Mummy burn out and the importance of self care

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

The Importance of Self-Care

Many mothers complain that they don’t have time for self-care, yet they manage to cram in unnatural amounts of work in a single day — all for the sake of others. It’s possible to squeeze in some “me time” into that load, whether it’s one day a month, or five minutes a day. It’s beneficial to our health – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

We have to prioritize the same as we would prioritize things for our kids. We’d never miss an appointment for our kids, because they are important. Equally important is prioritizing yourself and your own needs.”

However, self-care sounds selfish to some mothers. Taking time out to do ‘nothing’ makes them anxious as they think about the ‘more important’ things they should be doing. Their ‘self-care’ involves running to the shops or cleaning out shelves. That might satisfy the itch to be so-called ‘productive,’ but it won’t energize anyone long-term.

Ideas for Self-Care Practices

Self-care goes beyond bubble baths. It’s all about finding whatever activity is energizing and enjoyable and working that into a regular routine.  Remember, self-care will essentially slow you down enough to reveal the joy of being a parent. Try one or two things, just to see test out this whole self-care thing if we haven’t convinced you already. 

Take yoga classes Meditate unplug from your devices. Take a deep breath whenever there’s a few moments, like waiting at a red light. Get a manicure or pedicure . Eat a healthy snack, go for a walk or a jog, sit in the sun, write in a journal. Catch up with a friend. Listen to your favorite music. Paint or colour. Ask for help, go to bed early. Visit a museum, listen to a podcast. Go on a date with the significant other half or even get a massage.

Each of these have their own benefits, but massage has some particularly healthful perks. 

The Benefits of Massage

Massage is a regular on self-care lists because it’s known for relaxation, stress reduction, and pain relief. It is also helpful for anyone who suffers from anxiety and depression/low mood. It’s the perfect prescription for a mother on burnout who is struggling with stress-management, hectic schedules, too little sleep and too much caffeine. 

It’s also specifically helpful for mothers experiencing postpartum depression. Besides for the relaxing part, it can ease pain in the body, reduce swelling, regulate hormones, and improve breastfeeding. Advanced massage therapy can help restore the body to its pre-pregnancy state and assist the healing from a C-section birth. Be sure to find a massage therapist that specializes in prenatal and perinatal, and postpartum women. 

For mothers or anyone suffering from anxiety, stress, and bad moods, massage has been a tried and true treatment. It decreases cortisol levels causes the parasympathetic nervous system to calm the body and brain. It also enhances the immune system, which tends to suffer during periods of stress. 

Reduced anxiety symptoms have been recorded in many studies about massage, particularly those with participants suffering from asthma, depression, arthritis, back pain, job stress, and multiple sclerosis. A study published in Depress Anxiety found their subjects to have experienced significant reductions in anxiety after a 12-week massage treatment period, and these improvements were still clear by the 26-week follow up. 

Everyone has felt the effects of stress like insomnia, poor eating habits, irritability, depression, and even panic attacks. It affects the body negatively, and neglecting the body in this state can prolong these unhealthy reactions. Stress management is vital to happy, healthy life, and self-care like massage is a good way to fend off stress and all of its misery, allowing you to be kinder, more pleasant, and happy. Self-care is the key to a true Super Mum.

Now we are left with one last question.

What Type of Massage Should You Try?

You may have tried massage once, hated it, and decided that massage is just not your thing. Perhaps that type is not, but you’ll love the effects of another. Here are 12 different kinds of massage, and you decide which one speaks to you.

Swedish massage – good for those with a lot of tension and knots and are new to massage ( available at holistic touch ) Hot stone massage – best for those with muscle pain and tension (available at holistic touch)Aromatherapy – involves emotional healing to boost your mood along with relieving pain and tension (available at holistic touch) Deep tissue massage – uses more pressure than a Swedish massage and is helpful for those with chronic muscle problems (available at holistic touch)Sports massage – good for those with a repetitive use injury from a sport or other activity, or if you’re prone to injuriesTrigger point massage – suited for those with injuries, chronic pain, or specific issues or conditionsReflexology – good for relaxation and restoring natural energy levels (available at holistic touch)Shiatsu massage – best for emotional and physical calm, relieves anxiety, and muscle tensionThai massage – involves a form of yogic stretching and can improve flexibility, circulation, and energy levelsPrenatal massage – safe for women during pregnancy to reduce body aches, stress, and muscle tension (available at holistic touch)Couple’s massage – choose any massage, usually between Swedish and hot stone, and do it with a partner, friend, or family memberChair massage – a quick massage that focuses on neck, shoulders and back; good for beginners (available at holistic touch)

The good thing about mummy burnout is that it is preventable with the proper self-care plan in place. It’s important to know your strengths and limits as a mother and to ask for help when needed. Your mood affects the moods of your children, so self-care is truly a productive investment. So have a massage or enjoy some other pleasurable, de-stressing activity.

You’re a mother, one of the hardest jobs in the world. You have earned a break a hundred times over.