Are you stressing out from to-much-to-do-in-too-little-time-syndrome?
You’re not alone. I’m surrounded by women in the rush hour of their lives, feeling overworked and stressed-out to the max. Unvalued and not being supported in the right ways. So, it’s easy to see a common theme that crops up with the females that I see in my clinic as a therapist. Symptoms such as overwhelm that trigger anxiety, panic attacks, overwhelm and eventually burn-out.
As modern mothers, never has so much been expected of us
As a child of the 1980’s, like many girls, I was raised to believe we could have it all. A glittering career and wholesome family life! As the first generation to be raised in this mindset where females were expected to have a career as well as the 2.4 children. Never have so many females been encouraged into a workplace with such enthusiasm but without the required physical and psychological support systems to cope. And it’s women’s mental health that is suffering, as they try to keep up with the pace and pressure to be all things to all people.
The mainstream educational system is putting more and more demand upon home learning. Increased expectations on reduced budgets mean that parents of state school pupils are frantically trying to do the work of teachers as well as nurturers, carers, chauffeurs, nurses, healthy chefs, cleaners, providers, role-models, party planners, entertainers, and some choose to, or also need to, financially contribute to the household too.
Social Media’s Role
The facts are that the human brain has been slow to evolve – it’s a 2-million-year process to date, yet the landscape of our life is advancing daily at ever increasing speed. We’re becoming more and more pressurised by the instant availability of “comparanonia” at the flick of a tiny screen.
We’re becoming more and more pressurised by the instant availability of “comparanonia” at the flick of a tiny screen.
The subconscious, hidden part of our brain is absorbing more messages than ever. We never get a break from information and expectations. Our mobile phones intrude evening, weekends and holiday time. Our brains never get a rest. This can cause a shortcut to overload tendency. The constant pressure as to how women “should” look and “should” behave is creating stress responses to an imagined reality being exaggerated by mainstream media and our habit of scrolling through social media platforms.
Very often in times of pressure the rational brain can get over-ridden by the emotional part which reacts quicker. In the therapeutic world, we call it being Emotionally High jacked. It happens for a biological reason but can sometimes make us feel like we aren’t coping or are going mad – as the logical thinking is over-ridden.
The pressure upon modern living upon parents is reaching all-time epidemic alongside the boom in social media. In England, women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders as men*.
So, if you are finding that the busy-ness associated with living in 2018 is robbing your sanity, here are 5 quick and easy tips to help you out.
- Breathe – this simple but underused technique switches your brain out of stress state in an instant. Learn it, practice and use it to bring moments of calmness and clarity to your life. Put your hand on your tummy and breathe in slowly through your nose to fill in the direction of your diaphragm (rather than your lungs as we do when we are feeling overwhelmed and anxious). Then extend your breath out for as long as is comfortably possible. Shorter breath in, long breath out. SLOWLY. This triggers an auto-relaxation response and brings back logical thinking.
- Seek Support – You don’t have to be a solo hero. Share your burden with family or friends. You’ll be surprised what help is available when you reach out. Come and join the friendliest loveliest Facebook group over here to meet a community of women who’ll have your back. The Good Enough Women group.
- Build moments of peace into your life. Carve 10 minutes a day out just for to relax and reset your mind. Free ways to support your mind available on YouTube by searching for “Hypnosis for calm” or try an App – My two faves are Calm and Headspace.
- Brain dump – get it out of your head and into some white space. I like to write a mind-map with all the categories of my responsibilities. Then I cross off all the things I really don’t need to stress over (or delegate out). Just the process of putting it on paper frees up space in my head. Instantly reducing overwhelm.
- Try 1-4 first but if you are still struggling contact a great Hypnotherapist to work through your triggers and your own personal blocks. A bespoke approach really can set you free from unhelpful thinking and provide you with solutions for managing overwhelm so it doesn’t block your way forwards. You can find me or I can recommend someone close to you over at uflourish.co.uk
I’d love to hear how you cope with the strain of modern mothering. Comment and share your ideas and tips too.
by Naomi Dip.Hyp Psych
Hypnotherapist & Solution Focused Psychotherapist / Hypnobirthing specialist / Inspirational event organiser for women
If you’d like to read more about Naomi, she took part in our Mums in Business series here.