Stress Relief For Working Moms: Tips, Apps & Time Management Skills

It may not seem like news to overwhelmed working moms, but recent data confirms that 53 percent of U.S. women are burned out, and many of them are working mothers.1Struggling with brain frog, fatigue and chronic stress even before the pandemic hit, working moms face an array of challenges that come with trying to meet the demands of work and family life, often finding themselves in the role of primary caregiver to the children, even in partnered relationships.2 If this sounds familiar, find out how to detect the signs of stress before they become “burnout” and some tips that may help make life easier. 

Challenges Working Moms Face

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, working moms were stretched too thin. Struggling to meet the demands of childcare and work responsibilities, 43 percent of new mothers were leaving the workforce within a year of having a baby and 2.4 million women admit to suffering from burnout.3

According to a Pew Research Center study, challenges working moms face at home include an unfair division of household chores, managing their children’s schedules and activities, and general caregiving responsibilities, such as tending to a child who is sick.4 This doesn’t even include the challenges working moms continue to face in the workplace, such as having to work extra hard to compete with men for equal status and attempting to be “smaller” so as not to intimate male colleagues.5 Often, women end up feeling guilty no matter what they do. For the mom who works too much, she may feel guilty for neglecting her family. For the mom who devotes more time to her family, she may feel guilty for neglecting her career. It can feel like a no-win situation.

Signs You Are Stressed & How to Avoid Mom “Burnout”

Characterized by mental, physical and emotional depletion, caregiver burnout can be debilitating. While some studies say it affected around 14 percent of parents before the stress-inducing pandemic, some experts suspect the actual figures are much higher.6 Some signs your stress might be leading to burnout include:

  • Sleep issues

  • Changes in appetite

  • Loss of interest in hobbies 

  • Constantly changing emotions

  • Quick to anger

  • Withdrawing from others

  • Not wanting to face the day

To avoid burnout, moms should become aware of when signs of stress start becoming noticeable so she can employ stress-relief strategies to turn things around. 

Stress-Relief Tips

The first thing a working mom should do to minimize her stress is to let go of the “supermom” or “perfect mom” ideal. According to Mary C. Kimmel, M.D., co-director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, mothers can be especially affected by caregiver burnout as they put so many demands on themselves, partly because of the unrealistic images of what a mother "should" be, often fed to us by the media and conflicting advice for experts and other parents.7 These stress-management tips may also help:

  • If you have a partner or co-parent, have an honest discussion with them to figure out a fair division of household labor and childcare responsibilities

  • If your budget allows, outsource where you can with house cleaners, childcare workers or friends who have expressed their willingness to assist

  • When you’re at home or off work, give yourself permission to save that work email for Monday and turn off notifications if you can

  • Be honest with your colleagues if you need to take some time to tend to family needs

  • Give yourself permission to rest and practice self-care, which looks different to everyone  

Stress-Relief Apps 

Want to minimize your stress but don’t know where to start? Let technology help. There are a variety of stress-relief apps that can assist you in finding your calm. They include:

  • Calm:8 With guided meditations, relaxation exercises and even sleep stories, the Calm app is highly rated and designed to reduce stress and help you sleep better. There are even exercises for kids. 

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  • Headspace:9 This meditation app promises to “change your whole day” in just a few minutes. It’s beginner-friendly too, offering a free 10-day beginner’s course to guide you through the essentials of meditation.

  • Aura:10 Offering a mindfulness journal, meditations, nature sounds and even life coaching, the Aura app finds the best content from coaches and therapists all around the world to suit your individual needs.

  • Insight Timer:11 Featuring thousands of guided meditation from neuroscientists, mindfulness experts, psychologists, and professors, Insight Timer has been awarded by TIME Magazine for its effectiveness in reducing stress.

Time Management Strategies 

Do you ever feel like there are not enough minutes in the day to accomplish everything on your to-do list? If this happens often enough, you either have too many things on your to-do list or you’re in need of some time management strategies. Some tips to help manage your time better include:

  • Getting up an hour earlier before your kids to have time to plan for the day or maybe just relax with a cup of coffee before the rest of the house wakes up

  • Enlist your kids in age-appropriate family chores such as picking up their own toys so you don’t have to

  • Make use of lists so you relieve pressure on your mind to remember absolutely everything, which may add to your stress

  • Skip the trip to the grocery store and have your food delivered

  • Set attainable daily goals but remember not to overload yourself

  • Use a time management app12, which can help you keep track of your  responsibilities 

Lifestyle Changes & Recovering from Mom “Burnout”

Using stress-relief apps and employing time management strategies are great ways to reduce stress and avoid burnout, but if you suspect you’re already in the midst of burnout, you may need to integrate some lifestyle changes to bounce back. From upgrading your diet to taking control of your sleep hygiene, here are some lifestyle changes you should consider: 

Another option that may help you deal with chronic stress and feelings of burnout is Brillia for Adults, an over-the-counter, homeopathic remedy that helps to reduce feelings of irritability and restlessness while enhancing mental focus. Brillia works best when used in tandem with the healthier lifestyle choices above and can be safely taken in addition to other medications with no harmful side effects. Find out more about how Brillia works

References:1https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/10/more-than-half-of-us-women-are-burned-out-heres-how-to-cope.html, 2https://www.mother.ly/news/state-of-motherhood-survey, 3https://www.mavenclinic.com/lp/parents-at-the-best-workplaces-2020, 4https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/03/17/the-pandemic-has-highlighted-many-challenges-for-mothers-but-they-arent-necessarily-new/, 5https://www.news24.com/parent/family/parenting/disturbing-findings-survey-reveals-the-challenges-faced-by-working-mothers-20200911, 6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6028779/, 7https://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/healthy-mom/signs-of-caregiver-burnout-moms-need-to-know/, 8https://www.calm.com/, 9https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app, 10https://www.aurahealth.io/, 11https://apps.apple.com/us/app/insight-timer-meditation-app/id337472899, 12https://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/top-15-time-management-apps-and-tools.html
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