Three Easy Steps to Help When Your Feeling Overwhelmed as a Mum

circles of wellness | feeling-overwhelmed
Rewind to five years ago and I was constantly snapping at my kids, yelling at the top of my voice for some peace and quiet, turning up to appointments on a wrong day and falling on the couch at the end of the day completely exhausted.
I was an overwhelmed mum who was unhappy and felt stuck. I’d managed to get into a cycle of measuring my self-worth and value from how much I could get done. I knew I needed to make some changes.
I started by making small and simple changes around three areas of my life so I’d feel more focused, organised and have more energy. Now I feel less overwhelmed, more productive and more present with my family. I value myself through who I’m BEING rather than what I’m DOING. There’s always space to review, tweak and improve, but improving your energy, time and attention is a good base to build from.

More Time

When my daughter was at kinder, my son was a toddler and I was teaching Physical Education part-time. I was also (somehow) on the kinder fundraising committee, secretary of the local toy library and wedding planning for our own wedding. At that time in my life, I had zero boundaries and said ‘yes’ to everything. Guess what? I took on too much. I had NO TIME. I was running myself into the ground and I felt like I was doing so much but achieving very little. After our wedding, our son was diagnosed with Perthes Disease (when the blood is temporarily disrupted to the femur and bone cells die). I started to unpack what I had on my plate, and how it was making me feel. I dropped the extra commitments and made some simple meal preparation tweaks, started to follow a washing routine and began using a shared calendar for our families activities. Through sharing the load and simplifying how we do things, I’ve created more ease for myself and our family.

command centre | feeling-overwhelmed

Feel Energised

When my son started kinder I decided to study Wellness Coaching (as well as teaching). The strenuous workload resulted in skipping lunch or just grabbing something on the go. But, guess what turned up at 3 pm? Sugar cravings. Internally, my immune system shut down and I was getting sick often. I knew it was time to change, so I started to meal prep my lunches and snacks on the weekend. I now eat a more fulfilling breakfast, healthy prepared lunch and snack on high-energy nutritious food like nuts, chia pudding and smoothies so I’m not running on empty or grabbing a sweet treat all the time.

berry smoothie | feeling-overwhelmed

Photo credit - flickr

Exercise has always been an important part of my life (I suppose that’s why I become a Physical Education teacher)! I love the boost of energy and how much easier it is to concentrate after doing exercise in the morning. Fueling up on healthy, sustaining food makes keeping up with my exercise routine so much easier and enjoyable. 

Fueling up isn’t just about good food, it’s also about that all-important sleep. Sleep has been something I’d often sacrifice for more time since I became a mum, until recently. I used to do jobs or be on the computer till late in the night. I now have a bedtime ritual that includes reading, journaling and listening to a Yoga Nidra meditation. I look forward to bedtime and sleep since starting my ritual. It makes falling asleep easier and I wake up feeling more energised.

Attention Mum!

Over a year ago our son was diagnosed with Autism. To better support him I needed to switch off and give my brain a break, so I could be more patient when holding space for him. I started to practice Yoga Nidra, a form of sleep meditation where your body rests and your mind benefits from meditation. I’m now more focused on the present moment and less anxious. I can take time off thinking about my ever-growing ‘to-do’ list and just live in the moment. 

yoga nidra class | feeling-overwhelmed

Gratitude is something we started to practice several years ago as a family. At dinner time we share our favorite parts of our day and something we’re thankful for. I’ve also started to do this in a journal either before going to sleep or first thing in the morning for myself. These simple gratitude practices have helped our children feel more connected at dinner time. There’s plenty of research that suggests this is increasing our happiness too. 

These three easy steps are designed to help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed as a mum. They’ve helped me a long way in my journey! Making small and simple tweaks to the area that you feel is out of balance will help you feel more energised, organised or focused. You’re only a few simple steps away from being a calmer, happier and more productive mum!

To be able to start a bedtime ritual or plan nutritious weekly meals or start a regular exercise routine you need space and time out from the daily juggle. The Mums’ Coaching Circle group will give you that space, support and motivation to start the things you’ve been talking about. Click HERE to learn more about the next Mums’ Coaching Circle.

Looking for support, connection and conversation? Join my Simply Happy Mums Facebook group.

Which small and simple tweak would you like to try? I’d love to hear your thoughts, or help you on your own journey like mine! 

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|

We all know how great exercise is for our health.

Just by adding a bit of exercise to your routine you can enjoy amazing benefits including weight control, diseases prevention, more energy, better sleep, improved confidence and increased productivity. Sounds great, right?

I know what you’re saying, ‘when do I have time as a mum for exercise when I’m juggling kids activities, school drop-offs, work and running a house’??

Finding the time as a mum to make exercise a permanent part of your lifestyle takes a bit of work. A great place to start is by focusing on your motivation and setting a clear goal. You can always return to that goal to keep focused.

Benefits of Exercise

For me, the goal of completing the Surfcoast Trek 40km walk has kept me motivated and accountable for the last couple of months. Having an end goal encourages me to focus on my weekly exercises to maintain progress. I’ve been lucky enough to have three other mums to train with. Not only has this kept us all accountable but we also look forward to the chance to ‘walk and squawk’ while training 2 to 3 hours each week.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.

But you don’t have to have a specific training goal to stay motivated. There are simple things you can do to make exercise a part of your routine. I’m going to share with you how you can incorporate exercise into your busy life with some organisation and planning.

Exercise first thing in the morning

I find the best time to squeeze in a workout is before the day begins. I get everything ready the night before so I am mentally prepared and follow through with my plans. I know the thought of setting the alarm clock an extra half-an-hour early might sounds daunting! But when you prepare the night before it makes the process a whole lot easier. Once you’ve done it a few times it feels like no extra work at all! Preparation and routine are key.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|

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Include your kids

When you have kids it can feel harder and harder to find time to exercise. The good news is, your workouts don’t actually have to be solo or isolating! Exercise can be a whole range of different activities that can be very flexible. When my kids were babies I’d take them in the pram for walks around the park with other mums and babies. Another great way to include your kids is in a baby seat on your bike. Now that my kids can ride we usually go on a family bike ride each weekend. Kids don’t have to be an exercise burden, they can be your exercise partners! It also teaches your kids to value exercise. Win, win.

Find a creche

It’s amazing how many gyms offer affordable creche services. I joined a gym that had a creche when my first child was only 6 months old. When we moved to Geelong, I joined a gym that also had a creche. There are also netball & basketball stadiums that have creche facilities, so there’s always some kind of support in almost any sport! Make a few calls to gyms or sport centres in your area and see if there’s something that will work for you.

Use an online program

Rather exercise in the comfort of your own home? No worries! There are so many wonderful online programs that you can use without ever leaving your front door. I highly recommend the Merrymaker sisters MerryBody Studio that combines yoga, pilates and mindset for a monthly fee. If you’d like a high-intensity workout I recommend Sharee Anne Fitness Project Body Happy a 13-week program that requires minimal equipment that you can do anywhere. There are endless programs you can find online, and even simple YouTube tutorials for mums on a budget. Set a reminder on your phone once or twice a week reminding you to do your online program to help with accountability and routine.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|

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Trade off workout times with your partner

Create a system and share the workout time with your partner. You can work together to create time in your schedules and maximise productivity in your quieter times. My husband and I take turns watching the kids on the weekends to carve out some exercise time for both of us. We also take it in turns during the week in the mornings.  Once a week we’re both able to fit in 30 minutes each before even our kids bounce out of bed! It only takes a little bit of communication and coordination, and the benefits are well worth it.

Five ways busy mums can find time to exercise |Simple ways mums can incorporate exercise into a busy life with some organisation and planning.|

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It’s easy to make excuses to avoid exercising, especially when you have young kids. If you can use little tricks and strategies to create time for exercise, you’ll be able to enjoy the amazing benefits that come with being fit and active. You can be a great role model for your kids when it comes to exercise. When they grow, they’ll take your good habits with them. These five strategies to incorporate exercise into your busy life will help you get started.

If you enjoyed these ways to find time to exercise but are feeling like there’s never enough hours in the day to implement them. You’re always wishing you could just have a bit more time. Then grab 8 Simple Steps to UNBUSY Yourself and share the load WITHOUT letting anyone down.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like my ‘How your family can benefit from you taking some time out’ HERE.

Which idea do you think could work for you? Let me know in the comments!