5 Ways To Protect Your Mental Health As A Mom

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5 Ways To Protect Your Mental Health As A Mom

While the last 18 months have been especially difficult for parents, the burnout and mental load of being a parent has been overwhelming for a long time. For me, it becomes harder yet more important to protect my mental health. Here are five ways to protect your mental health as a mom:

 

#1 – Ask for Help

For me at least, this is so tough. When I need help, my inner critic tells me I should be able to be a “super mom” and do it all. It tells me that if I need help then I’m a bad parent. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

If this is hard for you too, start by journaling or writing down areas that you need help. Then, talk to your partner or support person. (These cards were a game-changer for me.) Next, look to your circle: can you set up a childcare swap one afternoon a week? Can a friend or family member support you somehow? Lastly, outsource and delegate the tasks you aren’t enjoying.

 

#2 – Set Boundaries

We deserve better than to be in situations where we feel bad about ourselves. Start with social media: unfollow accounts that make you feel unhappy or inadequate. Then, consider setting boundaries with friends and family. If they’re judging you or giving unwanted advice, ask them to stop. This book has great scripts to help you through it. After setting boundaries, you’ll feel freer and more confident.

 

#3 – Clear Your Schedule

Saying no to events is another way to set boundaries. I’m a huge homebody, so allowing for white space in my calendar is essential.

As we enter the holiday season, it’s easy to over-schedule. And going to all those events with children is exhausting.

Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t automatically say yes when you’re invited somewhere; take time to review your calendar.
  • Set a maximum number of events each week or weekend.
  • Lastly, don’t forget you can change your mind and not go to an event if it’s too much.

 

#4 – Therapy or Meditation

This might feel foreign to you, but therapy is a completely normal and healthy activity to protect your mental health as a mom. You don’t have to have had major trauma or suffer from mental illness to go, either. It can help you process events, better communicate with your loved ones, and become a happier parent. If you’re not ready for therapy, try regularly journaling and meditating. These activities allow you space to feel all your feelings, which is important for parents.

 

#5 – Take Time to Yourself (and don’t feel guilty!)

Ok, I’m not talking about a shower as self-care. I encourage my clients to have a daily anchor, something that keeps them grounded and happy as well as a weekly or monthly activity. This should be something to look forward to every day; mine is my daily cup of coffee.

I protect this time fiercely and do what you can to make sure it happens. Just this week, I didn’t get a morning cup of coffee, so when my twins went down to nap, I turned on a show, handed my toddler a snack, and sat alone with my coffee. And, I did not feel guilty about it!

So, set aside time to invest in your mental health and remember you need and deserve it.

 

Being a parent is so much work and requires a lot of mental energy, so invest in yourself by finding ways to protect your mental health as a mom. What do you do to protect your mental health?

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