These 9 practical tips will help every stressed out mom, so you can get back to enjoying Christian family life.
Every mom is a stressed out mom...
…at least, some of the time.
Mom life is hard. Family relationships take work. Managing the home (plus, of course, all the other things) is exhausting!
And no one enjoys feeling stressed out.
When you feel overwhelmed, every little thing can get on your nerves. It’s easy to let stress distract from the enjoyment of life and steal joy from relationships.
Stress might be normal, but it definitely isn’t fun. So today, I’m sharing 9 practical tips for how you can deal with a stressful season of life and go from stressed out mom to grace-filled mom.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
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What does stress feel like?
Stress is NO FUN.
It makes it hard to sleep, hard to have fun, hard to focus on anything except the things that overwhelm you. We feel it physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally… and it’s worth making the effort to deal with it.
So as we are looking at how to manage the hard emotions of mom life, I want to share some tips that I’m learning right now about how to make it through these stressful seasons without losing your enjoyment of Christian family life.
9 helpful tips for the stressed out mom
There are a lot of hard emotions that moms have to deal with. And stress is one of the big ones!
We can’t pretend that stress doesn’t impact us. It is often linked with anger outbursts and it limits our ability to enjoy our family time. But we don’t have to let stress define us.
Instead, try these tips below to help you maintain strong relationships with your people… and get the necessary things of family life done too. Not necessarily ALL of the good, meaningful things that you hope to do. But the necessary things. The most important things.
Because ultimately, the goal is to fully enjoy the most important things of life. Your marriage, kids, and family life.
Let’s dive into these 9 tips that will help every stressed out mom manage these overwhelming seasons.
Tip 1: Simplify your life.
Think: Chores. Meals. Extracurriculars on the schedule. During these overwhelming seasons, you need to simplify!
How can you simplify a busy life with lots of people?
- Remove things from the calendar.
- Lower your expectations of what will actually get accomplished every day.
- Be realistic for THIS season… no plans have to last forever.
- Prioritize no more than 1 big thing for each family member, or maybe even less.
- Prioritize family time above individual activities.
When I’m feeling really stressed, I find it helpful to simplify my to-do list to only ONE item per day.
And let’s be honest… some days I still don’t get it done!
Sure, I still have to feed everyone, but I don’t have to make gourmet meals. And we need clean socks, but they don’t have to be folded in everyone’s dresser drawers. Beyond those bare-bones basics… 1 chore. That helps me!
Tip 2: Manage stress when it pops up.
If you’re overwhelmed, there will be a level of stress going on. But do you know your own personal warning signs? For most of us, stress shows up as insomnia, aches or pains, or a bad attitude that we just can’t shake.
Know your warning signs, and know what calms you down in the moment when you’re at the edge of breaking down.
And definitely make sure that you are releasing physical energy during this season. One of the big reasons why we yell, throw things, hit, slam doors, or curse is the physical release of energy.
So what can you do in a planned, safe, healthy way to release some energy throughout the day? Maybe it’s exercise. Maybe it’s wringing out a wet washcloth. Maybe it’s pacing. Whatever helps you.
Tip 3: Lean on Jesus
When we’re overwhelmed, it is tempting to reduce our time in God’s Word.
We don’t have time to read the Bible. We forget to pray. But this is actually the time in our life when we need intimacy with God the most.
So get it however you can!
- Write out Scripture and place it around your home in visible places.
- Use journaling time as prayer time.
- Cry or yell to God; He can handle it!
- Be honest with the people around you about needing prayer and help.
- Read Scripture when you feel stressed. Memorizing it can help.
- Pray whenever you feel stressed, and whenever you don’t. Make prayer a daily habit!
Want some great resources to help you build up this relationship with Jesus? Grab a freebie to help:
And of course, I have some great devotionals to get you deeper in God’s Word.
Tip 4. Prioritize your most basic needs
It’s easy to rush past (or entirely skip) the “regular” parts of life when we’re chaotic and overwhelmed. Don’t do it!
- Take time to eat food.
- Go to sleep at night instead of scrolling online.
- Take showers and brush your teeth.
These basic needs will help you feel better and give you the energy and stamina you need to get through an overwhelming season.
And yes… “hangry” is a real thing, my friend. Don’t let it get the best of you. Your basic needs matter!
Tip 5: Take your thoughts captive
Feelings of overwhelm and stress are often linked with unhelpful thought patterns. So be extra intentional about what you let enter your mind!
One particular area is to intentionally choose to be grateful and to rejoice in the Lord.
When we are feeling happy and things are running smoothly, it’s more natural to be thankful and to enjoy life. But Philippians 4 is very clear that even when we feel anxious – or overwhelmed, stressed, or burnt out – we will be blessed by having an attitude of gratitude, rejoicing in the Lord, and by being intentional with our thought life.
Tip 6: Focus on discipleship over discipline
When we’re stressed, we’re a lot more likely to have a short temper with our kids. Little things become big things. Every emotion can feel overwhelming.
We are at risk of over-disciplining our kids because it releases emotion, feels “productive” – or maybe even because they are actually acting out and there is more discipline needed!
Focus on discipleship instead.
This means you’ll focus more on building their character over managing their behavior. You don’t want to let everything slide, but this is a season when GRACE needs to be a top priority in your family life.
Plus, remember that if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, your kids probably are too.
These emotions often escalate their behavior problems, and what they really need is comfort and reassurance… not punishment.
Tip 7: Set some family rhythms.
Maybe this is already in place, or maybe you need to create it now – but a predictable family rhythm to the days and weeks can help everyone manage a season of overwhelm.
For my family, our breakfast and dinner routines are very predictable. And while there are days when things change, it helps us all to know that the next day, we can just pick up where we left off. There is a rhythm to what the day looks like.
Kids especially do well with routine and structure, especially when there is a lot of uncertainty or stress in their life for a season. But most of us adults benefit from this too!
Tip 8: Make this season a testimony
When we’re struggling, it can be tempting to keep it to ourselves. Maybe because we simply don’t have time to make a phone call and let people know!
But the reality is, everyone struggles. It blesses and helps our entire community when we are open with each other.
Maybe you see already how God is faithfully working in this season – you can share that with others! Maybe you don’t see it yet – you can share that with others too!
We all experience the same emotions and struggles, and God intends for us to use our testimonies to encourage and help each other… not simply to get through a hard season alone.
Tip 9: Ask for help
Why do we struggle with this so much? (That could be a whole conversation on its own.)
Whether you find this easy or difficult, the simple reality is that we all need help. And when we’re in a season of stress and overwhelm, we need to ask for help!
What might “help” look like?
- Logistical help – asking a friend to pick up your kids from school.
- Emotional help – seeking prayer or asking a friend to text you with encouragement during the week.
- Financial help – ask a budget-conscious friend to sit down and help you generate ideas.
- Accountability – talk to your husband about how you’re struggling and find ways he could help you manage well.
- Practical help – hire a housecleaner or lawn service so you can get a little extra time each week.
There are some things in Christian family life that only YOU can do… but there are a lot of things that people can help you with.
Listen to Episode #139
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Listen to Episode #73.5
Friday Faith Follow-up Episode
Check out this bonus episode for 5 helpful tools when you’re feeling totally overwhelmed. (None are hard to find. The Hope Planner is right here.)
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Disclaimers: I am a licensed therapist but my podcast, blog, and resources are not professional or personal advice. I am an affiliate for many of the resources that I link to, and may earn a small commission if you purchase through my link. Read my full disclaimer here.