6 Things Contributing to your overwhelm as a Busy Mom

All the self-care in the world doesn’t matter if these six things are lurking around…sabotaging your happiness. What if you’re overlooking things so ingrained in your day to day that you hardly notice them anymore?

1. People Pleasing

Do you find yourself constantly doing for others and not yourself? Do you wish you had more time for your projects and passions but are too busy “doing other things”? Do you feel overwhelmed and tired from attending events that don’t refresh and energize you or with people that don’t inspire?

As a woman you’ve been conditioned to be pleasant, helpful, and kind which can lead to doing things you don’t always care to do. Like attending events that don’t contribute to your wellbeing or growth and spending time with people you don’t particularly want to, wasting precious time doing things that aren’t important in the big scheme of your life.

In the past year I dropped 90% of my obligations. I drew a hard line in the sand regarding my wellbeing. If it wasn’t contributing to my growth (in the direction I’m aspiring) or building a relationship I valued…I dropped it. My goal…to do fewer things, exceptionally and with greater impact…whether that meant go all-in on my business or be a better friend.

Simply ask yourself…”Does this bring value to my life?” and “How does this further my growth and life goals?”.

2. Clutter

A cluttered home equals a cluttered mind. I truly believe that if you surround yourself with clutter you’re not functioning at your best. Clutter is a silent oppression that affects everything you do. It affects your productivity, happiness, sleep, joy, relationships, and more. Literally, every aspect of your life is affected by living amongst clutter.

Minimalism is a central pillar of my practice because I place so much value on the clarity and peace simplifying your life brings. When your home is in order you can think more clearly and free your mind to make better choices. It’s a catalyst for productive momentum.

I was reading a minimalism blog recently where the author said she believes that you need to get your mind right before you can declutter (or something to that effect). I wholeheartedly disagree. I believe that the physical act of clearing the physical clutter helps alleviate the clutter in your mind.

Clutter is a symptom of what’s going on in your mind and life. When my mind isn’t “right” I can literally see a shift in my home’s tidiness/clutter. Clearing it has a reverse effect. I know that to help me get back into the right mindset I need to first make the effort to clear my surroundings. Only then am I able to breathe easily and address the real underlying problems I’m avoiding.

There’s an entire art form that’s dedicated to this concept which I’m sure you’ve heard of, Feng Shui. I started reading and practicing it about it 25 years ago before “minimalism” was even a thing. The concept spoke to me in a way that made sense to my sensitive psyche. As a sensitive soul, your surroundings greatly contribute to your health and wellbeing. They can be the catalyst to bring about positive change in your life.

3. Low-Vibration (L-V) People

This one is tricky because we don’t normally consider the people we care about as contributing to our unhappiness but they can be extremely influential on how we navigate our lives. L-V people can unknowingly zap your energy if you’re unaware of your dynamic. They can be unhealthy without necessarily being toxic and they’ll bring yours down in stealth mode.

It may be that friend you’ve had since high school that’s passive-aggressive about your life choices. She’s jealous of the good things you’re making happen and feigns support while chipping away on the back-end. It might be the newer friend who’s insecure and likes to highlight the negativity in everyone else’s life…with a smile. You may keep around the high school friend because you have so much history. Or, you may spend time with the new friend, dismissing her actions and say “I just need to get to know her better”.

You have my permission to stop. Stop indulging them. Stop allowing them to write on the walls of your life. Really consider how you feel before, during and after spending time with them. Are you excited? Anxious? Do you feel better about yourself? Do your cheeks hurt from laughing? Do you feel supported? Comforted? Or do you feel low? Sad? Confused? Bad about yourself? Don’t waste time rationalizing your friendship’s merit. Just cut the cord. Now.

4. Multi-Tasking

We were raised to believe that multi-tasking is the golden standard, especially for women. How else are we going to get done all the things we need in the ever-shrinking time frames we have? Everyone told us that’s what was valued. Well…they’re wrong.

It’s been proven by science that “multi-tasking” is the enemy of productivity. What?? Hold the phone. The first time I read this I was floored. I even had it on my resume years ago as one of my “strengths” and employers ate that shit up.

Have you heard of the Pareto Principle also known as the 80/20 rule? It’s a universal truth that 80% of results come from 20% of efforts. A cause and effect scenario. So 80% of your success is coming from something you’re putting 20% of your focus on. Imagine if you put 50% in?

The point is to not try and do everything. Narrow down what the most important thing is and let that take precedence of all other things. Make that the priority. and get to work. A great book that follows this same principle is The One Thing by Jay Papasan. And, just like the title suggests, it’s all about focusing on the one thing that’ll get you where you most want to go.

5. Negative Thoughts

We all know that if you have a bad attitude it’s going to affect your productivity but when’s the last time you considered how you “think” about tasks and/or challenges? Do you have a defeatist or scarcity mindset? Do you ruminate on all the reasons something isn’t going to work out or do you tell yourself it’s going to be effing awesome?

Most of us have an internal dialogue that we’ve been reinforcing since childhood. It can really wreak havoc in our lives if we don’t learn to recognize and change the negative thought patterns. Do you have a deep-rooted belief that your best isn’t good enough? Why try then? Are you constantly comparing yourself to others? Bringing about feelings of inadequacies?

I’ll do this with my writing and business. I’ll browse other blogs and compare myself unfairly against their success. Then, I’ll criticize my own work and start to spiral. Even after I’ve already established that I’m proud of my work. I’m still a work in progress!

6. Perfectionism

This is one of those traits that may seem positive to the outside world. Or even to you right now. Perfectionists can look like they have it all together pulling everything off beautifully. But in reality, it can be an excruciating existence. I know because I am one. And, I used to wear it as a badge of honor. Now I realize how much of detriment it is to my achievements.

I never do anything half-ass. When I commit to something I’m all in and at 100% overdrive. The standards I set for myself are crazy-high. Nothing is ever good enough. Is this you? The fear of finishing something that’s sub-par is overwhelming. I’ll ruminate over the tiniest details for years…well maybe not years but you get it.

I’ve become so much more self-aware of my tendencies as I’ve gotten older. I have to be very conscious of not going down the rabbit hole. For the most part, I do recognize it and re-direct myself 9/10 times but it still creeps in there. For example, I created the signature for my blog and tried out 31 different variations before I settled for one. I mean…really?!

Being a perfectionist is an Achilles heel. A form of self-sabotage. Learn to recognize your tendencies and redirect yourself. Us perfectionists are notorious for not completing things out of fear of failure. The hard truth is, finished and imperfect is always better than perfect and unfinished.

A Final Note

Hopefully, something above gave you an aha moment. Were these surprising? Did any of them strike a chord with you? Leave a comment below and share your story with me!

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