What to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed

Are you an overwhelmed mom?

Do you feel like you have too much on your plate?

Moms wear so many hats.  No wonder we’re overwhelmed! We’re like that guy from the children’s book Caps For Sale, each hat piled one on top of the other, like a Leaning Tower of Pisa of responsibility.

On any given day, I am a:

  • personal chef
  • housekeeper
  • friend to play with
  • toddler hygiene assistant
  • chauffeur
  • teacher
  • therapist
  • wife
  • dog and cat wrastler
  • personal shopper
  • finder of things
  • judge
  • jury
  • executioner

You probably noticed that the list doesn’t include the list of responsibilities I have to myself. Honestly, I felt a deep urge for an epsom salt bath just typing that.

So, what happens to your soul when those hats start to fall off? (Or rather, you are forced to chuck them aside.)  What happens when you find yourself unable to do the things that are required of you as a partner and mother?

Keep reading to find what you can do to stop feeling so burdened by your responsibilities.

Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

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Why are we so overwhelmed?

There is this lie deeply embedded into society that women need to be able to do it all. We need to be able to keep those hats balancing at all times. At any cost, we need to have our shit perpetually together.

And we believe it! So many women believe that myth so damn hard that when they fall victim to chronic illness it robs them of the self-worth and feeling of achievement that they developed in being able to complete their “job requirements.”

It leaves them feeling like a failure. An empty vessel that is supposed to be continually pouring out to others and unable to do so.

what to do when you're feeling overwhelmed

How it’s been affecting me

I have been dealing with some health SHIT. Fatigue, anxiety, tum tum drama… I definitely feel overwhelmed. When the anxiety started, there were days I could barely get off the couch, and I had to call my mom to come help with the girls. 

I have been falling asleep around 7:30 or 8:00 every night. It seems like everything I eat gives me a stomach ache. This has so effected my quality of life, that on some days, I have to take the hats off my head one by one, and place them atop the head of my sweet angel baby husband or my saint of a mother/mother-in-law. They have to shoulder the burden of tasks that I used to take for granted as muscle memory, almost involuntary in their normalcy.

I can’t describe how this feels. The medical issues are bad enough. But there is a deep shame that claws away at you when you need help functioning. It whispers lies to you all day long. You’re just not trying hard enough. You can do better. You will never get better. Really, you had to call your mom to help again? 

What to do when you’re overwhelmed 

Friends, let me tell you: Your brain (And society!) designs these lies to rip away your last vestiges of self-worth and you must not listen.  Repeat that after me: I. Will.  Not.  Listen.

Instead, say the following to yourself every day:

  • I will overcome this
  • It is okay to ask for help
  • I deserve self-care
  • Today, I can make it through
  • I am loved
  • I am fierce
  • Every day, I feel hope

Your chronic illness does not make you a bad wife, or a bad mom, or a bad friend. In reality, you are a badass because of how bravely you deal with your illness. You are tougher than you realize. And the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can begin the long process of healing.

10 self care tips for moms (or anyone!)

Here are some self care strategies you can employ on a daily basis. Set a reminder on your phone that you will try one of these each day and make sure to ask someone to hold you accountable!

  1. Try journaling daily.
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast.
  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Go to sleep 15 minutes earlier.
  5. Call a motivating friend.
  6. Go for a 20 minute walk.
  7. Take an epsom salt bath.
  8. Take 5 extra minutes on your lunch break.
  9. Spend some time meditating.
  10. Try out a new hobby.
Download this free Self Care PDF here

Keep on going.

The point is, I’ve been there. So many people have. That doesn’t minimize what you’re going through. It just makes it more valid.

So, dry those tears, and keep on going. You deserve the chance to feel joy again.

what to do when you're feeling overwhelmed

Are you a bit in over your head? Tell me about it in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this post if you found it helpful!

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you are far from alone.


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Related posts for overwhelmed moms:

What to do when you’re struggling

6 Fitness Tips for Beginners

Tips for Managing Anxiety

What Self Care Really Is- And What It Isn’t

50 thoughts on “What to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed”

  1. Mama Maggie's Kitchen

    I am feeling overwhelmed sometimes! With all the things you needed to do. Thank you for sharing this helpful post.,

    1. I do that too, or my dad. They’re nice to chat with, and it’s a nice escape from reality. Thanks for reading!

  2. Such an important message at this time. It feels like I have been stretched wearing so many hats. I needed the self care tips for mums. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I’m really glad that your mom could come and help out with your daughters. As humans, we’re designed to need help at times. I think life is especially overwhelming right now because everything is so uncertain.

    1. Definitely! We’re slowly “reintroducing” her now. My mom is ALWAYS SICK with respiratory things usually and we are scared to get her sick. She is so vital to me! Thanks for reading.

    1. No kidding. I was running around yesterday like a damn chicken with its head cut off LOL. But they passed out happy kids! Thanks for reading!

  4. A nice shower and looking after my hair helps too. shower and then do a nice deep condition which means I stay in the shower a bit longer which gives me more time to myself. And I do my tropics face cleanse which smells stunning and helps me to relax! A shower and hair wash might sound like basic daily thing, but it really relaxes and refreshes me!

  5. Self care is so important. I have suffered through anxiety most my life but have taught myself many different coping tricks for each manifestation. Sometimes its as simple as a nap other times I need to have a “chat” with myself..

  6. It is so easy to get overwhelmed – when I get overwhelmed I find exercise or a long walk really helps to take the edge off and clear my head.

    1. I love talking a walk too. I took just a 10 minute one last night and it helped so much. Thanks for reading!

    1. That’s a great idea! My mom does that too with my dad. I’m trying to avoid the news as well. Hang in there, and thanks for reading!

  7. This is a GREAT post. #1 on the Self Care list is spot on. I wrote a couple blog posts with journaling prompts that have really helped me.

    1. It’s not taken as seriously as it should be! I think more people would definitely benefit. Thanks for reading!

  8. Really, moms have so many hats of responsibilities upon them which they try to keep fulfilling forgetting about their own health.
    And it really is so important to know that it really is ok to ask for help and they should really take some time off for themselves as well.

    1. Absolutely! I’ve gotten a little better at it in recent months, myself. It’s very helpful. Thanks for reading!

  9. It is such a strange time, we feel isolated and unsure of all we have to do to stay healthy. I am like you the jack of all trades in the house and hope to set a good example.

    1. A strange time indeed! I’m trying to not fall victim to the superhero syndrome, but I’m awful at avoiding it. Take care, and thanks for reading!

    1. That is one of my favorite indulgences as well! I’ve temporarily given it up because I was getting TOO addicted but I might slowly start enjoying them again. Thanks for reading!

  10. Your post really resonated with me. As a former stay at home mom and now a working mom, I have felt these exact thoughts so many times. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, but people in our lives also expect way too much out of us as moms.

    1. That’s so true. The pressure is overwhelming. Hopefully you’re in a less stressful situation now. Thanks for reading!

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