Emotional, mental and physical fatigue are very really problems for a lot of mums, which is why it’s important to know your limits and be kind to yourself.
I am the first to put my hand up when I need a break, but I haven’t always been like this. Like so many mums I used to push through emotional fatigue and horrid headaches with a smile on my face. I took the ‘fake it until you make it’ approach, but quickly learnt that this isn’t a great approach to take when dealing with emotional, mental or physical health. Not only was doing this NOT helping anybody, it was actually hindering me and my family.
I have had times in the past where my headaches were so horrid it felt like my glasses were too tight on my head (but they weren’t). I would go to the chiropractor, get deep tissue massages, and constantly have a heat pack slung over my shoulders as I kept on pushing through with life and work and kids (with that bloody smile still on my face!). I would worry that my headaches were masking something even scarier, and this stress of course made the headaches even worse.
Then I realised that the headaches were in fact masking something…
Learn To Listen To Your Body
I learnt that my headaches were my body’s way of telling me to slow dow, to stop for a while and take stock. My body was telling me I was pushing myself too hard and that I’d reached my limit, and I was responding not with kindness and love, but with force and a determination to achieve even more.
I think a lot of us put pressure on ourselves to be super mum and achieve it all, but the reality is we can’t do it all, and our bodies (and families!) can’t cope with the stress of us trying to. I know when I feel pressured I get irritated with the smallest of things, I yell at the kids when they really don’t deserve it, and my hubby has never said it (geez I love him), but I am sure I probably get a bit hard to live with too.
Over time however, I have learnt that this is not healthy or even productive! I have learnt now to know my limit, to be kinder to myself, to go a little slower, and most importantly to ask for help – and these few subtle shifts have really helped me chill the bill and enjoy the magic in each moment.
But How Do I Slow Down?
Being able to identify that you need to slow down is a very valuable skill to learn, but that’s only the first step. Here are some of my favourite ways to take a break and rejuvenate:
- Ask for help
- Dance and listen to music
- Get enough sleep
- Say no to anything that is not important
- Look after my skin
- Assess what I am eating and eat healthier
- Have coffee with a friend
- Have some alone time
- Write a to-do list
- Tidy up any areas that are frustrating me (usually this is my office desk)
- Have a no tidying/cleaning day
- Accept myself for who I am
- Make time to rest
For HEAPS more ideas on how to look after yourself, check out these 50+ Stress Buster Tips from The Organised Housewife community, my 25 Happiness Hacks, my blog on How To Prevent Motherhood Burn-Out, and if you’re having trouble sleeping my Tips For Sleeping Like A Baby might help.
Last, but certainly not least, I always find a lot of inspiration in quotes and affirmations… which is why I have created my very own collection of Affirmation Quote Cards (*happy dance*). With a unique affirmation card for every week of the year – and a funky little stand to display them in – these cards will allow you to effortlessly carry your optimism and gratitude with you wherever you go.
SHOP HERE: Positive + uplifting affirmation cards