During our recent 'Wednesday Wellness' check-in with our Facebook VIP moms, I wanted to go beyond the typical 'I'm fine' responses we often give each other. Instead, I asked the real question that matters: How are you really doing, mamas? I know this can be hard to answer, but it's essential to feel your feelings and say I'm not okay.
I received a flood of responses from our VIP moms, and not to my surprise, a common theme emerged: feeling drained. The word DRAINED popped up in almost every answer, highlighting how pervasive this issue is for moms today.
Let's face it, as moms; we have a lot on our plates. There's the whole money thing, trying to keep our jobs and our kids alive, the endless school drop-offs and pick-ups, feeling like we're stranded on a deserted island of loneliness, and don't even get me started on the news these days. And then there's social media, where we're supposed to present a picture-perfect image while silently comparing ourselves to other moms who somehow have it all together. Hot tip remember, most of those moms that have it all together really don't. Oh, and let's not forget about the sleep deprivation and hormonal changes that come with pregnancy and raising tiny humans. No wonder we're feeling drained, overwhelmed, and ready to scream into a pillow at the end of the day.
Moms can experience feelings of being drained due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to the following:
- Economic pressures and financial stress
- Trying to balance work and home responsibilities
- Managing children's education and activities
- Dealing with social isolation and loneliness
- Exposure to news and media about societal issues such as gun violence and political unrest
- The pressure to present a perfect image on social media platforms, leading to comparison and anxiety
- Hormonal changes and sleep deprivation associated with pregnancy and child-rearing.
All of these factors can contribute to the feeling of being drained, overwhelmed, and stressed. Feeling drained can manifest in a number of ways, but here are some common signs to look out for:
Exhaustion: You may feel like you have no energy, even after getting a good night's sleep.
Lack of motivation: You may find it hard to get motivated to do even simple tasks like getting dressed or making breakfast.
Irritability: You may feel short-tempered or easily annoyed, even by small things.
Physical symptoms: Feeling drained can also show up in physical symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, and stomach issues.
Poor sleep: If you're feeling drained, you may find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, even if you're exhausted.
Difficulty concentrating: You may find it hard to focus on tasks or remember things that you normally would.
These symptoms can be a sign that you're not taking care of yourself and need to prioritize self-care.
I don't know about you, but every time I open up my phone and start scrolling through my feeds, I feel like I'm falling down a rabbit hole of FOMO (that's "fear of missing out" for those of you not up on your hip acronyms). I see all these pictures of moms who look like they just stepped out of a magazine, with their perfectly coiffed hair and their smiling, angelic children. Meanwhile, I'm over here in my sweatpants, hair in a messy bun, trying to corral my kids and not spill my coffee all over the floor. It's no wonder we feel overwhelmed and drained, constantly comparing ourselves to these picture-perfect images that we know deep down are just a highlight reel of someone else's life.
As mothers, it's important to set healthy boundaries with social media to protect our mental health. Here are a few tips:
Limit your time on social media. Decide on a set amount of time you'll spend each day and stick to it.
Unfollow accounts that make you feel inadequate or trigger negative emotions. Instead, follow accounts that uplift and inspire you.
Don't compare your life to the highlight reel of others on social media. Remember that people only share the best parts of their lives online.
Take breaks from social media. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a break and engage in an activity that brings you joy.
Be mindful of your own social media presence. Don't feel pressure to present a perfect image online. Share your authentic self and be proud of who you are.
By implementing these tips, you can create a healthier relationship with social media and prioritize your mental health as a mom. It's also ok to UNFOLLOW and move on from accounts that no longer serve you and your current season, mama. Sometimes we change, including who we're following and what content we're consuming. Remember, you don't owe anyone your joy, so if you find social media bringing you down and causing that drained feeling take a break!
Disclaimer: it's okay to take a break from social media altogether if it's causing too much stress or anxiety. While setting healthy boundaries is essential, some moms may need to take a break from social media to recharge fully.