Are you experiencing mom burnout? I have to admit I was feeling burned out and overwhelmed over even writing this blog post! Mom burnout is so prevalent today for many reasons
- Raising Tiny Humans is a demanding 24/7 job
- Add in work responsibility
- We are in “Covid Times” where many moms are working from home with no childcare
- Moms tend to shoulder the burned of most child/household responsibilities, even with a supportive partner
- Mental Load- This is means everything that is swirling in a mom’s head every day with respect to her family: booking doctor’s appointments, making sure your children are eating healthy food, buying birthday gifts, monitoring that your child is meeting their milestones, trying to help them have imaginative play, being mindful of screen time. Thinking about all this and more really contributes to draining your battery
- Breastfeeding- if you are breastfeeding, it is not only mentally, but physically draining. Your baby is essentially acting like a parasite and they will take all the vitamins and minerals they need and leave you with what is leftover
- Lack of Support- Most families are raising kids on their own without the help of extended families, or they live far away from their extended family, or their extended family adds stress and is not helpful
- Invisibility- On top of all of the above, doing all of these things, and feeling invisible is extremely taxing
This list could be a mile long, and is a bit different for everyone. What I want to focus on today is how to help reduce some of this burnout quickly to keep you from going further and further down the burnout rabbit hole! I want to keep this post short and sweet and to the point, to not drain anymore of your limited energy! If you want to learn more about causes of burnout, check out this blog post.
3 Easy Steps to Take Today to Reduce Mom Burnout
- Have Protein and Fat at Breakfast- I say this so much to my patients that I sound like a broken record! (side note, isn’t it wild to think that very soon no one will understand the analogy “broken record”). I suggest having 15-20g of protein at breakfast and at least 10 g of fat. This helps to stabilize your blood sugar all day, which reduces swings in energy. Having your blood sugar swinging all day, which is what happens when you start the day with a carb heavy typical breakfast, leaves you feeling tired, irritable and further drains your batteries. It also is responsible for the post lunch crash that often results in that second, or third or fourth cup of coffee, which brings me to my next point…
- No Coffee After Noon- This is not one most moms like to hear, but that cup of afternoon coffee is doing more harm than good. Coffee has a half life of 12 hours meaning, that half of the coffee you drank at 1 pm is still in your system at 1 pm. This is true even if you are one of those people who says you can have a cup of coffee and fall right asleep. That is not a good thing! That is a sign that your body is so dependent on coffee that you have developed a tolerance, not that it is not affecting your sleep. Having this afternoon coffee reduces the amount of restorative sleep you get overnight. I get it! There are many days I want to have an afternoon coffee as well…usually on the days when I didn’t have enough protein and fat at breakfast. Switch out the afternoon coffee for a green or black tea, which are lower in caffeine. To learn more about the impacts of coffee on sleep and energy, click here.
- Exercise Smarter Not Harder- I see all the time when moms are burned out and not getting the exercise results they want that they think they just need to up the intensity of their exercise. This could not be further from the truth. If your exercise routine is leaving you feeling more burned out than energized, it is too much. It is ok to feel tired after a workout, but you should feel that exercise is giving you energy, not draining you. HIIT, distance running and tonnes of cardio are not the best option for a burned out mom. Instead try strength training, walking/moderate cardio and yoga/Pilates. For more on what forms of exercise are best for burnout, click here.
There you have it! Which change will be the easiest for you to implement? Post in the comments below!
Dr Alexis Reid
Dr Alexis practices in Kanata and is currently accepting new patients. To schedule your appointment, click here.