What to do when you’re struggling

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

“After all this parenting, I think I’ll become a hostage negotiator. Seems less stressful.” (Unknown Internet genius on Pinterest.)

This. Exactly. The struggle is real. We’re simple yelling on a bullhorn to tiny felons who constantly demand more and more that we are not able to give.

Are you stressed? Are you going through an extra hard time?

I want to start off by saying: There is no shame in that. Parenting is insanely hard, and it is a full-time job that never ends.

My goal in starting this blog was to help people solve problems. I like taking people’s insecurities and issues and struggles and helping them find solutions. I am not necessarily a natural nurturer, but I am an empath, and I don’t like seeing people going through difficult times.  It makes me feel bad.

I have been through more than my fair share of difficult times, and I hope people find inspiration on my blog. I fully believe in the power of paying it forward as a tool to help my own mental health issues.

So, if you are struggling, you are not alone. I’ve been there. Stay tuned for my pro tips for feeling more relaxed and letting go.

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. See my Privacy and Affiliate Disclaimer pages for more info.

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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Let’s be real for a second

Today, I don’t really have any genius, never seen before, solutions to present. It’s one of those days where I have just enough to get by. 

But if I could guess, that’s not why you’re reading this post anyway. I think you’re reading this because you wanted to hear from a mom that is going through the same things you are.

You want to feel heard.

You want to feel seen.

You’re craving validation.

Validation time: I am driving the struggle bus through a circus of fire. Oh crap, the brakes are giving out.

I’m tired, I have a stomach ache, I’m anxious, I’m crabby.

There is shame in the mom struggle at times.  I think as a society we are getting better, but there is still the omnipresent undertone of, “Wow.  She’s a mess.  Get your life together.” Rather than linking arms and Red Rovering the shit out of life together, it is sometimes easier to turn our nose up, and say, “Well, at least it isn’t me.”

feeling overwhelmed

It sounds cliché but we all need to stick together. We need to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. We need to offer help to those who are struggling.

It’s part of being a human to life a life of empathy. What is empathy? It’s just plain old feeling for other people. Celebrating with them. Commiserating. Understanding. Crying with them when they’re sad.

Have you ever been mom shamed? It sucks, doesn’t it? I’ve been the victim, and I’ve been the perpetrator. It’s a common epidemic that I’m sure every parent reading this can relate to. Even dads. We live in a society where we simultaneously need to learn to mind our own business, and need to be more intentional about reaching out.

Kindness. That’s all it is. Simple kindness.

That’s why I’m reaching out to you with this post. I want to break the cycle and create a new one.

Instead of “stressed mom -> vents -> people react negatively”… we need to implement the following:

Stressed mom -> uses coping strategy -> feels better -> shares with fellow stressed people -> people feel understood.

The world is in pretty bad shape, and it will only get worse if we don’t stick together.

What to do when you’re struggling

Here is a list of things you can try when you’re struggling. None of it is revolutionary, but I’m hoping it resonates with you.

Take a hot bath

This is seriously one of my favorite things. It’s a great stress buster, and it gives mom something they crave on a regular basis: Peace and quiet. Just turn on your favorite podcast and soak away your troubles.

ESCAPE the house

Go somewhere without kids. Even if it’s just to the grocery store. That can feel like a tropical vacation when you’ve spent all day changing poopy diapers and watching Blippi. Lots of grocery stores have places to get coffee, so treat yourself and enjoy the personal space.

Snuggle with your kiddos

Sometimes, you just have to sit back and appreciate the little things. Those warm, small fingers around yours. The way their hair smells after a bath. Just take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Remember why you’re doing all this in the first place.

Write it down every time something good happens

Make it a habit to write down the positive things that happen through out the course of your day. Writing things down helps us reinforce them in our mind. When we focus on the good, we have an easier time forgetting the bad.

Journal

Journaling has a lot of amazing benefits. One of them is that it helps get out all those thoughts in your head, and allows you some space to sift through them. Are they valid? Totally illogical? Helpful? Destructive? Take some time to think about these things before you go to bed.

Call in for back up

Yes, mama, ask for help! I know it’s hard. We want to feel like we can do it all, but the truth is, we just can’t. I’ve tried and failed, and you probably have too. So ask your partner for help. Or call up Grandma, Aunt Sue, or your favorite neighbor. I’m sure they would be happy to help!

Break a sweat at the gym

Exercising releases those feel good chemicals that we need to be happy. You can feel happy without exercising, but I’m convinced it’s much harder. Science backs this up, so go for that walk. Even if it’s 15 minutes, done regularly this will make you feel better.

Eat well (don’t load up on junk)

The way we eat has a major effect on our moods. For instance a diet filled with sugary snacks, as well as too much caffeine our alcohol, can make you feel more depressed and anxious than you already are. So try healthy grains and fats, and tons of fresh fruits and veggies.

Read a good book

Reading is an escape like no other. I’ve been a bookworm since preschool. I love when my imagination rides on the feathers of an owl to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Or roams the dark, dusty rooms of Thornfield Hall. Reading for even 20 minutes a day can be the best self care!

Here are some of my favorite “de-stress” products

epsom salt, feeling overwhelmed

Amazon Brand – Solimo Epsom Salt Soak, Magnesium Sulfate USP, 8 Pound

the night circus, feeling overwhelmed

The Night Circus (one of my favorite books!)

kindle, feeling overwhelmed

Fire HD 8 Tablet (8″ HD Display, 16 GB) – Black

journal, feeling overwhelmed

Zen as Fck: A Journal for Practicing the Mindful Art of Not Giving a Sht (Zen as F*ck Journals)

My favorite podcast, a great true crime escape!

Advice from someone who’s been there

Don’t be ashamed of your struggles. Don’t let them be a quilt that you snuggle under on a rainy day. Live them out loud. Share them.  PUBLICLY.  (I know that’s a bit scary, so take it one step at a time.)

I know I’m not yet some Nobel Prize winning blogger whose story will reach millions and change the world. But if admitting that I am struggling can help even one person make their life a little better… Well, I truly and wholeheartedly believe that that is what life’s all about.

Are you struggling a bit? Let me know in the comments, and make sure to share this post with all your mom friends!

If you’re struggling in life, hang in there. After a ton of rain, sometimes there’s a rainbow.


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