Are you burnt out?

Are you burnt out?

Moms are bombarded with both internal and external expectations, pressures and judgments about how to live their lives. So many of us find ourselves trying to do it all and making choices that do not reflect our own inner values in an attempt to meet these unrealistic expectations. The reality is this is not obtainable nor sustainable and many moms find these pressures begin to manifest in the body as physical discomfort. The top 3 physical burnout out symptoms that I see are:

Fatigue: Do you feel tired even with a good night sleep, wake up feeling exhausted and move through your day in a haze of brain fog and heaviness. Is consuming excess coffee, sugar and salt the only way you feel you can “get through the day”.  Do you fall asleep with your children at bedtime only to wake later feeling groggy and disappointed that you did not get any time for yourself?

Moodiness and agitation:  Are you feeling sad, shameful or frustrated because you do not understand why you are lashing out at your partner and children? You love your family and have the life you always dreamed of but do not feel joy or happiness. Do you feel disconnected from yourself
and loved ones and wonder what could be missing?

Body pain/tension: Moms who have not connected with their own values have more chronic pain. Do you carry the weight of unrealistic expectations on yourself? Is it possible that this pressure is now showing up in your body as a chronic backache, headaches, whole body muscle fatigue and tension?

If you are suffering from any or all of these common symptoms, you are most likely disconnected from your inner values, putting undue pressure on yourself and the result is burnout.  Check out one of the self love mom events and take your first step into recover from mom exhaustion.

The best remedy for burnout: stop comparing

The best remedy for burnout: stop comparing

Mom’s please stop comparing yourselves to others, especially as it relates to being a mom. Every person chooses to spend their time and energy differently, some moms prioritize planning perfectly themed birthday parties while others push to be bikini ready 6 months after giving birth. I know mom’s who volunteer weekly at their kid’s school and moms who make prize worthy Halloween costumes every year.  None of these is better and what another mom does has zero importance to your own journey. All this tells us about other women is what is important to her and where her personal focus is during a particular time. Sure, you can look at these women and be inspired but comparing ourselves and feeling less than because of where another person is putting their energy is a fruitless and empty experience.

Never before have we had the opportunity to rank ourselves against others as we do right now, social media is everywhere and as much as this is a wonderful opportunity for the cyber connection it can also create a toxic window where women are in a constant comparison with one another ranking themselves against what they see online.

When we compare ourselves to others and feel bad about ourselves, we are not seeing the whole picture and the tendency is to only see the parts that trigger our own sense of unworthiness or inadequacy. In my opinion, it is not about rejecting social media altogether but rather being able to stay aware and accountable for what you are seeing and what feelings that it brings up in you.

Take a few minutes to complete the social media challenge I have created to get a better understanding of how you are relating to other moms. You can find this challenge on in the free journal pages that I am offering to you!

Recover with your values

Recover with your values

The challenge with being a mom is that there are so many different ways, opinions and quite frankly judgements about the “right” way to do things. We often got lost in long to do lists that actually do not reflect our own values for ourselves or for our families. For many moms, this disconnect results in a feeling of failure and the misguided belief that we are not doing enough. In an attempt to remedy this feeling most mom’s turn up the dial and try to do more based on these external pressures that actually don’t even hold meaning in our own lives.

For the first few years after my daughter was born I felt overwhelmed, exhausted and disconnected, so instead of slowing down, going inward and being more selective about what was important to me, I tried to do it all in hopes of finding peace. This could not have been further from what I needed. The reality is that we can not do everything, nor should you try rather we need to find out what is important to us and move from that centre. It is from a place of knowing what we value for ourselves and family that we can truly connect with how we fill our days and where we put our energy.

Finding out what you value will take some reflection, experience and trial and error. I have developed a reflection exercise that will help to guide you on this part of your journey. You will find this in the free journal pages that I offer.

Take a few minutes for yourself and sit with this, you may be surprised as to what comes up for you.

Permission to recover

Permission to recover

One of the biggest hurdles that mom’s have to get over before we can truly create self care in our lives is giving yourselves permission, to say yes to your needs! We feel guilty if we are not doing something, being with or caring for a need for our family. Where did this belief system come from? What is this guilt rooted in? Logically we all know that if we are not caring for ourselves then we have nothing to give to other’s. You have heard advice about putting the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child, but what stops us from doing this in our day to day lives? This is something that I have been exploring as part of my own personal recovery from mom burn out.
When I became a mom I set out on the impossible task of doing it all. As a self employed Naturopathic doctor I started back at work when my daughter was 4 months old, part time but working none the less. Still 100% committed to nursing my daughter my life became about nursing, pumping, working, running, commuting, disrupted sleeping, eating whatever was quick and easy and drinking lots of coffee to keep this cycle going. Whenever I was working I felt awful for not being with my daughter, whenever I was with my daughter I felt torn from being away from work that I loved. My remedy to this was a futile attempt to be 100% to both and 0% to me. The math did not add up. The result was burn out! I was so incredibly hard on myself and nothing about this process was loving. I also realize that during this time I was not an awesome Naturopathic doctor nor was I a present and centered mom for my daughter. This still brings me to tears.

Looking back, I truly believe there was room for family and career but I was missing a key component of self care and a gentle heart. It took an emotional as well as physical crash but when I knew better, I did better not only for me as well as my family, my work, my friends, my community.

It is something that I still have to check in with myself every single day: I ask myself is this choice loving and am I caring for myself? If the answer is a no, then I give myself permission to make a different choice that reflects my needs knowing it will ultimately have the positive domino effect on the people that I touch each day. I now say Yes to me!

Go deeper by accessing the accompanying Journal now!

Letting go of exhaustion

Letting go of exhaustion

One thing that I hear a lot in my practice that Mom’s have less time. Bingo! This is a true fact. As a mom, much of your time is no longer your own. I spent the first 3 years of my daughter’s life waiting for this to shift so that I could return to the “way things used to be” only to realize after a lot of frustration, personal shame and resentment that this was actually never going to happen. I would not return to that life of 2 hour yoga classes followed by brunching with friends…not that that was what I even wanted…but still if one of the biggest components of self love is self care and we as moms don’t have time -what is the solution?

Well Moms, it is to create a new norm of self care within the time that is available to you. Once you let go of how things used to be you can recognize the gem in even a little self love like squeezing in a few sun salutations or a 15 minute epsom salt bath. You will see that this is not only possible but a necessity. Once I made peace with the time I had lost, I was able to reframe my expectations and see what truly was available to me.

Part of recognizing that your time is no longer the same is the understanding that these moments of self care are typically no longer planned events. You may have a 5, 10 or even 20 minute window of unexpected space pop up and having a game plan about what things will bring you joy and a sense of well being is crucial to your success in taking care of you!

Access your free journal pages for this blog and add some of your own. Post this on your fridge to remind yourself to “let go”

Protecting time boundaries

Protecting time boundaries

So given the reality that mom’s have less time, a non negotiable skill that we need to develop is the ability to fiercely protect what time we do have by setting clear boundaries within our families, friends, work, community etc… So much of our time is already accounted for and when you find yourself with precious space understanding what brings you joy and fills you up is valuable information.

The art of saying no, backing out of a commitment that is no longer working for you and disappointing others is a huge requirement of this process and a true act of self love. After a few times of putting your values first you will see the amazing benefits – more time, more energy, less stress and with experience taking care of your needs will become easier.

Before we can set boundaries we need to understand a) where are we spending our time b) is this activity bringing us joy c) is this something that we need to let go off.

Access your free journal pages to help you see where you may be giving away time to activities that are no longer serving you. The intent of this experience is to create clarity about the things in your life that are time takers so that you can create space for time givers!
Hugs from one mom to another!