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Moms and Mental Health Series
Here at MSB, we specialize in talking about Mental Health issues from the unique perspectives of those who experience them.
That’s why we’re dedicating this series specifically to Moms who struggle with their Mental Health.
Why? Because Moms don’t get the choice to step back and work on their Mental Health as easily as the rest of us do. Their time is rarely their own. They need strategies on Mental Health to fit that busy lifestyle.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with Mama Shark Blog to bring you this unique series. We’re here to bring you advice tailored to your experience, Mama! We hope it helps <3
**This post contains affiliate links from which MSB may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Please read our full disclosure here**
Did you know organization has a big effect on our Mental Health?
It’s true! Studies have shown that excessive clutter can lead to relationship issues, lack of focus, stress, and even depression. Having a clean, safe living space helps alleviate tension like nothing else.
But here’s the problem we women know all too well. It is SO much work to keep it that way, especially if we’re also struggling with our Mental Health already.
And it’s even harder if you’re balancing motherhood, a job, and being a wife.
So what can you do? The answer is lots! Just in a different way than you’d think. Let’s take a look at some organization options for the busy moms out there!
Organizing Your Mental State
But first, let’s start with organizing the most important part: your mind. Yep, that’s right, Mama, in order to get things in order, you have to take a look at your own thought patterns first.
You can work hard at organization, but if you still retain unrealistic expectations (from yourself and others), negative core beliefs, and unclear priorities – then any change you make won’t be sustainable.
So let’s take a look at ways to organize your mental state!
Women are expected to carry the world on our backs. And we often succeed (because we’re amazing, duh!).
But again, that’s not necessarily a sustainable or healthy pattern.
The antidote is to lower your expectations for yourself. And set boundaries for those who want to put expectations on us from the outside (husbands, kids, in-laws, media).
I know, I know this is a tough one because we want everything to be perfect. But reaching for perfection when it’s not necessarily possible is setting yourself up for burnout.
Here’s some great ideas on how to prevent that from happening!
- Read this article on Prioritizing from Mama Shark – and remember to download the Eisenhower Matrix Trello Board at the end!! It will literally change your life.
- Remember you don’t have to give 110% on every single thing you do, some things can be 80% or even 50%. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect – a lot of times it just has to be done.
- Re-evaluate your obligations, remove the ones that give you more headache than satisfaction.
- Set very clear boundaries on what others can expect from you. If you need help with that, check out this great reference from Psych Central.
- Sign up for Mama Shark’s Declutter Your Mom Brain Challenge. In just 5 days, Mama Shark herself will help you identify your priorities and get them in order so you can focus on the real important stuff.
Work on Negative Core Beliefs
Core beliefs are like the drivers for our psyche. From their home in the subconscious, they direct our every move without us even realizing it.
They control your internal self image, your self-confidence, and even your ability to adapt to change. How you present to the world is deeply tied in to what you believe inside.
Sometimes, though, we get stuck with negative core beliefs. You know, the ones telling us we’re never enough or that we’re dumb or incompetent.
Negative core beliefs are rough and they can be especially hard on Mamas. In order to have an organized mental state, you have to start challenging those negative beliefs about yourself. Or else they will sabotage any amount of change you try to make.
Here’s a few ways to adjust those core beliefs into ones that will serve you.
- Learn how to identify your core beliefs and see if they are more negative or positive.
- Challenge your negative core beliefs and replace them with more balanced ones. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a great resource from The Critical Clinical Interventions Institute.
- Engage in Psychotherapy and/or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to work through the roots of your negative core beliefs.
- Practice Gratitude daily. Gratitude is the natural antidote to negativity.
- Treat yourself with the same kindness you would show your children. Self care, self affirmation, and forgiveness are essential to drive out negative core beliefs.
Organizing Your Physical Space
Now that we’ve organized our mental state, let’s work on the physical.
This is the tough part for a lot of us. You work all day to clean and organize only to find the house a wreck 5 minutes after the family walks in the door. SMDH.
But there is hope. And no, it doesn’t involve hiring a maid or kicking everyone out the house.
Automate Organization and Cleanliness
As a stay at home (cat) mom, one of my biggest pet peeves is cleaning the same mess. Over and over. It’s enough to make me want to stay in bed and let the Executive Dysfunction take over.
So I’m always looking for ways to automate my house’s organization and cleanliness. Here’s some great ways I’ve found to do this!
- Mama Shark has an excellent guide on automating everything from your finances to your email. Seriously, Stephanie has put together some amazing advice that you don’t want to miss! Check out “How to Simplify Your Life as a Mom” here!
- Mama Shark highly suggests using apps to simplify your life. And I definitely agree! Instacart alone has saved me 54 hours of shopping in just 4 months. And the financial app Albert helped us save over $2,000 this year by automating our savings.
- Invest in products that save you time. I recently got a weekly shower spray on Amazon (you can find it below) and OMG is it a lifesaver. All I have to do is spray and let it soak. No more scrubbing mildew and hardwater. And that’s just one of the products that can save you tons of time and energy. Check out my favorites from Amazon below (including the adorable and practical “Angry Mama” Microwave steamer).
Ask for Help
A partnership has two sides. Both parties should be helping to take care of the home because, hey, you both live there.
That being said, you don’t have to expect your partner to do the same level of cleaning as you. But you can ask them to help out in their own way.
This can look like:
- Having your S.O. do little things that make a big impact. For example, my husband helps by stacking the dishes neatly in the sink so I get less visually overwhelmed by them. Just that small action is super helpful to me.
- Asking for help getting started with a chore. Sometimes all I need is just that push to get started.
- Delegating responsibility. This can be a hard one for all of us, but delegating is really helpful. Even if they don’t a chore as good as we would, it gives other family members a chance to feel useful and build their own skills.
- Communicating your needs to your spouse. It’s easy to fall into the “they should just know what I need” trap. But, unfortunately it’s never that easy. It pays to be open about what’s frustrating you, what tasks are currently overwhelming, and how your spouse can help.
Organizing Your Time
Moms don’t get a break. They are on call all day, every day. Yes, the demands on their time can get pretty intense, which can in turn be rough on their Mental Health.
So what can a busy Mama do about this?
They can organize their time.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Maria, I barely have time to go pee during the day, how do you expect me to take time to organize my time??”
But there are ways to take your time back.
Take a Breath
And it starts with just taking a moment to breathe. As Mama Shark writes in the Ultimate Survival Guide for Long Days With Kids:
“Your body doesn’t speak the language of logic- you can’t generally reason it out of a stress response. However, you can breathe it out- because by changing your breathing, you are telling your body that everything is okay.”-Mama Shark
Breathe. Recognize and thank the quiet moments. Take a real lunch break instead of working while baby is asleep. Slow down. The world will keep revolving even if you take time out for yourself.
Oh and if you need help saving space for yourself, check out MSB’s complete guide to taking a break here!
What does setting boundaries have to do with organizing your time? Everything!
You can set boundaries for your time by:
- Saying NO to any activities and responsibilities that interfere with your priorities or make you run around like a headless chicken.
- Sticking to your calendar. I.e. if a meeting goes over time and you need to pick up the kids at day care, leave that meeting at the scheduled time and not a moment later. This will teach people (and you yourself) to respect your time.
- Practicing Sunday scheduling. Sunday evening is an excellent time for moms to get everything together for the week ahead. It’s also a great time to connect with yourself and see how you’re doing.
- Preserving daily self care rituals. These rituals become refuges in our otherwise busy day so it’s essential not only to make space and time for them, but to protect that time from outside influences as well. Try not to schedule meetings, work or kids activities over them.
Literally Organize Time
A good planner is a woman’s best friend. Check out these awesome options for planning and organizing your time!
- Mama Shark swears by the organization app Trello. I’ve used it too and found it really helpful.
- Google Keep is a great planning app that lets you make a variety of lists. Bonus, it seamlessly connects with all your other Google apps. Pair it with Google Calendar and you’ll be unstoppable, Mama!
- Or you could always go old school and use a fabulous moleskin planner. Bullet journals are also great ways to manage your time and double as self care tools!
- And finally, if you want an app to your whole family can use to organize, try Cozi. Cozi is a stunningly simple family organizer that synchs your recipes, to do lists, calendars and grocery lists for maximum productivity.
Bonus: check out MSB’s favorite productivity devices on Amazon!
And there you have it, the complete guide to organization and Mental Health for moms! We hope this helps you simplify your life and maintain your mental wellness.
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A Word from Mama Shark
Hi! My name is Stephanie- aka Mama Shark! I’m an Jesus-loving, introverted, somewhat crunchy, and highly practical mom of 2 precious, sleep-hating kiddos and I’ve been married for almost a decade to my wonderful husband. Creating order out of chaos is my jam and I am passionate about reducing the mental load of motherhood!
Prior to kids, I built and ran a small business. When I “retired” to become a stay at home mom, I went through a period of time where I felt that I was “just a mom”. I loved running a business and I felt like I was no longer using part of who I was and what I was good at- it felt like I had lost a piece of myself.
However, in my search to figure out who I was now that I was a mom (we’ve all been there, right?), I discovered that motherhood and business actually have a lot in common.
I found that as a mother and a homemaker, I was carrying just as many…actually, let’s be real MORE…responsibilities than I did when I owned my own company. Mamas do a LOT!
As I worked out how to handle all these responsibilities (who knew tiny humans could require so much!), I wanted to do better. Better in a “surely this can be made easier” kind of a way. I am wired to create order out of chaos- and let me tell you, I have plenty of chaos to work with!
At MamaShark.blog, I am bringing my experience as an entrepreneur and my passion to make things easier for Mamas together into a practical how-to guide with the goal of reducing the mental load of Mamas and helping them live healthier, happier, and easier lives!
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