7 ways to cope with life overload when you’re a mum

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Our workload is too much. Someone recently said to me that we’re so busy filling every moment that we don’t have time to actually live well. We are officially experiencing life overload.

It’s not just our workload that is crippling us. Our lifeload is way too much.

Sometimes the pressure to stay on top of everything that a mum needs to do leads to working late nights and being up early each morning. The little sleep we allow ourselves is restless because we’re stressing about how much you need to do…

I’ve hit some mega goals in the last few weeks but in order to get there, I needed to pull some late nights, and a couple of early mornings. And entire weekends.

When I don’t switch off an hour before bed, my brain activity is like a beehive on acid for the first couple of hours in bed. The tripped out insects actually drone about in my frontal cortex, putting me on overdrive and make sleep a distant fantasy.

Add a few wakes ups from children who cough all night and I think we can safely say I’ve been burning that candle through the middle with a freaking blow torch.

Naturally, today I went to the gym to work it all out of my body.

When I got there, I was a weakling. My usual weights felt as though thy were filled with lead. My Terminator guns had been replaced with T Rex arms, and my eyes were blurry and gritty and I was annoyed.

Did I stop? Did I take it easy and lie on a mat and gently stretch my body instead of pushing it?

No. I didn’t.

I wondered why I was so tired, although the answer was bloody obvious.

I’d taken every single iota out of the bank and my body was telling me I’m overdrawn.

My mind is telling me something’s got to give.

When you have too much on your plate, I suggest you take a step back and think about how you can downsize your load.

Life overload - strategies to help you cope when it all gets too much

1. Prioritise

What must you absolutely do today? Can you shuffle anything to tomorrow’s list, or put it off for a few days. Sort it out. Don’t be afraid to recognise your limits.

This is not the same as procrastination. It’s being smart with your workload.

By the way, I’m shithouse at this.

2. Enforced shutdown

Whether you’re working on your computer, at your desk or simply staying up late, you need an enforced shutdown. In order to work at peak performance the following day, you need adequate sleep.

Also, working on computers late into the night is bad for your sleep. Research has proven that the artificial light from your screen can affect your sleep. Try to shut down one hour prior to lights out. No phone in bed. No TV in bed.

I’m absolutely terrible at this.

3. Write a list

The To Do list is your best friend. Firstly it gets everything out of your head and your can see exactly what needs to be done. Do not deviate from the list until it is finished. No Facebook, no phone calls, no faffing.

Work methodically and enjoy the moment when you’ve shown that To Do list exactly who’s boss. At the end of one day, write the To Do list for the next day and anything that didn’t get finished can go on there for you to smash tomorrow.

I was shit at this, but now I’m awesome at this.

4. Keep your eye on the prize

A girlfriend mentioned this to me last night. When you’re tired and stressed and you may be a tad over it, keep focused. What are you doing here? Is this busy-ness leading towards your goal?

Don’t lose sight that you are doing this to get to where you want to go.

I own this.

5. Remember to breathe

My mother very wisely sent this in a text to me, and my glib response was “Have you met me??”.

I’m fucking useless at this. It’s amazing my face isn’t purple half the time.

6. Screw the housework

This is such an important one. I’m not suggesting you stop bathing the kids and have a kitchen like a shonky restaurant at the end of a big night, but again, prioritise. That pile of washing is not going anywhere. As long as you have clean undies, you’re all good.

The garden? Whatevs. The daily tidying? Can wait ‘cos you know they’ll mess it up again anyway.

Oh yeah, I got this.

7. Manage your stress

A little bit of stress is healthy. Too much stress raises your cortisol levels, and messes with your hormones. Take a walk away from your desk every 90 minutes, and do not look at your phone. Go outside if you can, have a healthy snack or a glass of water, and have a mini-recharge in your day.

90 minutes is the optimum amount of continuous brain activity, after that, you fry like an egg.

I really try, but I’m pretty crappy at this.

8. Rest when you can

Take that break, down tools, disconnect and rest. You need to get your energy stores back up, or YOU WILL GET SICK.

I’m shocking at this. Truly bloody awful.

At least I can see where I need to improve, no?

What about you?

Written by Danielle Colley

Danielle Colley is a a Sydney-based writer and integrative coach who lives with her two fabulously rascally kids, her amazing (and only occasionally irritating) partner, and a herd of cats. At Your Good Life Danielle teaches people how live a happier, more content and more badass life.

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