Being a mother is the most amazing gift. The joy and pride a mother takes in raising her children cannot be quantified or fully explained. It is also a huge responsibility and the hardest job. Motherhood can be mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. According to Psychology Today, compassion fatigue sets in when the positive experience of caring for others becomes exhausting.
Everyone has heard about the importance of self-care for overworked, tired moms. We all know we need time to do activities that restore our mental, emotional, and physical health. The trouble is, it is difficult to find the time and many simply do not have it within budget to spend money on self-care. With these things in mind, how then can moms combat the feelings of compassion fatigue?
Recognize When You Need A Break
Moms are often so busy attending to everyone else's needs; they hardly have a moment to check in with themselves. The symptoms of compassion fatigue can creep in slowly, and if not addressed, have negative effects on a mother's physical and emotional well-being.
Symptoms of compassion fatigue
- Mood swings
- Changes in diet, sleep patterns, or exercise
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling tired or weak
- Lack of energy
- Feeling alone, sad, or stuck
- Feelings of anxiety
When a mom is experiencing these feelings, they are likely in need of a break and a chance to focus on their own needs.
Adjust Your Expectations
According to Parents.com, moms can adjust their expectations for self-care. When you are the primary caregiver for little ones, it can be difficult to find the time to do those things you once did before having children. Look for daily opportunities to have a few moments to yourself. Although these tiny self-care sessions are not a complete fix, psychologists say these adjustments can help with those feelings of exhaustion.
What To Expect recommends that moms add a self-care activity that truly recharges them to their schedule. As we discussed, it's hard to find the time, and sometimes it may seem out of budget. The following list of activities varies in length and many can be done from home. You do not need to spend anything, but you can gain time alone to choose something that is just for you.
Some self-care options
- Go for a walk
- Call a friend or family member
- Pamper yourself
- Cook or bake
- Take a day off social media
- Recite Affirmations
Check Your Commitments
If a mom is feeling like she is spreading herself thin, the reason might just be in her calendar. With multiple children, working parents, and school and family commitments, the days can easily become consumed by activities. When moms are constantly rushing around between activities, they hardly have time to slow down and enjoy their time with their kids.
Moms can check to see if there are commitments they can put on pause. There is also nothing wrong with saying "no". Although it may be hard to do, asking for help can prevent moms from getting to the point of burnout by giving them the breaks they need.