“Being a mum is incredible. It’s also incredibly challenging,” she says. “I always try to support mums with the ‘incredibly challenging’ part. One of the reasons my clients tell me they can find it so hard is the lack of time to turn the focus towards themselves.
“The thing is, without finding ways to come back to ourselves, we’re more likely to struggle. When we’re depleted, tired and running on autopilot I know from experience that’s when life starts to feel like groundhog day.
“Sadly, it’s all too easy to lose the joy in life and our sense of self.”
Reconnecting back to you doesn’t mean long bubble baths, spa weekends or walking in woods (although all those things are lovely). It means seeing how you’re doing, how you’re feeling, what’s going on for you right now.
“It’s bringing yourself back to centre. Back to you,” Zoe says. “And from this place you’ll feel calmer, more grounded and in control.”
Read on to try Zoe’s tips for keeping calm when you’re feeling stressed out…
7 tips for stressed out parents
Jotting down even a few lines about how you’re feeling, what’s on your mind or even what you’re fearful of, can help you to come back to yourself. It’s a simple way of getting the thoughts out of your head and onto paper, so you can start to take action.
Simple as it sounds a few deep breaths can be a game-changer when it all starts to feel too much. I think we all intuitively know this, which why we’ll often tell someone distressed to ‘take a few deep breaths’. The science is solid on this – breathing into our bellies slowly and consciously tells our nervous system it’s all ok and will instantly make you feel calmer.
Check in on your emotions
Stop and ask yourself – how am I feeling right now? Rushing around and never stopping to check in with ourselves means that we often unconsciously push down or resist our real feelings (especially the trickier ones), in order to keep pushing on with the ‘to do’ list. Let’s face it, feelings can be really inconvenient. The problem with constantly ignoring our feelings is that they will often come out sideways – in the form of stress, short-temperedness, anxiety or even illness. Feelings and emotions are generally trying to tell us something and need to be processed, then released.
Do a 5 minute guided meditation
Guided meditations are a brilliant way to instantly access a calmer, more connected and balanced headspace. Focussing on a soft, kind voice guiding you through a 5 minute meditation can feel like a weekend at a spa – trust me.
Make a gratitude list
We hear all the time to write a gratitude list, but do we ever actually do it? This is the tool that Oprah said changed her life, so it’s worth a go in my book. I’ve been doing daily gratitude lists for years now and it instantly anchors me back into positivity, perspective and my power. Try it right now – just jot down 5 things you’re really grateful for. Feel better? Thought so.
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Find perspective by asking yourself some powerful questions
One of the biggest challenges with busy, pressured modern mum life is that it’s so easy to become consumed with the micro, day to day challenges – but they aren’t the things we’ll look back on or celebrate as we get older. Try asking yourself some powerful questions such as ‘Am I becoming the person I want to be?’, ‘What do I want to contribute while I’m here on this planet and am I moving in that direction?’, ‘Am I enjoying my life, what can I do to love it even more?’.
Move your body mindfully
Busyness is often in our heads, thoughts whizzing around at a million miles an hour and mentally planning everything we’ve got to do. It’s so easy to become totally disconnected from our bodies – even when we exercise. I find a few minutes of slow yoga or even just moving however my body wants to, really connects me back into my body and my intuitive self – where many of our best ideas come from.
Zoe Blaskey is the founder of Motherkind and hosts events, workshops and talks all aimed at helping mums reconnect to themselves in the madness of modern mum life. Listen to the Motherkind podcast here and follow Motherkind on Instagram here.
Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash