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Managing Stress and Avoiding Burnout in Motherhood

Published Mar 25th, 2020 by

Louise Hurley

Mums are the world's best multitaskers but all of this responsibility can leave us feeling stressed, anxious, exhausted and burnt out. Louise Hurley gives us some tips on how to manage these feelings and some practical things we can do to manage stress.

Managing Stress and Avoiding Burnout in Motherhood
Mums are the world's best multitaskers – family, work, household, fitness, socialising, school… But all of this responsibility can leave us feeling stressed, anxious, exhausted and burnt out. There’s no doubt about it, motherhood is a stressful job. And with the current coronavirus pandemic causing major upheaval in our day-to-day routines, our mental strength for dealing with stress can feel depleted. Thankfully there are several strategies that we can adopt to help us manage these feelings of overwhelm as well as through the next few months and beyond.

Take a few moments to think about the following:

Identify How You Experience Stress How do you know when you are stressed? Try to identify how your thoughts, your feelings and your behaviour is different when you are stressed. Identify Your Stressors What are the things that cause the most stress for you? Try to be as specific as possible. Identify How You Respond To Stress Think about the ways in which you respond to the stressful situations you just thought of. Are they helpful or unhelpful? Are they healthy or unhealthy? How would you ideally like to respond to these situations? Unhealthy or unhelpful reactions to stress build up over years so are difficult to change all at once. Focus on changing one thing at a time and don’t take on too much.

So what practical things can we do to help us manage stress?

Get Some Perspective and Prioritise When we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed it can really help to take a moment of time-out to put everything into perspective and prioritise what needs to be done. Make time for what is really important to you and when possible, delegate tasks. What can family or friends help you with to lighten the load? Take Control Where You Can We often feel stressed over what we cannot control. The coronavirus is the perfect example of that at the moment. But there are certain things we can take control of; for example, our family’s fitness, health, activities, etc. Healthy Activities What healthy activities do you enjoy doing that help to reduce stress? As a fitness professional I always promote exercise as a form of stress relief, but it doesn’t have to be physically demanding. Meditation, crafts, breath work, the list goes on... Do whatever works for you. Nutrition and Rest Nourishing our bodies with fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and pulses and getting enough rest (I say "rest" as sometimes as mums we have little control over the amount of sleep we get) are ways that we can ensure we have enough in our tank to manage stressful situations and still look after our family. We can’t pour from an empty cup. Sometimes it seems as though other mums are able to do it all, but behind the scenes we’re all experiencing the highs and lows of the motherhood rollercoaster. Nobody expects us to be super-mum; we usually put that expectation on ourselves. Asking for and accepting help from family, friends or professional services is a necessary step in managing stress. If you feel as though you need professional help to manage stress in your life right now you may find these services helpful: Your GP This Way Up online courses Beyond Blue Black Dog Institute NSW Health Directory Louise runs Strong Mums in Gosford, NSW. She has a background in clinical and research psychology and became a mums’ fitness professional after having her first baby. To find out more about her and get in touch, click hereYou can also find her on Instagram.
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Written by

Louise Hurley
MumSafe™ Trainer at 
Strong Mums

About the Author

Louise’s mission is to help mums feel fitter, healthier and stronger through a supportive and motivating community. Whether it’s been 6 weeks or 6 years, no matter how long ago you had children she can help you to safely return to exercise and restrengthen your body so that you can start to take back some control in this crazy roller coaster of motherhood and feel more like you again. Strong Mums isn’t about “bouncing back” after having a baby or getting your pre-baby body back. It’s about feeling fit, healthy and strong enough to keep up with the demands of your little tribe.

Louise’s mission is to help mums feel fitter, healthier and stronger through a supportive and motivating community. Whether it’s been 6 weeks or 6 years, no matter how long ago you had children she can help you to safely return to exercise and restrengthen your body so that you can start to take back some control in this crazy roller coaster of motherhood and feel more like you again. Strong Mums isn’t about “bouncing back” after having a baby or getting your pre-baby body back. It’s about feeling fit, healthy and strong enough to keep up with the demands of your little tribe.?