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! 

How you can benefit from restful Yoga Nidra

Women doing yoga nidra | yoga-nidra-benefits

Did you know that activities like reading, gardening, catching up with friends, yoga and walking are all active forms of self-care? These activities will NURTURE parts of your body, mind and spirit but they don’t allow your nervous system to slow down and to return to your basic 90 minute rest-activity cycle. 

As a mum, your entire way of being is focused on making sure everyone else is okay first. Right? You race between work, school pick up and after-school activities. You grab a coffee or sugar fix to get you through. The thing to keep in mind is that if you continue down the path of consistently overriding your rest-activity cycle you’ll burn out and not be able to support those around you. 

Over a year a go I started to practice Yoga Nidra, a form of mediation. I needed the rest so I could better support my family after my son’s autism diagnosis. I listen to a recording before I go to sleep each night. Sometimes, I fall asleep and other times I feel like I’ve fallen asleep but wake up right at the end. I feel less exhausted at the end of each day from regularly listening and are able to enjoy time with your family and be more present.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a sleep-based, conscious guided meditation in which your mind is still active. Your body sleeps while your mind is awake taking in the guided instructions. It’s complete REST for both your mind and body. You get all the benefits of meditation as well as sleep. 

Don’t let the word yoga put you off. There are no yoga poses. You’re lying in a comfortable position and covered with a blanket. So there’s really nothing stopping you from giving it a go.

Casa Yoga Geelong | yoga-nidra-benefits

Benefits of Yoga Nidra

Relax the brain 

Your breathing in Yoga Nidra practice triggers the relaxation response. Your brain is guided to a delta brain-wave state where organs are regenerate and stress hormone cortisol is removed. 

Reduce stress

In the practice of Yoga Nidra meditation, your nervous system is calmed and your thoughts slowed down. The hormone serotonin is released to help you feel more relaxed and reduce anxiety and depression. 

Create positive thoughts

During Yoga Nidra meditation we use an intention (sankalpa). It’s a positive statement or affirmation for yourself. Like ‘I am rested’ or ‘I am loved’. Your subconscious mind is very receptive when the body is relaxed and clears the nerve pathways to the brain to accept your intention.

Improved Sleep

Practicing Yoga Nidra for just 20-minutes is equivalent rest for your body to an extra 2 hours of sleep. Getting to sleep and staying asleep is also improved with a regular Yoga Nidra practice. 

Women sleeping |yoga-nidra-benefits

Better health

Yoga Nidra lowers your core body temperature which helps reduce inflammation. A lower body temperature helps with autoimmune diseases, allergies and other inflammation-related conditions. It’s also been found to lower cholestrol, improve symptoms associated with diabetes and improve hormonal function.

It’s easy to make excuses to avoid rest, especially when you have young kids. I hope these benefits will encourage you to take some time to try Yoga Nidra so that your body and mind have a chance to rest.
Download my 20 minute Yoga Nidra recording HERE
If you live in Geelong, I’m running a Yoga Nidra course over 8 weeks in term 4. Click HERE for more details. Maybe you’re interested holding Yoga Nidra sessions at your school, workplace, mothers group or community group. Contact me HERE and I’ll help you tailor something to meet your needs.
Which benefit motivates you to try Yoga Nidra?

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