Health & Wellness

Stressed Out? 4 Secrets To Being a Less Stressed Mom + Common Causes

Let’s take a moment to talk about one of my most common patients: the stressed mom.

Between carrying the mental load for the whole family plus work demands—plus being there for your children both emotionally and physically, it’s really no surprise that so many moms are experiencing constant fatigue, overwhelm, regular yelling matches, and more.

I get it—I’ve been there. But what can we do about it—especially given that our responsibilities only seem to increase over time? Keep reading for some of my best advice on the topic to help find relief and support.

 

The Makings of a Stressed Mom: Why is This Happening?

As women, we tend to focus on our nurturing side—by nurturing everyone else. We expect ourselves to do it all and attempt to do it all, when, instead, we should be asking for help and taking care of ourselves.

The result of being on this hamster wheel of setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves? We end up unable to do it all and then beat ourselves up over it. That’s when we become stressed moms and are at risk for developing some serious health problems, such as adrenal fatigue

I’d like to share a personal story with you as an example.

I remember when I was in the early stages of building my medical practice and had just had my second child. I would wake up every day, feed the baby and toddler (with my husband’s help), and head into the office, often bringing the newborn with me.

My mom was my office manager, so when I would get to work, we would chat about family items as well as work. I would listen and be there as a daughter at the same time that I was being a mom to the newborn and a boss to the staff.

Then I would jump in and see patients while also knowing that my baby was in the other room with my mom or in a bed near me. Once I was done with work, I answered emails, phone calls, and texts; paid bills; and then ran home to be there for dinner with my husband and older son.

My husband was so helpful with dinners, but ,with his schedule, I often had to assist with this task as well—many times opening the fridge with little to make because neither of us was able to get to the grocery store.

Afterwards, evenings consisted of getting kids ready for bed, attempting to spend some time with my husband, and heading to bed myself.

On my days off, I would be cleaning the house, running errands, taking kids to activities, and so on. Needless to say, I was an exhausted, stressed mom. All of the time.

And I paid for it. I looked tired, I felt tired, and ,yet, instead of scheduling time for myself, I just continued to pile it on.

Fast forward two years to when I started writing my book (with a toddler and a kindergartner). This added even more to my already demanding schedule. Yet, when I couldn’t come up with any words on my self-scheduled “writing days,” I would beat myself up about it.

This caused more undue stress,  which, unfortunately, I sometimes took out on my family.

When I look back now, I can see the adrenal fatigue so clearly. And I wonder what I could have done differently. The answer was to get out of stressed mom mode by scheduling some time or myself into each day and letting other tasks go.

The truth of the matter is that sometimes you have to say no to others in order to truly be there for them.

We were not meant to do it all. As women, we need to change our expectations to include nurturing ourselves, because, without us, a lot less would get done!

Signs You’re A Stressed-Out Mom

Does this story sound familiar? If so, you aren’t alone. In fact, a 2021 survey revealed that 93 percent of mothers reported feeling burned out. [1]

Here are some of the signs that you’re a stressed mom and may be heading for burnout. [2] How many of these resonate?

  • You don’t feel supported at home.
  • You devote significantly more time to childcare and household duties than your partner.
  • You regularly get less than eight hours of sleep each night.
  • You’ve increased your use of harmful coping methods, such as drinking more alcohol.
  • Within a 24-hour period, you have less than one hour to yourself without work or family obligations.

Here’s the truth: If you said yes or found yourself nodding in agreement to even ONE of these scenarios, odds are pretty high that you’re a stressed mom and need to make some changes. But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it?

Keep reading for some of my top tips to help relieve some of your stress.

 

Stressed mom - Dr. Pingel

 

4 Secrets To Stress Relief For Stressed Moms

Here are some of my top tips to help relieve feelings of overwhelm for stressed moms. See which ones you can implement to help restore some calm and balance to your life.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help.

As moms, it’s common to feel the need to constantly control our households. But the truth is that not everything has to be done our way.

Ask your partner or a friend or family member to pitch in. Whether it’s by doing the dishes, running the vacuum, or changing the baby’s diaper, there are people in your life capable of helping you to get tasks done so you can take a much-needed breath and not feel like such a stressed mom.

2. Engage in Meal Prep.

One of my top secrets or being able to “get it all done” is to use the weekends to prep meals for the week.

As you may recall, Americans spend an average of 37 minutes a day on meal prep. [3] Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use that time doing something you actually enjoy?

If you’re not currently taking advantage of this time-saving activity, check out my article where I share my top tips and even a few recipes to get you started!

3. Get Plenty of Sleep.

If you’re a stressed mom, odds are high that you’re sacrificing sleep in order to “get more done” in a day.

The problem with this is that you’re training your body to be unable to sleep when you actually do get ready to rest.

If you’re having trouble winding down at night and getting into a relaxed mindset, check out my article on the best nighttime routines to set you up for better sleep.

You can also consider taking supplements to help support your body’s stress response, which will help you wind down at night, such as my Total Stress Support.

4. Prioritize Your Health.

Part of being healthy and at your best is to realize that you have to prioritize yourself. That means you not only deserve (and need!) to have an identity outside of motherhood, but you also need to take care of yourself both mentally and physically.

Unfortunately, being a stressed mom for too long can result in a variety of health problems. So, it’s important to get in front of the issue as soon as possible.

Having a hard time knowing where to begin? Check out my personal morning routine for anxiety and stress, which will help get you into the right mindset.

Remember,  you can’t be there for everyone else unless you’re there for yourself first. And, as moms, we want to present the very best version of ourselves to our kids.

So, keep reminding yourself that taking care of yourself, taking some down time, and prioritizing your health is nothing to feel guilty about. You’re doing it so you can be at your physical, mental, and emotional best for your family—and they deserve the very best you have to offer. And so do you!

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