“I think every working mom probably feels the same thing. You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible—oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.” – Tina Fey
This quote touches not just on that “impossible” feeling that working mothers get when trying to balance work with being a good mom at the same time, but also the fact that we just keep going. Indeed, the work never stops because being a mother is a 24/7 job.
Why Take a Restorative Mental Health Day as a Working Mom?
The struggle is real
Working mothers tend to work less or earn significantly less than their partners, and also tend to leave the workforce more. When mothers do enter the workforce, there is there comes the burden of juggling responsibilities at home and at work. Add to it the social pressure of excelling at both, and we are looking at a mental health burden.
While motherhood itself already carries risks for certain mental illnesses, working while caring for kids poses risks as well. 42% of working mothers reported being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and working moms are more likely to report issues with mental health.
Take a break
It may be hard to admit for moms that we need help. We are held to a higher standard as we are seen to be able to do everything. But we do need support.
Aside from physical help with our many tasks, we also need a restorative mental health day every once in a while – a day committed to mental and emotional health. While it is a physical break for your body as you take an actual day off from your job, a mental health day can do so much more.
Burnout is described as intense physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion due to a chronic stressor. In working mothers, this can lead to a disengagement from their children.
A mental health day allows you to take a moment and breathe. Taking some time away for yourself distances you from the stresses of daily life. This helps you avoid getting to the point of burnout, and avoids the consequences of it.
Recommended post: How to Overcome Burnout as a Working Mom.
Improve your health
Research has shown that there is a relationship between mental health issues and physical conditions or symptoms such as heart disease or digestive problems. So, it is important for both the body and mind to be taken care of for better general wellbeing.
Use this day to rest your body and recharge your mind. This is not the time to start a rigorous fitness regimen, but if getting physical helps you unwind, then by all means do so. You can start the day off with some yoga or a quick run, or spend the day meditating or sleeping. Whatever it is you think will help you feel better, do it.
Declutter your mind
The mental load of motherhood cannot be overemphasized, with the seemingly-endless things to be done and remembered. Sometimes, you just have to dump out everything from your brain.
A restorative mental health day can be used to declutter your mind. Take time to write down all your thoughts and sort them out. You can also take this time to organize your to-do list. But, remember the goal is not to cross things off on this day. Rather, pause and gather your thoughts as a release and way to prepare for the future.
Recommended post: How to Do a Brain Dump and Relieve Mental Load
A mental health day has been shown to improve productivity at work, and increase focus in tasks. For mothers, this day can also be an added practice in becoming better at motherhood. We all know how stress, exhaustion, and sleep deprivation can affect how we act towards children. Taking a break can help decrease the stress that keeps us from performing our best.
When you step away from everything, this also gives you a chance to reexperience gratitude towards becoming a mom. You can also focus more on what you want to improve on and cherish more in the future.
Recommended post: Easy Self-Care Practices for Working Moms
At the end of the day, a restorative mental health day provides a lot of benefits not only for your wellbeing, but also helps your performance at work and your overall experience as a mother. A regularly-scheduled break can be one of the many simple practices to take better care of yourself and overcome the struggles of being a working mom.
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