tips to overcome overwhelm

We’ve all been there:  overwhelm strikes and you find yourself feeling anxious and unable to function as you’d like to.  This can happen often during those years of early motherhood especially when sleep is scarce and you may not have family around to support you.

Here are some tips that may help in moments of overwhelm – these aren’t just any words, these are words and tips from mums from the MamaBake community (if though, you are feeling like this alot of the time and find yourself unable to function on a daily basis, please, please seek advice from your GP or a professional):

  • I do this thing where, if I’m feeling overwhelmed and it stops me in my tracks, I breathe in for 3 seconds through my nose, hold it for 4 seconds and then breathe out slowly and gently through my mouth for 7 seconds.  I say the words in my mind “I am breathing in for 1,2,3….I am now holding my breath for 3,4 and now I’m breathing out for 3,4,5,6,7.”  It keeps my mind on my breathing rather than my worries.  I do this breathing ten times and I always feel a bit better afterwards. (Anna)
  • Only take advice from people who genuinely love you and who matter.  (Ange)
  • Arrange to see a good friend for a coffee and be honest with how you are feeling.  I’ve found it to be powerful to reach out and let it all hang out.  And when you’re open with your friends, you’re letting them know that it’s safe for them to be open with you without fear of judgement. (Tracy)
  • I have a freezing cold shower to shake myself out of it. It’s uncomfortable but it just shifts me. (Shelly)
  • Remember that though it may be all encompassing now, each stage does pass. (Ange)
  • I put on some lovely music, burn some essential oils and try to create a more relaxing atmosphere.  It just shifts my mood and often makes my little man settle down and relax too. (Stacy)
  • A long hot shower! For me or them.  (Saz)
  • Drop the phone and the screens and just get the heck outside. (Rachel)
  • Take the dog for a walk with the kids and if you don’t have a dog, borrow one.  Stroke your dog and focus on it for a few minutes.  I don’t know why or how, but hanging out with my dog is really soothing. (Jules)
  • Playpen:  to stick one’s self in for a quick sanity-saving cup of tea whilst chaos reigns on the outside. (Ellie)
  • Surround yourself with “real” mama friends, you know, the honest ones that don’t mind admitting that they’re human & mess up lots of the time too. (Ellie)
  • It probably sounds wierd but if I know the kids are okay inside, I go and sit in my car for a few minutes.  I love shutting the door and sitting in that total, muted silence.  Works wonders for me. That sounds wierd doesn’t it? Awkward. (Kate)
  • Remember that at this moment in time, it is just a feeling. It may be a big feeling but it’s a feeling only.  I think to myself: “I’m safe. There is nothing threatening my child’s, or my, life.  I’m okay.” (Lauren)
  • Yoga – more me time, good for my back and stops me from sticking my head in the oven.  (Pruey)
  • If you’re ruminating on others’ judgement, remember that you can’t control other people so …. it’s fine. Let it go.  (Madaline)
  • Remembering my family history of strong women: my mother managed to stay sane while single-parenting three of us under six, in the 1950s. (Ruby)
  • Do whatever, whereever, however to ensure you get a good rest TONIGHT. Tomorrow will take care of itself. (Karen)
  • Pick your battles and walk away from the dishes/vacuum cleaner.   (Phoebe)
  • Bathroom/toilet (door with a lock)! (Katrina)
  • Leave. The. House. I mean it, pack up the pram, the teenagers, take a ball, a book, whatever you’ve got & GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN! (Seonie)
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