With the kids at home over the summer holiday season it means more fun, which is amazing. But it also means more meals and snacks and finding a way to get done what we normally do while they're at school.
Overwhelm hits us when we're dealing with too much. It could be too much physically, mentally, emotionally. In fact it's often a combination of all of these things.
So how do we balance the chores, work and all the emotions that go alongside the signs that our children are growing up and all that is going on in ours and the wider world?
Here's five tips:
You might feel resistance to stopping because there's so much to get done and maybe try to push on and push through. But don't! Stop!
Pausing for just for a minute or two can make a real difference. You have to give in so you can get think straight. Breathe and take time to recover.
If you're feeling really anxious and panicky, think about breathing into and filling up a brown bag or a balloon. Big breaths in and slow breaths out really do help you to centre yourself.
2. Pay Attention
Emotions are there for a reason. They are an indicator to the state of our health and well being. We do need to listen to them and take notice of them.
The danger of constantly pushing them down and carrying on is that they'll get us eventually. You might break down at a place or time where you really don't want to. Or it could be a more serious breakdown like a burn out or a catalyst for an auto immune condition.
Take time to notice your feelings and your emotions and understand them
Take a step back to think about your life. Take time to question your feelings.
Why are you feeling this way?
Where do you feel the most pressure?
Where do you need to relax the pressure?
Is it pressure you're putting on yourself?
Do other people really expect all these things from you?
Do people realise what you are doing for them? Or how it's making you feel?
Are all these things really worth doing?
How can you take things more at your own pace?
What is your quiet inner voice telling you? We don't often spend time listening to it but it will tell you what you need to hear.
Talk to the other people involved, your work colleagues, your family, maybe even your friends. Talk to them about what you're doing for them? Maybe you'll realise you can lower your expectations for the day, for the next hour, for whatever time, you need to relax. Maybe you can offload some things and start saying no to people if you need to.
When you do all this, when you work with your self more, and your inner voice more, you will feel your mood lift and you will feel your energy rise too. So please take time to do that.
3. Let Go
Let go of multitasking as it's not that effective. It's much more helpful to clear your brain by writing down all the tasks that pop into your head rather than be flitting from one thing to another trying to do it all.
Make time to get all your To Do's written down.
Move things from your main list that aren't essential and don't spark joy onto a Maybe, Someday list. Make sure your main list feels possible and doesn't overwhelm you.
Then workout what to do first. Spend time prioritising the list. Delegate things, share tasks, ask for help with it. Choose three MIT's (most important tasks) for you to do that are either really important or bring you joy.
Choose one thing to work on which will help you feel happy and lighter and just do that. Only once you've done that can you choose something else. Or maybe even call it a day. Maybe you've done enough that day and you need to rest and just get more more sleep so you can be firing on all cylinders the next day.
Think about what's pulling you. What do you actually want to do first? What can you get done that will give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel better, calmer and more confident to push on. Do that.
5. Be kind to yourself & Take care of yourself
Often I speak to overwhelmed Mums who are not going to the toilet when they need to go. They're sitting there trying to get all the things done ignoring the fact they actually need a wee! That is not efficient. That is not going to mean you are doing your work quickest or best.
Just go to the loo.
Get that drink if you're thirsty.
Eat if you're feeling you're hungry.
All of these things raise our anxiety levels if we don't pay attention to them. We need to look after our bodies and our minds if we want to feel calm and relaxed. So by taking a breathe, going to the loo, eating and drinking properly you will feel much better for it. So that's the real basics covered. What else do you need?
Think about how you're feeling, what habits you can put in place and what routines you need to look after yourself more and to be kinder to yourself. You'll be much more productive for it and your family will thank you too for being a calmer, happier Mum.
If you need help with all this do reach out by email me on email@example.com I can help you with this and ensure it starts to feel easy like brushing your teeth everyday.
And don't forget to think about all the positives of summer too....
It's an exciting time, a time to get out and about and enjoy your garden and nature. If your child is due to start school again in September, or starting school for the first time in September, it's an opportunity for you to think about how you want to use that time while they're in school. How can you make things work for the whole family and carve some time out for you?
I hope that helps. I hope you can take that on board and start practising it and using it. Don't forget to check out the Facebook group Be Me & Mum for more tips and advice. Click here to visit/ join.
Take care. Bye for now.