Have you ever felt like you can’t cope? Like you’re suffocating? Like you’re drowning? If so, then you may be battling with overwhelm. I had never suffered with overwhelm until about 6 months ago. My husband asked me why I had been so stressed and emotional (being 8 weeks pregnant and none the wiser may have had something to do with it) Soon after that, we found out we were pregnant with our second baby. At that moment, the thought of having another baby, along with a toddler, a recent move, a puppy and three part time jobs… filled me with dread, anxiety and OVERWHELM.
I had a few melt downs and some big emotions to deal with, and for someone who practices reiki, mindfulness and meditation, it was so out of character or of me and I knew something (or many things) in my life had to give. I watched a Facebook live video featuring JENNIE HARRISON all about overwhelm and how to channel our feelings. She spoke openly and honestly and I started to understand the root causes behind my feelings and raging hormones.
I focused on the main areas of where I felt my overwhelm was being triggered and I put everything onto paper (this helped a lot)
• EMOTIONAL- I had lack of energy, I was tired, exhausted, sleep deprived. Pregnant!!
• MENTAL- I had lists upon lists that I kept in my head. At the time I wrote some things down, but not all.
• PHYSICAL- mum and baby groups, cooking, cleaning, work, socialising, housework.
All of the above contributed to my feeling of depletion and overwhelm, and I knew that to look after my growing baby and the rest of my family (and most importantly, myself) I needed to make some changes to my lifestyle:
• I took naps or rested when I was able to
• My husband and I hired a cleaner (since I have gone on maternity leave, financial circumstances have changed and we now have no cleaner, but Im ok with that)
• I stopped teaching sing and sign (I would eventually like to go back to teaching this class)
• I continued to write daily lists (but with a timeframe included)
• I started pregnancy yoga
• I deleted myself from some WhatsApp chats
• I dedicated one day a week to just me and my daughter
• I started to say no (to events and things which weren’t fulfilling me)
• I reduced my expectations of myself and started to do things for me (Self-love and self-care are so important)
By making small changes in these areas of my life, I felt a lot more organised, balanced and content. Now, I know when to recognise those feelings of overwhelm, I take deep breaths, or I get an early night, or I run myself a bath, or I ask my husband for help.
The daily grind can really take its toll on us mums and it can honestly feel like groundhog day with the piles of washing, cooking, cleaning, work, playgroups, keeping up with friends and family (I’m sure you can all relate) But by compartmentalising each area of our lives and making small changes to our lifestyles, we can help ourselves to become the best mums that we can possibly be. Sometimes in life, something has to give, it doesn’t mean to say that we are giving in, just letting go of what doesn’t serve us anymore.