Protecting Your Mental Health
When The World Feels Like It’s Falling Apart
With rising tensions all over North America right now it is hard to find that mental peace. Finding the time to actively protect your mental health when the world feels like it’s falling apart seems impossible. Moms all over are exhausted trying to keep a semblance of normalcy in their homes. To create that safe space when you feel like the world is falling apart is mentally exhausting.
All of us are feeling this heavy load one way or another and a break seems unreachable. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to try and help lessen that load. They might not fix everything but little moments of peace are exactly what we can hope for in these trying times.
3-3-3 Rule To Calm Yourself
When you are in those moments of pure overwhelm, when you think are you just going to lose it the 3-3-3 rule is a great way to calm yourself. It is a simple way to connect to the moment and to un-focus on the thing you can’t control. First look at three different things and name them: toothbrush, mirror, hair tie. Second, name three things you hear: dog barking, kids playing, TV. Third, move three parts of your body: take a deep breath, wiggle your hands, stretch your toes. Once you have done this you should start to feel more grounded, more in control and more in the moment.
Know When To Ask For Help
I know, asking for help when you are a parent seems like an impossible task. You feel like a burden on others but we need to understand that we all need help sometimes. Whether that is asking a friend to watch the kids, having tea with a close friend while the kids are at school, or asking extended family to help you around the house when chores feel like too much. It is okay to ask for help and it is okay to need help, we all need help sometimes and to ask is to actively break the stigma that all moms have to handle everything solo and with a smile on our faces. Parenting is hard and it is more than okay to need others when you are feeling like it is too much.
Say No, Set Boundaries
Oftentimes a lot of us start to feel overwhelmed because we have a hard time saying no. We don’t want to disappoint others so we become people pleasers who actively put themselves on the back burner. This doesn’t help anyone. You feel run down and resentful that you do all these things and don’t seem to get the same in return. You are running yourself ragged trying to make sure everyone but you has what they need. Recognizing that saying no and setting boundaries is a form of self-care will help you to prioritize the way you want to spend your time. Your time is important and no is a complete sentence that you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for saying. Say no, it’s amazing.
Reconnect With Something You Love
Whether it is a hobby, a movie you will always find comfort in, or a comfort meal from your childhood reconnect with it. Take the day off from chores, make that meal you loved as a kid and watch that movie with your little ones. Comfort your inner child and remind yourself of the things you loved to do even if its enjoying a colouring book or playing with your food. Maybe you haven’t painted in a long while or written a poem since high school, jump in and remember that you are more than just the job title of “parent”. You are a beautiful creative person that deserves the space and time to connect with that side of yourself.
One of the hardest things to do when you feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious is to take time out for yourself to get some exercise. Finding that will to get up and go is a struggle even on a regular day and add in stress to that and it can be even harder. But guess what? It can be one the best things you can do for yourself. It can be one of the best ways to get that boost you need, to cheer yourself up, to get some quality alone time. Alone time isn’t just good for your mental health but, since you are working out, also good for your physical well being. Going out for a walk, taking a dip at your local pool and just being in nature is one the best ways to kill two birds with one stone in the mental health game.
If you can manage to do that physical activity outside it is even better. After a review of 14 studies it was proven that even just ten minutes in nature helps improve your psychological and psychological well being! It is truly amazing what a little time with the trees, wind in your hair and moss between your toes can really do.
Take A Social Media Break
One of the biggest negative factors on our mental health these days seems to be social media. As much as it brings good into the world it can become hard to disconnect from all the negativity. While we can’t just hide from everything it is important to recognize that we all need to actively take breaks for ourselves. We don’t have to constantly be bombarded with information and news. So put that phone down, read a book, take a bath, watch a movie with your family and connect with who and what is right around you. I know it can be a hard thing to do so I always suggest the book Unplugged: The Essential Digital Detox.
Nurture A Special Interest
Creating a time and a space to give yourself the opportunity to nurture your special interest/s. Whether you love reading, playing in the garden or painting a special interest can be anything that you love to do. Something that has always made you happy, not so much a hobby but something you have a deeper connection too. Getting time to enjoy those things that make you feel like you is so important, especially parents who often feel a disconnect from their past selves.
Protecting your mental health is one of the best ways to help prevent parenting burnout. Hopefully utilizing these techniques will help you become a more patient and connected parent. A happier you that doesn’t feel overwhelmed and exhausted from life. Tell us some of the ways you love to nurture your well being?
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