term goals that I’d like to get done in a binder, along with a list of tasks that I would like to do on a regular basis. I also make separate lists for cleaning, blogging, and other household responsibilities.
8.) Count Your Blessings
Gratitude has been consistently associated with health and happiness. In fact, the happiest people on earth tend to be optimistic and write daily gratitude lists (source).
The next time you feel overwhelmed and defeated, try writing a list of 5 things you’re grateful for. Try to appreciate what you did get done today, and give yourself grace for those tasks that went uncompleted. Try to find meaning in the hard times and definitely stop comparing yourself to others.
As long as everyone got cleaned, clothed, and fed today, I’d call that a win!
Momming is Hard
Being a mom is just plain hard! Definitely rewarding…but hard. It’s super easy to feel overwhelmed. We’re usually swamped with chores, grocery shopping, changing dirty diapers, cooking, planning birthday parties, and whatever else motherhood has in store for us.
Luckily, there are several techniques we can use to ease the stress when we’re feeling defeated. The next time things get to be too much, try stepping away, doing the 4-7-8 breathing, counting your senses, or even just doing some simple exercises. Put things back into perspective by restructuring your to-do lists and writing down what you’re grateful for. Of course, the hard part is going to be remembering to do these in the moment.
And, remember mama, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent.Just because you’re struggling, doesn’t mean you’re failing. Being a mom is hard work, and all that matters is that you’re doing the best you can (and I’m sure you’re doing amazing!). <3
What About You?
How do you find relief from mommy overwhelm? What helps to quiet your mind and anxieties? Share your favorite stress busters with us in the comments below and be sure to share this post with all your new mom friends.