How To Get Out Of A Mom Funk (15 Tips and Strategies)
As a mom, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed seems to come with the job, and getting your groove back can be a real struggle. The first thing you should know is you’re not alone. Many moms experience the same ‘mom funk’ or ‘mom burnout’ at some point in time. I feel like I go through it at least once a year! The good news is that even if you feel stuck in a never-ending cycle of laundry, dishes, and diaper changes, you can break free and rediscover your passions and purpose.
In this blog post, we’ll share with you 15 tips to help you shake off the mom funk and everything you need to reclaim your identity, joy, and sense of self. Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned pro, we’ve got you covered. From prioritizing self-care to connecting with other moms, we’ll give you a roadmap to feeling confident, energized, and ready to take on the world. So, let’s dive in!
What Is A Mom Funk?
Mom funk is a phrase used to describe the all-too-common feeling of depletion, overwhelm, and frustration that oftentimes accompanies motherhood. The physical and mental exhaustion comes from trying to juggle multiple roles, expectations, and responsibilities with seemingly little-to-no help and the guilt that can often follow for simply not being able to “do it all.” When we talk about mom funk, it’s important to acknowledge that it can occur to mothers of any age and in any stage of motherhood. Pulling all-nighters caring for a newborn baby to the worry and anxiety that comes with school-age children, to the many emotions associated with having teenagers. No matter your stage of motherhood, mom funk can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
How To Get Out Of A Mom Funk
Start a Gratitude Journal
Journaling is an incredibly powerful tool that you can use to delve into your own thoughts and feelings and explore the underlying causes of your funk. You can use it to identify patterns of behavior, examine positive and negative influences, and help you decide what you need to do to move forward.
It also provides a space to express yourself authentically without fear or judgment. You can use it to combat negative self-talk and low self-esteem, two common culprits of the mom funk. Regularly writing down positive attributes, accomplishments, and dreams can help cultivate an internal environment of self-love and appreciation.
The idea of journaling may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Take five to ten minutes daily to reflect on your feelings. Write down the emotions you are experiencing, the thoughts you are having, and the situations you are in. Put it all down on paper; nothing is too small. Doing this can help you gain clarity and objectivity, and ultimately, it can help create a plan of action to create a happier life.
Spend More Time Outside
Studies have found that spending time in nature can help moms reclaim their sense of self, restore their energy, reduce stress, alleviate cognitive fatigue, boost emotional balance, and help alleviate depression. Even a few minutes of outdoor activity can have mental health benefits that can last for hours. From taking a leisurely stroll in the park to hiking a nearby trail, getting outside has huge potential to promote emotional and physical well-being.
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or having a bad day, go outside for a walk. Take a deep breath, get some fresh air, and perhaps enjoy a few quiet minutes sitting under a tree. Who knows, you may just be surprised at how much of a mood boost it can provide!
Start An Exercise Program
One great way to improve your mood is to get regular exercise. Exercise can help you feel better by boosting your strength, endurance, and overall physical health while improving your mood and energy levels. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are chemicals that help reduce pain and stress and increase feelings of happiness and pleasure.
If the idea of starting an exercise routine feels overwhelming, it’s okay to start small and build up gradually over time. Even a short walk outdoors or a few minutes of gentle stretching can make a big difference in how you feel. And if you’re not sure where to start, consider trying a fitness class or enlisting the help of a personal trainer who can help you create a plan that’s tailored to your needs and goals. I know that finding the time and energy to work out gets even more challenging if you’re a single mom. You can read my tips for Working Out As a Single Parent here, although they are useful to all moms.
Take A Break From Social Media
Social media can do two things at the same time. Moms can find a safe space to share stories, advice, and tips on living a more balanced life. They also have access to helpful resources such as parenting blogs and other digital content. In this way, social media can provide an escape from the pressures of motherhood while still providing a supportive community. This is all good. At the same time, the ever-present comparison game, where moms see photos of their peers seemingly having it all, can be traumatic. The pressure to stay relevant, to keep up with the trends, and to squeeze family time into a tight schedule can lead to exhaustion and depression for many mothers.
Taking a break from social media creates its own benefits. Without the pressure of constantly posting and comparing, moms can refocus and prioritize themselves and their families. A break can also give moms time to refocus on themselves, their self-care, and their mental health and free up time to begin new hobbies or work on creative endeavors.
Limit TV Time
Television can be a major distraction from the important things in life. In fact, it’s designed to be that way. The more time spent watching tv, the more money they make. It’s good for them but bad for us. When we’re distracted and overloaded with stimulation, we neglect the things that are actually good for us. Spending less time watching tv will free up time that you can use to get more organized, spend quality time with family, and rediscover hobbies and passions. The lack of background noise will also allow you to hear your thoughts and feelings and give you the space to tap into your creativity.
As a mom, putting your own needs on the back burner is easy. That’s why one of the most important things you can do to start feeling like yourself again is to prioritize self-care. This means taking time for yourself, doing things that make you happy, and nourishing your mind, body, and spirit. Finding time to focus on yourself can be hard, especially with a small baby or young kids.
On school days, I get up an hour before it’s time to wake up my son. I use this time to have a cup of tea and journal, followed by listening to a podcast while I gua sha my face. This morning routine allows me some quiet time to reflect on my thoughts and future goals, have a self-care moment, and start the day learning something new. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or work outside the home, allotting a little bit of time daily or weekly to your needs is essential to your well-being. Below are a few favorite self-care ideas and 27 Simple Self-Care Hacks That Are Easy and Free if you’d like some more inspo.
- Take a bubble bath
- Do a face mask
- Curl up with a good book
- Book a massage
- Plan a spa day
- Go to lunch with your friends
- Essential oils and aromatherapy
One of the biggest challenges of being a mom is finding time to do everything. That’s why it’s important to clear out clutter, streamline your routine, and find ways to make your daily tasks more efficient.
Every couple of weeks, I set aside time to go through a room and clear out items that are no longer needed. I get rid of toys that are broken or no longer played with, clothes with stains and rips or that no longer fit, stacks of paper, and Tupperware containers with no lids. This requires more time upfront, but in the long run, you save time sorting through unnecessary items, spend less time cleaning, and the house stays more organized.
Making a daily to-do list is probably one of the best busy mom hacks. Although it may seem like a small thing, making a list of things to do each day will simplify your schedule and free up more time for the things that matter most.
Spend More Time Playing
We can all agree that motherhood is a delicate balancing act – between work, family, and self-care, it can be hard to find the balance that works for us. But adding a little ‘play’ to the mix can be a great way to switch up the routine and recharge the batteries. Find the activity that works for you and your family, and make it a part of your routine. Who doesn’t love a Friday afternoon dance party?
It doesn’t matter if it’s coloring books and board games in the living room or going to the local park to play tag and engage in healthy competition. There are plenty of activities that can be done with the entire family. Kids will be exposed to adult models of healthy play and benefit from having fun with their parents. And moms can use these moments to practice being mindful, be free of their to-do list, and take a much-needed breather.
Think About What Used To Make You Happy
Sometimes, when you’re feeling lost, think about the things that used to make you happy. Is there anything you did in the past month or even the last year that you enjoyed? Is there a way to do more of that? I know it’s easier said than done, but one of the best ways to be happy is to do more of what you love. Even making plans to do that thing on a future date will give you something to look forward to.
Start A Creative Hobby
Amidst motherhood, it’s easy to forget about the hobbies and interests you once loved and enjoyed. However, making time for these activities is essential for our well-being and happiness. Hobbies provide a break from the daily responsibilities of parenthood and offer an opportunity for personal growth and self-expression. Whether painting, gardening, or practicing yoga, engaging in a hobby can help reduce stress and improve mental health.
Moreover, prioritizing our own needs and interests is a great opportunity to set a positive example for our children. By showing them that we value our well-being and happiness, we teach them the importance of self-care and the benefits of pursuing one’s passions.
Plan a Regular Date Night
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the everyday tasks and responsibilities that come with having a family. Feeling weighed down by the mundane routines and dynamics of our everyday lives is a feeling that all moms can understand. Struggling with the feelings of mom funk or not, having a regular date night with your spouse, partner, friend, or even by yourself is a great way to break the monotony and refresh your outlook.
Making a date night a part of your regular routine makes it much easier to plan for and commit to. Even if you can only get away for a few hours every couple of weeks, those moments of connection are essential for the health of your relationship.
Prioritize Your Nutrition
What if we told you that one of the keys to finding your mom-mojo again could actually be as simple as prioritizing your nutrition? Well, it’s true. A healthy diet provides energy, mental clarity, and focus. It can also help you feel more inspired, providing you with the stamina to tackle your to-do list and the creative spark to come up with fun activities for your kids. All things important to moms, especially in this era of feeling burned out.
Focus on nutrient-dense foods like fruit, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains to help fuel your body and provide the vitamins and minerals necessary for proper functioning. (Read The 13 Surprising Grocery Shopping Hacks of Healthy Women before your next shopping trip).
It’s important to remember that good nutrition isn’t just about what we eat. It’s also about how we eat — sit down and savor meals without distractions. Take time to appreciate the nourishment that the food provides. This mindful approach to nutrition can help to refocus our minds and connect us back to the present moment, something many people have a hard time with.
Make New Friends
Motherhood can be isolating at times, leaving you feeling lonely and disconnected. But connecting with other moms can provide support and encouragement and help you feel more engaged and fulfilled in your own life. Whether it’s joining a local mom’s group or attending a parenting class, there are many ways to connect with others who are going through similar experiences as you.
Social media or online forums can be a great resource for finding other moms. These platforms can allow you to share your struggles, ask for advice, and connect with mothers who are going through similar challenges. You might even consider starting your own group or organizing a moms’ night out to get to know others in your area.
Try To Prioritize Sleep
One of the simple things you can do for your health is prioritize your sleep. The late nights, early mornings, and constant nighttime wakeups that come with the early years of motherhood aren’t conducive to sleep. But you can significantly increase your productivity and energy levels with good quality rest. It’s been proven that when we get enough sleep, we are able to think more clearly and perform better in our daily activities. This added energy and mental clarity could be a total game-changer for moms.
A few things that can help you get more sleep are avoiding caffeine late in the day. A consistent pre-bed routine that helps the body and mind wind down for the evening. And avoid devices before bed or even leave them outside the bedroom so you’re not tempted to scroll. Here are 10 More Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep.
When it comes to being a mom, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, tired, and no longer like yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re becoming accustomed to the big changes and new challenges of a first-time mom or have been parenting for years. This does not make you a bad mom.
The first step to making positive changes is acknowledging your feelings. The next thing is to accept help. Reach out to your partner, a friend, family member, or hire a babysitter. Taking an active role in self-care and ensuring your physical needs are met will make you a happier person. There is a reason for the saying ‘it takes a village,’ so don’t be afraid to ask for help and support.
Is it a bad mood, mom funk, or depression
If you’ve tried the steps above and don’t feel any better or feel your symptoms are more severe than a mom funk, you might be experiencing depression and be in need of professional help. If you feel this may be the case, seek help and medical advice from a professional to discuss a treatment plan that addresses clinical depression so that you can be the kind of mom you’d like to be.