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When I became a mom, I genuinely believed that good moms didn’t lose their cool or get overwhelmed and anxious. I thought a good mom was able to keep herself calm even when her living room looked like “Dawn of the Living Dead.” Two years and many humble pies later, I now realize that there isn’t a mom in existence whose perfect at keeping cool when they’re overwhelmed.
In fact, according to a study done by Forbes in 2011, 92% of working moms and 89% of stay at home moms report feeling overwhelmed by work, parenting, and household responsibilities.There has GOT to be a way to combat those immediate “I’m about to lose my mind” feelings that all moms experience!
During my struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety, I’ve come across some oddly specific Facebook ads that sucked me into buying way too many products targeted to overwhelmed people, such as myself. Some of them were a total waste of money, and some of them were game changers! I want to share with you the 7 game-changing products that have helped me be a calmer mom.
1- An adorable gratitude journal for when you’re feeling everything but grateful
It’s been scientifically proven that practicing gratitude can improve your psychological health, along with a multitude of other benefits. Sometimes when we’re in the heat of the moment, it can feel impossible to think of anything to be grateful for. This is where a gratitude journal can come in handy.
This 5 Minute Gratitude Journal gives you daily prompts that help you remember the good things in life, even if you only have 5 minutes to do so. This journal is specifically designed to help make gratitude a daily practice in your life. The first time you try it, it can feel hard to remember anything good, especially if you’re feeling frustrated. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes to remember what you’re grateful for.
2- A silent fidgeter for when you feel anxious and fidgety
I used to be a teacher, and fidget spinners were my worst nightmare! They drove me INSANE! especially the ones that made noise when they spun. I never understood the appeal of them, or understood how they helped anyone. That is until I bought this fidgeter.
This fidgeter, which was featured on Shark Tank, is completely silent and discreet. When you are finding yourself overwhelmed, overstimulated, or anxious, fidgeters have been proven to help you refocus. Since this is pretty small, some users recommend attaching it to a keychain so you don’t lose it.
I always thought fidgeters were just for kids, until I realized that adults (especially moms) get overstimulated all the time. Fidgeters have been shown to help you refocus when you’re overstimulated, and therefore make you feel calmer.
3- A reusable journal for writing down your feelings and never running out of paper
I am an avid fan of journaling. I literally have 3 massive boxes of filled journals dating all the way back to my teenage years. The problem I have ran into with traditional paper journals is the need to get a new one all the time. Whether it’s because you filled up a journal, or because you spotted a cute journal at Target, people tend to spend way more than necessary on journals. Plus, imagine all the trees wasted! This is why I’ve become obsessed with my Rocketbook.
The Rocketbook is a reusable notebook that gives you the ability to angrily write down you feelings, and then aggressively erase them (at least that’s what I do). All you have to do is get the microfiber cloth that comes with the notebook a little bit damp, and wipe your words away! If you want to save your notes, you can also use the Rocketbook app to upload your pages to just about anywhere you’d like. The pages are a dot grid, so you can customize the layout of your pages anyway you want. It comes in several different colors and two different sizes.
4- Bedtime tea that even a tea hater can love
I drink coffee like my life depends on it. But when I developed postpartum anxiety, I began to see that my coffee habit was actually making my anxiety worse! I drank so much coffee during the day that I couldn’t sleep at night. So I started cutting back on the coffee and drinking tea in the evening.
I am NOT a fan of most teas (unless its sweet tea, and that’s just because of sugar). But when a friend of mine suggested I try this soothing caramel bedtime tea, the word “caramel” spoke to my sweet tooth! This tea has now become my go-to drink after a long day of chasing toddlers. I wouldn’t say its “sweet” but its very smooth and doesn’t taste earthy. Many herbal teas have been shown to reduce signs of anxiety, and this tea has plenty of those relaxing herbs.
5- A diffuser and essential oils that make your house smell more peaceful and less like dirty socks
I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to many herbal solutions. It wasn’t until I was in labor with my son that I realized that many herbal solutions do have merit to them. In the hospital I delivered in, the nurses diffused essential oils while I was in labor to help with my anxiety and nausea. The nurses and doctors explained to me that there actually is a fair amount of evidence that shows the benefits of aromatherapy in treating anxiety and depression symptoms.
Simply changing the way your environment smells can take you from feeling chaotic to calm. Plus with little ones around the house, it is much safer to use a diffuser than a candle (hellooooo fire hazard). My favorite oils to use are lavender and peppermint. I LOVE Plant Therapy’s line of oils on Amazon. They’re so much more reasonably priced than other big brands (they’re also NOT an MLM), and they carry many organic oils as well.
6- A swaddle for adults that feels like a hug on a restless night
I tried to hop on the weighted blanket fad, but I found that weighted blankets made me very hot at night! They also caused some strange body aches. When I saw Hug Sleep on an episode of Shark Tank, I said “I NEED THAT!!”. I immediately bought their sleep pod and haven’t looked back!
Just like how a weighted blanket puts slight pressure on your body to help you relax, this does the same without the weight and the heat that comes along with it. You also look like an adorable little pea in a pod when you wear it! My favorite thing about the sleep pod is that it has a little hole at the bottom for your foot for those who like to have one foot out of the blanket. It took a few days to get used to, but I have found myself feeling more relaxed at night and falling asleep quicker. Any mom who has a hard time winding down at night can benefit from the sleep pod. They even make kids sizes!
7- Earplugs that tune out the chaos, but not the joy
Excessive noise can trigger negative feelings in many people, even good noise such as kids playing or watching their favorite tv shows. Sometimes you want to tune out the noise, but you also still need to hear what’s going on. Loop earplugs are a GAME CHANGER! They filter sound instead of blocking it like traditional earplugs. So you’re still able to hear your kids, but not shudder when they scream their joyful screams. They also work great for sleeping, so you can hear your kids if necessary but still have the noise filtering needed for relaxing. Another plus is they look more like cool earrings and less like goofy foam things stuck in your ears.
Being a calmer mom can be possible
There’s no need to be ashamed of when motherhood feels overwhelming. Simply put, it is super overwhelming. Being in charge of raising small humans brings about lots of opportunities for sensory overload, anxiety, mom rage, and burnout. I made a totally free Calm Down Checklist that gives you 4 simple steps and strategies for when you’re about to lose your mama mind. Sign up for your free copy, and get one step closer to being a calmer mom below!
Want some more tips for overcoming your overwhelming mom life? Check out these blog posts: