Tips to Reduce Burnout for Busy Moms

Sometimes, it can seem like your day will never end. Between making sure the house is clean, the kids are kept under control, and making sure your husband leaves the house with his briefcase before you leave for work yourself, it’s enough to make any mother exhausted by the time her head hits the pillow. Exhaustion and burn out is a real potential problem for many busy moms, and finding ways to prevent it should be at the top of your priority list. Here are a few of the best ways that moms worldwide have found to reduce the feeling of burnout.

Tip # 1: Organization is your Friend

Perhaps one of the most important lessons that a busy mom needs to learn is that being organized in your daily life can truly be a lifesaver. Being able to quickly find a wet-nap when your child has spilled a sticky, sugary juice box all over herself just before you pull into day care can mean the difference between a few moments of inconvenience, or worrying about how you’re going to get those stains out later. Staying organized is also a great way to keep dinnertime a free-stress zone. By taking a few hours over the weekend to cook the meals for the week, and organize them into microwavable containers, dinner during the week will be easy.

Tip # 2: Be Sure to Make a Connection

It’s safe to say that the majority of what you do each day is for the betterment and growth of you and your family. Unfortunately, with the chaotic and busy lives that moms routinely lead, we forget what it’s all being done for. It is important to remind yourself, each day why you are working so hard. Take the time to connect with your children, your husband, even your best friend down the block. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep everything in perspective. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Sit down with your kids while they eat an after school snack. Talk with them about their day. Tell them about yours. Ask them to tell you the funniest thing that they saw that day during dinner – make it a contest with the winner picking the next meal to have. Take the time to spend some alone time with your husband – a trusted neighbor or a relative can certainly look after the kids for a few hours. By making and maintaining a connection with your family, you’ll start to understand how and when the balance between your work life and home life needs to shift and change. Having this understanding will certainly help prevent burnout in the long term.

Tip # 3: Realize that No One Can Do it All

Psst. I have a secret to tell you. I have yet to meet a mom who tries to do it all, and succeeds. Trying to be all things to all people all the time is one of the best ways to reach burnout at breakneck speeds. What many moms don’t realize though is that help is there for the asking – all you have to do is reach out your hand and say something. Delegate some chores to your husband and children. Ask your neighborhood worship place to see if they have a youth program that can look after your children for a few hours. There are even governmental programs available that can provide low-cost child care or groceries for those times when things get a little lean financially. A busy mom can certainly reduce her amount of stress if she uses the resources that are available to her.

Tip # 4: Reduce Burnout Potential by Balancing Your Life

One of the best ways that I have found to reduce stress in my life is to try to keep everything in balance. As a person, you have physical, mental, and spiritual needs that should be met on a consistent basis. After all, how can you expect to conquer the mountains in front of you if you are not up to the challenge? Before you can truly take care of anyone else, you must be able to take care of you. Often mothers will put even the family pet before their own well being, much to the chagrin of those around them later. So take an hour each day to exercise. Hire a cleaning service if you can. Take the time to read and study a new philosophy, or revisit a classic romance novel from your collection. By making sure there is time for your well being in your life, you’ll find that balance is much easier to maintain.

These are just a few tips that my friends and I have learned over the years to help keep us going. With all that is going on in their lives, it is little wonder why so many moms reach the stage of burnout so quickly. By following a few of these simple tips and by discovering a few more, hopefully your time of burnout will be a thing of the past.

How to Stop Burnout Before It Starts

Burnout affects your mind, body and spirit. It can make you exhausted, anxious, and even depressed if you don’t make changes – it can even cause health problems. Recognizing warning signs can help you stop burnout before it begins. Life changes encourage this as well.

Here are a few tips to keeping burnout away:

Pace your work: Don’t take on too much. Give yourself breaks – it’s healthy! Use management techniques to ensure you are on track. Take things off if there are too many.

Avoid Exhaustion: Stay in tune with your body – don’t ignore it! Do things to improve your energy – recharge your battery with things you love – remember what makes you tick and keep it near. Don’t lose knowing about things that you love. Like wen you are small and you love horses or baseball – keep things that make you tick as an adult!

Change Is Good: If you see a repeating pattern of reaching the burnout point – then it’s time for a change – change can be very good! Change a job, a relationship, a house, a garden, etc.

Take Breaks: psychologically you need breaks. There are reasons why you need them. Your mind is not a machine it is a living organ that needs time to refresh, rejuvenate, and renew. Go for a 10-minute walk, play game, or just simply get away from the work for 10 minutes.

Ask For Help: If you need help – it’s okay to ask for it. Vent your frustrations but focus on the issue not the person – that always helps most and hurts less!

Set Boundaries and Learn to Say No: If you say yes to everything then you are being more than accommodating you are being a door mat. You must have your boundaries just like others must have theirs.

Listen to Your Alarms: Most importantly you must listen to yourself. If something seems wrong then it probably is. You must discover what is setting your alarm off. You are valid and you deserve to know what makes you tick. You have mechanisms in place to protect you and others so be sure to listen to your alarms.

Breath: If you ever begin to panic or become very nervous – remember to breath and tell yourself that this will pass too. You need to know what you can handle and get out when you can’t handle something. If you can’t get away from a source of stress, wait until you can and then go take a walk or a break or something. Movement really makes a huge difference. Move the blood in your body to help heal stress.

These are just a few ways to avoid burnout. Do it – it matters!

Avoiding Overwhelm

avoid overwhelmAvoiding the feelings of overwhelm is something that is not only necessary for our health but to our mental state of mind as well.  When we actively and consciously avoid those feelings we can ultimately avoid the burn-out feeling.  We all know what that feels like, exhaustion both mental and physical, short temper, sad, anxiety and sometimes depression.  Before we experience these feelings let’s look at some ways that we can avoid them all together.

  • If you sense the feelings of stress or anxiety coming on it is important to analyze what you do on a daily basis.  All too often we get up and go and don’t take time to truly focus and determine if we are doing too much.  Consider taking out a pad of paper and writing every detail of our day on this pad.  You will be truly amazed at what you do on a daily basis! If removing some items from your long list are impossible, then consider stretching out the tasks throughout the week.  Do you truly have to wash several loads, cook dinner, clean the floors, take your child to baseball all in the same day? Break down your tasks and you will automatically feel the sense of relief.
  • We as women, tend to believe that we can do everything on our own, which of course will lead to burnout.  It is perfectly acceptable to ask for help.  If you are married, ask your spouse to help with the daily activities.  If you have children, teach them tasks that will help you throughout the day and week.  Remember they are never too young to participate in family activities and that includes chores.  Ask a friend to help or simply be there to vent. Yes, it’s okay to vent!  Keeping all those feelings of overwhelm inside is not healthy.
  • Learn to incorporate breaks into your busy day.  It is important to take breaks to refresh your mind, and get the second wind which is needed to continue.  Take a nap or to rejuvenate yourself, consider going outside to inhale the fresh air.  Take a 10 to 15 minute walk and feel totally renewed.  It is important to simply step away from whatever situation or activity is causing you stress at the moment.  Once you take the necessary break, you will beat the burnout stage before it occurs.
  • Ultimately no one knows your body better than you!  Don’t ignore the signals that surface when your body or mind is feeling overwhelmed.  Headaches,  for example are not normal and are signals that your body gives you to signify that something is wrong and many times it’s because we have taken on too much.  Be careful and listen to your body.  Just as the oil light goes off in your car as a sign that it’s time for a maintenance check, your body will give you signals too.  Be aware of them and you will ward off the burnout stage and enjoy life to the fullest.

These are just a few tips that will help you stop the feeling of burnout in its tracks.  Begin implementing some of these tips today and you will enjoy getting up each day to a brand new day full of greatness.