It’s the beginning of the year and you are already exhausted. It started with school supplies and buying new school clothes, and just not clothes, but the right clothes. Then the kids started school and you thought you were going to get a break, but that didn’t last because when they got home the volunteer sign-ups came with them. PTA, PTO, mystery reader, classroom helper. A few you thought you already signed up for but they came again so you filled out the paper and somehow you signed up for not one, but two committees, and you are chairing both!
Then you get on Facebook to relax, and you are faced with friends who seem to have it all together. One is training for a marathon, and the other just got promoted at work. The happy husband and wife team have pictures of the Pinterest perfect 40th-anniversary celebration they had for their parents with family that came in from all over the country. Meanwhile, you are wearing yoga pants. You think to yourself you really should remember to buy some dry shampoo (that one of your oh-so-chic friends who seems to always look together recommended) because, the kids were almost late to school and you didn’t have time to shower, again.
Mom burn-out is real. We have so many different hats to wear it seems like an eternity will never be enough time to get today’s to-do list done. The symptoms of burnout are becoming more recognized. These multifaceted symptoms, like loss of interest in things we normally like, feeling tired, and agitation greatly resemble the symptoms found in depression. Believe it or not, though the degree of burnout we have is within our control. Here are a few tips on how to reduce burnout by reducing commitments while improving your mindset.
Tips to reduce stress and improve your mindset:
Say No! Let go of feeling guilt and obligation. If every parent in a school participated in one event most schools would have too many volunteers. It is better for you and your family to give your all to one or two opportunities you feel passionate about, then to be spread too thin.
Realize that what you read on social media is just the highlights. Though it can feel like everyone has it all together generally speaking each of you Facebook friends do only a couple of things well, and so do you!
Make a list of things your child does well both big and small. Gets up early, goes to bed easily, brings home flowers, gives good hugs are all examples of things we can value in our children.
Make a list of things you do well. C’mon, you know you do! Make good lunches – Check. Walk three times per week – check. Feed everyone dinner each night – check.
Make a list of things you and your child don’t do well…and then turn them into positives. Goes to bed late can be “has lots of energy”. Has massive tantrums can be “is very passionate”. Add these new positives to the previous list. After all, perspective is the cornerstone of happiness.
Make a bucket list of 3 things you want to accomplish this year. Once you accomplish them you can add more, but try to stick to three for now. These things can be for you, your child, or your family.
Each day instead of cruising Facebook, read your list of positives, and goals for a minute or two. Think about what you are dedicated to, what you and your family do well, and the direction you want to take your family in.
Giving yourself credit for what you do for your family and community is a large stepping stone towards feeling more in control of your life. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. Further reading shows a study by Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, which demonstrates that changing your mindset can have a significant impact both on mood, and can help increase skill sets! So, write it down and live it up. And as you start to achieve your goals go ahead and celebrate on Facebook. Then your friends can wonder, “How does she do it?”