Self Care Tips for the Overwhelmed Mom

[If you are feeling like a stressed-out, overwhelmed mom. These self care ideas will help you to relax and find your calm again!]

Hi Beautiful Mama,

If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed with mom life right now, these self care tips will help you to find your balance again.

Learn How to Reduce Stress as an Overwhelmed Mom

Catherine Wilde:

I am Catherine Wilde of Soul Care Mom. I'm in Texas. I'm a mom of three girls, eight and under, and I'm a certified yoga and meditation teacher. I am also a mindset and self care coach for moms.

And just to share a little bit about me. After the birth of my first child, I was so excited to be a mom, but the reality of being a mom started to sink in and I was an overwhelmed mom.

I was exhausted and I just felt like I was constantly failing. And as our family grew, I realized that I needed to start prioritizing myself because when I did, I found that I was more calm even in amongst the chaos and I felt more confident.

And so over time I found simple ways to bring self care into my days and I felt more nourished and loved and I was able to pour that into my family.

Now I coach moms and help them to find their calm and their unshakeable confidence.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yes. And so I met Catherine. We both have blogs. So we've known each other like virtually for over a year now, I think. So we've kind of been helping each other out in these different areas, which is really cool and exciting. So I'm Kaitlin Spano and I am a blogger over at Healthy Mom Happy Mom.

I help moms during pregnancy and the postpartum period, just helping them stay strong and fit, um, and stay like prepared for labor and birth during that pregnancy period and then healing afterwards.

A lot of times we're just really given a lot of misinformation during the postpartum period and it's really, really crucial to heal right way. Cause if we don't, we tend to injure ourselves in like doctors aren't really giving us that information. I am a certified, prenatal, postnatal corrective exercise specialist, which is a really long jargon of words.

But basically I just understand how to help moms heal the right muscles and like use the right muscles and prepare the right muscles for that pregnancy postpartum periods. So yeah, that's what I do.

Kaitlin Spano:

Let's just talk a little bit like the importance of self care as a busy mom. And especially like right now during this kind of crazy world that we're living. Everybody is experiencing this. So it's not just like me and Vermont and new in Texas. Everybody is experiencing this worldwide.

Kaitlin Spano:

Do you want to start us off with why self care is important?

Catherine Wilde:

That's a really big thing to address because a lot of times it gets put to the wayside because there's so many other things to do. We mommy 24/7 and now so many moms have even been thrown into the role of homeschooling their kids and just the limits of not being able to go out. And so you're getting fewer breaks, less help. So many things. This can certainly lead to overwhelm as a mom.

And it's so important to find that balance and take care of ourselves on all the different levels. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Humans in general need to nourish all these different areas of our lives to find harmony and balance.

But, if we look at our kids, it's really easy to see in them the importance of self care. When our kids are hungry or if they're tired or they feel disconnected from us, they're going to be more grouchy.

Catherine Wilde:

They're going to be whiny or they're going to have more meltdowns, right? It's really easy to tell when they need something. But the same is true for us. So when we're out of balance, we have more mommy meltdowns. And that tends to be where a lot of guilt comes from for moms.

We end up feeling guilty and ashamed or losing our temper with our little ones. We say we're not going to do this again, but it happens again, stuck in this loop. Right?

And so that, that is one of the main reasons self care is important because it's a win for everyone. A mom gets to take care of herself and feel nourished and loved and seen as a person, and then she can pour that into her kids.

And your kids are gonna love it. Your husband or partner is gonna love it. They're going to see the effects of your self care and they'll start supporting you in taking care of yourself because it's a win for, everyone.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yeah, exactly. And I think it's really important too because like you said like about our kids, like we have systems so much like set up for them, like their routine through the day and like trying to keep them.

Like I think of my kids, like they have a bath almost every night after dinner just cause I do bedtime by myself. So like that's what works for us. But it gets them like set up and I don't know, that's kind of like their self care, you know what I mean? To unwind at the end of the day and getting ready for bed.

Just like those little things that they have. So it's like we need that too. Like even if like for you as a mom, like even if it's like washing your face at night sometimes, you know what I mean?

Like squeezing in those little things, like taking five minutes just to like feel fresh, brush your teeth, wash your face, put on some cream.

Kaitlin Spano:

Like it just feels good, you know? And it just decompresses. And then I just wanted to hit on a point because, cause you were saying like we're thrown in the role right now of like people having to homeschool our kids and stuff and like a lot of moms and dads are like having to work at the same time and it can be uber stressful.

Like I don't even know how people are doing that honestly. So if anybody has anything they want to ask about that or like, you know, they're feeling stressed, like feel free to share about that. But I think like that in it itself, like you need to make time for yourself.

Like even if it's like, okay kids, let's go take a walk. You know what I mean? Even if it's including the kids, but like you need to like do that.

Kaitlin Spano:

Like you need to get out in nature and do those kinds of things because we're just, we have so many things going against us right now. It's really hard. I think. Yeah, those are definitely some really helpful things that you shared.

Also, Catherine, would you mind sharing?

So Catherine had this really awesome challenge a few weeks ago about like starting a morning routine and I know as a mom like, especially if you have like babies that can be challenging, you know, your day doesn't always go super well, but she had some really helpful tips for that.

Like would you mind sharing some of those for like starting a morning routine? Like even if it's like giving up only 10 minutes before your kiddos.

Catherine Wilde:

Yeah. So, so keeping it short is, is really important. And doing things that, that feel good to you is really important too. Cause you're probably not going to get yourself out of bed if you really don't want to go run five miles or something. Right. You're, you're gonna do things that feel good to use it.

For me, it's yoga for my movement in the mornings anyway. And so just getting at the moving and stretching.

I usually say a few minutes for movement, a few minutes for meditation and journaling and then a few minutes of doing something that just feels really good to you and helps you feel less overwhelmed as a mom. It fills your cup. If you like to draw or read or paint or sew, just bring a little bit of that into your day and it really, it's a great way to start your day because you, you've already filled your cup up a little bit.

Kaitlin Spano:

Right, exactly. And just doing something like that you want to do without kiddos being like, mommy, I'm hungry. Or, you know what I mean? I just thought that was really helpful because even starting with like five minute increments.

I just feel like sometimes we try to bite off more than we can chew and be like, Oh, I'm going to get up an hour before my kids. And then it just, you know, you can't, that's not really realistic.

Catherine Wilde:

To keep sustainable and, and commit to it is really important too. Just any little bit is really helpful. So yeah, in terms of say, Oh I can only do five minutes of this, but five minutes of that is five minutes and so it's worth it.

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Kaitlin Spano:

Yeah, exactly. And I know one thing actually that, that really helped me, that challenge, but I tend to, I like to wake up and just like do a little meditation and then I'd just love to journal like in my peace and quiet time.

And then I usually do a workout like when the kids are awake, cause that's, that's just what works for me. So you really do have to find what works for you. And it's like trial and error.

Because I used to try to do my workout in the morning, but right now it's just not realistic. So I accepted that finally. I was like, that's just not where I'm at in my life. So I felt like everybody else was doing that, so I had to do it too. But it just wasn't working.

Catherine Wilde:

Right. And that's the thing too. Self care doesn't have to look the same. It's not going to look the same for everyone. And that's okay.

Kaitlin Spano:

Right. Exactly. So do you know, and I think it's okay to understand like trial and error will come. Like you might try something into my network, so it's okay to try again and just keep trying.

Catherine Wilde:

Especially with motherhood, there's so many seasons and it's always changing. So it's okay to adapt and change with it. Your not failing if you didn't, you know, if it's not working out right now, just try something else.

Kaitlin Spano:

Right, exactly. And I just wanted to talk about that too a little bit. So like for moms that are pregnant right now, like that's like super stressful to be going thinking of like this and like having to go to the hospital and like all of those changes.

So it's super, super important to start building that little time just to like reduce your stress too. So that's like where I do with a lot of my clients, the breathing practices that we do.

Just because breathing through your diaphragm in general. So like that's what I teach in diaphragm is just like up hearing your ribs breathing. So that automatically puts you in a parasympathetic state. So what happens as time has evolved, like we sit a lot more so that causes us to breathe more out of our chest.

Kaitlin Spano:

When we breathe through our chest, our body senses stress. So whether that's like stress for like running away from something or we're feeling stressed out about like the world around us. Like if we're breathing through our chest, our bodies can't like, um, decide like, which is which. It's just feel stressed. So your body automatically is like tense and tight.

So, you want to be aware of that because when you're feeling that you want to start breathing through your diaphragm, cause they automatically puts like yourselves, your systems in a slower state so like your body can decompress so it's going to help you feel calmer. yeah, that's fascinating. Cause when I'm stressed, I do, I do tend to get tight in my upper body and yeah, that's a good point. I will mindful of that.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yeah. So it's just, and you know, a lot of times I talk to moms, like when I, I have my coaching class right now and they're like, “I always stop and think like I'm not breathing through my diaphragm.”

And, I do too.

Like there's times when I'm not, and it's just like, it's a matter of reminding yourself to do it, knowing that when you think of it, just do it because then your body will do it more. But you know, I struggle with it too. It's not like I'm perfect. I mean, I teach it, but that doesn't mean that I'm, you know, I'm perfect.

Catherine Wilde:

We're all human for sure.

Kaitlin Spano:

But I think it's just interesting to think about that because you know, if you feel this, you're probably breathing here. So take it down a little bit. Um, and that's good for moms too, to know like during like their labor prep and stuff, because like contractions are hard. Right.

So if like you're going through that, that's like builds you up here too. So you obviously it's a lot harder to, you know, relax during the contraction, but if you practice it beforehand, you're more prepared to come into that. So just be mindful of that I think. And even like, you know, as a mom, be mindful to breathe when your kids are climbing all over you and spilling the milk pooping on the floor.

Catherine Wilde:

Can you walk us through how to do a breath with your diaphragm?

Kaitlin Spano:

Yes. If you just put your hands on your ribcage, like right under your bra right there, you can feel it. So when you inhale and you can kind of see it, you want to like expand right here under your rib cage. So like a 360 lateral breath. So all through your back. So you just inhale. And then when you exhale, it will close.

Catherine Wilde:

Yes, I can feel it on myself too. Should you breathe out of your nose or mouth?

Kaitlin Spano:

Either way. Breathing out through your mouth might help calm you. Don't stress out about whether to breathe through your nose or mouth.

Kaitlin Spano:

Then of course there's other things that you should incorporate into that like your pelvic floor moving, but that's like a topic for a different day. So try that today. If you're on, try it right now. Just cause it puts your systems all back in alignment.

Catherine Wilde:

Yeah, I love breath. Breath is one of my favorite tools. Thank you for showing us how to do a properly. I love it because it's, it doesn't cost us anything. It's with us everywhere we go. It's really helpful for kids too.

Kaitlin Spano:

Catherine has a few YouTube videos of like kids yoga and they're like super short but like super fun. So you can Soul Care Mom on Youtube. Fun to do with your kids.

Catherine Wilde:

It's really fun. Just like you were saying, you work out with your kids, bringing yoga into your day, cause yoga, you can use your imagination. A lot of the poses are animal poses and kids love to pretend to be animals. You can do your yoga and let them be in a forest or a jungle or something with you and go on an adventure.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yes, exactly. And like sometimes my kids always turn it into like a dance. They're like, mom, look at me.

Catherine Wilde:

And speaking of dancing. Dance parties too are a great way to bring movement and fun into your day in a self care break. Especially like when we're doing school, if everyone is feeling a little antsy, we stop and just dance and put music on. That's fun for everyone.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yes. We always like, now that the weather's nicer, when I noticed my kids, like our school day is pretty short, you know, it's like 10 minutes sometimes, but if they're not, you know, if I noticed we're not doing well, it's like just let's go outside like everybody out the door and like that even helps me too. So I really think getting outside, if you can, like if you live in a city that might be harder. But, um, definitely take advantage of those nature walks and stuff when you can.

Kaitlin Spano:

You know, I think we, we need to come together right now in this crazy time cause I know in our state, I think they're going to extend the home order. Like it was supposed to be up Friday, but they're extending it, the governor said, so that should be interesting. But like, I don't even know what that means at this point. Like I really don't, we're just all staying home. So I guess it's just what it is.

Catherine Wilde:

It's a kind of a figure it out as we go sort of thing.

Kaitlin Spano:

Yeah, pretty much.

Catherine Wilde:

One last thing I want to leave us with is just giving ourselves grace. Which is something we should always do. But especially right now when we're just all trying to figure things out. Remember to be kind to yourself.

Catherine Wilde:

Kaitlin, you were saying, whenever you remember just take your diaphragmatic breath, your proper breath, right? In the same way one of the most powerful practices you can do is practice gratitude, which also takes very little time.

Whenever you remember, just think of something to be grateful for.

It'll get easier and it you'll notice more and more things to be grateful for and then your outlook for things becomes a lot more positive in general because you're always noticing those little blessings in your life.

Kaitlin Spano:

So true. And like that's why like I like to journal in the morning cause I always write like five to 10 things like that I'm grateful for. And it just sets you up for like a positive note, for sure.

I mean you do start to notice those little things more. Like, I can't think of one right now, but actually in bed sleeping. Oh well it was so nice chatting with you, Catherine. It was so, so nice. I hope that was helpful for everyone.

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to go to Catherine's Instagram or her Facebook and she has like courses and free challenges all related to self care and all that kind of stuff. If you're pregnant or postpartum struggling, you know, and want to learn about your breathing more or like reducing stress during pregnancy and gaining strength for all of that stuff hit me up. Thanks for joining us.

Catherine Wilde:

Sending you Love, Mama!

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