There’s a lot of advice out there for busy working moms. Most of its pretty unreasonable. If you had time to take an hour walk, eat perfectly, and sleep 15 hours a day you probably wouldn’t be reading advice. So it’s sometimes nice to just have a few simple tips that you can keep in your back pocket for when things get hard.
This blog offers you suggestions that aren’t about making massive changes to your schedule; they’re more about changing how you think about your routines, yourself, and the people around you. We hope these tips for working moms in Chicago will help you find balance in your life..
Here are Five Mental Health Tips For Busy Chicago Moms from a Chicago Therapist:
1. Schedule Your Self-Care Like You Would Anything Else
If you’re like most moms, you live and die by a schedule. You keep track of meetings, the kids school events, doctor appointments, and a thousand other things. Those schedules fill up fast, and it’s easy to max out your availability for weeks at a time.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping a schedule, but while you’re packing your days full, take advantage of the momentum and slip your self-care onto the calendar. Because realistically, if it’s not on the calendar, are you ever going to do it? Try to fit it in a few times a week. Prioritize it, block time off for it. It’s a way to make sure you take care of yourself and set boundaries around your time.
2. Step Back And Refocus On The Big Picture
It’s easy to get lost in the daily crises. The house feels like it’s falling apart, work is chaotic, and your boss drives you crazy. People are eating dinner while they run through the kitchen on the way to different events. You had to buy a cake for someone’s birthday instead of baking it from scratch. With all this going on it’s easy to lose sight of things and think you’re a terrible mom, even if you're doing a great job.
This is why it’s important to step back and regain your perspective sometimes.
Think about whether the kids are happy and fed. Think about if the house is standing and people have what they need. Think about whether work fulfills you or pays the bills.
This isn’t saying ‘practice gratitude’, just that it’s good to step back from the daily chaos and look at the big picture of your life and family. That’ll give you a much better idea of how things are going and will show you the important places you’re actually succeeding.
3. Don't Beat Yourself Up
Maybe you’re not succeeding. Maybe you’re yelling at people and falling behind at work. Maybe you can’t catch up and everything's falling apart.
Of course, you want to try to fix it. No one wants to be miserable and stay miserable.
But remember that despite what social media tells you, you’re human. You make mistakes.
Even if your mistakes have big consequences, beating yourself up won’t change them. What will change them is reflecting on the situation so you can do it differently next time.
Try practicing mindful self-compassion during times like these, and remember you’re doing your best.
4. You Can't Pour From An Empty Cup.
Kids, partners, jobs, and friends all demand things from you when you’re a mom. You give them your energy, your love, your time, and sometimes your sleep. That’s part of the deal for doing the mom thing. But another part of that deal is taking care of *you*. You should do this because you value yourself, but even if you can’t manage that you should do it because you value your family and friends.
If you give everything you have and never fill yourself back up, you’re eventually going to run out of things to give. This might be one of the more cliches on this list, but it’s here because it’s true. If you’re not doing things that fulfill and energize you, you’re going to burn out and then you’re not going to have anything to give anyone.
Take time for yourself. Dedicate time to getting chores done in peace the way you like them. Spend time with friends, join a class. Start a hobby. Do anything that refills your energy and your spirit so you can continue doing what you love. If you need to recharge, it’s okay to be a little selfish with your time.
5. Find a strong support system you can count on
This one’s also pretty common, but it’s also commonly neglected. As a working mom you might not feel like you have time to make connections. But it’s important to have people around who support you.
This is different from people who help you.
Those people are fabulous too, but a support system should be looking after your emotional needs as well as the ones that show up on the chore list. They should be people you can turn to when things are bad or who will pick you up when you’re struggling to get back on your feet. These relationships are so easily neglected, but so important. It doesn’t matter who the person is, as long as they’re dependable and care about your wellbeing.
Taking care of your mental health is one of the most important things you can do for both yourself and the people you love.
If you’re caring for yourself, you can care for others. Keep these tips in mind when life gets chaotic; you’ll be happier and better able to cope.
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Additional Counseling Services at Marble Wellness in St. Louis, MO and Chicago, IL
Counseling services designed to help set you on a path of living a more fulfilled, calm, and happy life.
Our St. Louis team of therapists have a variety of training backgrounds and areas of expertise. We specialize in anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illness, therapy for men, couples, and maternal overwhelm. We can also help new moms with various postpartum concerns, moms in the thick of parenting, and moms with teens. We can also chat from wherever you are in the state with online therapy in Missouri and online therapy in Illinois. No matter where you are in your journey, we would love to support you.
Our Chicago team of therapists offer a wide range of mental health services to help our clients through the different challenges and hurdles in their life. In addition to anxiety, depression, grief, therapy for men, and maternal overwhelm, we are specialized in professional burnout, therapy for breakups, and we love partnering with working moms.