Overcome Overwhelm in Motherhood

By Michelle Shearer

Everyone has moments of utter overwhelm – even people you think are entirely together, they have them too – and they can happen with extraordinary frequency when children come along; particularly when we parent alone without close family support nearby.

Here is a wee collection of tips that other mothers have found very helpful in getting themselves back to a sense of coping again.

Of course, if you are experiencing anxiety and overwhelm often whereby the moments are turning into prolonged periods, please seek professional help by speaking to your GP.

  1. Stop and breathe:  Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4, hold it for 3 and breathe out to the count of 7.  This tricks your brain into thinking that all is well and after about 10 breaths like this you will notice your body relaxing.
  2. Put on some of your favourite music to change the dynamic.
  3. Go back to bed and start the day again (if you can!)
  4. Stop what you are doing, grab a cuppa, sit down and make a list of all the things you need to do that day and anything else playing on your mind.
  5. Take a power nap – if you can
  6. Have a cup of tea
  7. Write your feelings in a journal
  8. Remind yourself you can only do one thing at a time and focus on that: one foot in front of the other…
  9. Pop to the loo and talk yourself out of the funk
  10. Take a shower.
  11. Cry
  12. Swear loudly!
  13. Call a trusted friend and talk about how you are feeling (you can always email us here at MamaBake for a chat if you feel alone: mamabake@mamabake2.wpengine.com).  Ask for help if you need it, okay?
  14. Pack the kids up and go outside for a walk.
  15. Do something physically demanding like mowing the lawn or drop and do 10 push ups.  Dance crazy.
  16. Sniff some lavender
  17. Look at your feelings and try to visualise them as clouds floating past you.
  18. Know that this time will pass.
  19. Sit quietly – if you are able – and observe your  feelings.
  20. Treat yourself as you would a friend who is suffering – be gentle on yourself.
  21.  Cancel all your commitments that day
  22. Go back to basics: sleep, nourishing food, water, exercise, nature.
  23. Tend to your vegetable patch if you have one, go and sit and watch the chickens, observe a flower in detail..take your time looking at every tiny little thing about it.
  24. Take the night off and have an easy dinner for the family, like toast and eggs.
  25. Watch the birds.


What do you do to overcome moments of overwhelm?

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