1A couple of weeks ago, I shared that I had been working on pulling myself out of a funk. I’m not sure how I got into it, and I’m not exactly sure of how to define “funk,” except to say it’s kind of a cross between tired, overwhelmed, a little bit sad, uncertain, bored, and just emotional, really. Maybe you have felt this way before, too? While being a mom just might be your most rewarding role, oftentimes it’s also the most exhausting. As a mom of kids from 18 down to 1, I can say that the days are long while the years are short. But yes, the days are most certainly long. If you can identify with feeling isolated, tired all the time, overwhelmed by how much there is to do, or like you’ve lost yourself, you might be experiencing the mom funk. I’ve got some tips, though, so keep reading!
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Sometimes when we are moms, it can be hard to be a person, too, but we do need to recognize that we do need to work on ourselves at times. If we aren’t able to do that, we may find ourselves in a full blown funk. But, we don’t need to stay there.
Here’s what I did, and here’s how you can get out of that mom funk, too
- Give yourself permission to be in a funk, but don’t dwell there. I find it effective to work through the emotions that I am feeling..the overwhelming, sad, exhausted feelings for a day or two. However, I set a time limit by saying something like, “Tomorrow, I will set the plan in motion to start working out of this funk.” Acknowledging and processing for a day or two is the necessary first step in this process. This means without guilt, too. Just accept where you are, and look forward to the future changing in a day or two when you set about working through the remaining steps.
- Accept your limitations. Again, without guilt. Sometimes it is my own limitations and unrealistic expectations that throw me into a funk. Accept that you can’t do it all, which can be hard if the people in your life expect you to, and then when you in fact can’t do it all, you won’t be disappointed.
- Examine your physical needs. Are you not getting enough sleep? Are you not eating well? Have you been getting any exercise? These are all natural mood boosters so when you find yourself in a funk, one or more of these things may be to blame. I wrote about getting a good night’s rest. Maybe it will help.
- Attend to any issues that need to be addressed. Do you need to confront someone in a healthy way? Do you need to adjust your organization or time management skills? Do you need to train a child who has become lazy over time? Look for the stressors in your life and then address them in a healthy way.
- Start a journal. Give your thoughts, concerns, and questions a place to go. Most moms need some sort of outlet every day and in most cases, having someone to talk to on a daily basis just isn’t practical. I can’t remember the last time I talked on the phone, and it’s been a month since I met a friend for coffee or a glass of wine. A journal can meet this need beautifully. You don’t have to write well, you are just using your journal as a place to unload.
- Control the areas around you. I have touched on this concept before, but creating a pretty, inviting, organized, and calming space for you to be able to escape to does a soul so good – especially when you are in a funk. My space will be different from your space, but create a space that serves this purpose for you. Spend some time working on this space. Maybe this means decluttering or reorganizing, or it could be that just a vase of a few fresh flowers can do the trick.
- Exercise. Again, it doesn’t have to be intensive and it doesn’t have to be time consuming, just getting some regular exercise is a natural mood lifter. For this reason, it is essential that exercising be on this list.
- Get to know essential oils. Essential oils are something I have been learning about for several years, and they are so amazing to work with. Lavender is a stress reliever for me so just spraying some near me is wonderfully soothing and calming for me.
- Give. Whether you are making a meal for a friend, helping someone in an area that you excel in, or just taking over your child’s household responsibilities for the day, give of yourself to others. There really is nothing that compares to doing something that you know will brighten the day of someone else.
- Have some fun. This is more than just doing something you enjoy doing and more than just having a good belly laugh. Do something that makes you smile. Maybe it is heading to the playground with your kids and swinging as high as you can or maybe it is inviting a group of girlfriends over for some wine and a movie, but do something to have some fun.
Being a mom is hard work, and it isn’t without its challenges, but when you find yourself in a funk, you don’t have to stay there. There are some basic things you can start doing as soon as you find yourself there. Tuck this list away – if you’re anything like me – you’ll need it every now and then.