Moms, feeling frazzled? Overworked and underpaid (or maybe not even paid at all)? You could have Mommy Burnout! With Mother’s Day coming up, we think you deserve to take some time out from the family and spend some time and money on YOU! A spa getaway is just the ticket to revitalise a tired mom’s mind, body and soul. Here’s why you deserve it…
What is Mommy Burnout?
Whilst society touts motherhood as a deeply satisfying life experience, having a family can be a financial, emotional and physical strain. A recent Gallup poll indicated that 28% of US stay-at-home moms (SAHM) reported feelings of anger, sadness, stress and worry. Working mothers fare no better, with a Career.com report finding that 33% are dissatisfied with their work/life balance. It all boils down to unrealistic expectations – whether a working mom struggling to juggle the demands of a career and family, or a SAHM whose contribution to the family and society at large goes unrecognised and unrewarded, women are being stretched to breaking point in the quest to be super-mom.The result isMothering Burnout – a state of total exhaustion (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) brought on by unrelenting stress.
What Causes Mommy Burnout?
A man works from sun to sun, but a women’s work is never done, goes the old proverb. In addition to work overload and unrealistic expectations, other factors contributing to Mommy Burnout include:
- Striving for perfection, for example by trying to achieve the perfect house, the perfect body and the perfect home life(remember: none of us is perfect, so give yourself a break!)
- Cultural messages about what the ‘the ideal mom’ should be,which come via our families, communities and the media
- Lack of support or absence of support structures.
What are the Symptoms of Mommy Burnout?
Burnout has a wide range of unspecific symptoms, if you experience many of these, put yourself on burnout watch:
- Your daily activities feel like a drag
- Activities which you used to take pleasure in, you now dread instead
- You feel constantly fatigued and lacking in energy
- You experience headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances and/or a compromised immune system
- You feel cynical, disillusioned and pessimistic about life
- You feel angry, bitter and resentful
- You work even harder or find it hard to work at all
- You drink too much alcohol to cope.
How to Cure Burnout
Take time out! Sleep a lot, eat properly, exercise and spend time outdoors, relaxing – sit in a pretty garden and flick through a favourite magazine or laze on the beach. Best of all, book yourself into a day spa or, even better, a destination spa for the weekend.
The Best Spa Treatments for Stress
Spas were invented to alleviate stress and refresh the tired and overworked. To reclaim your bright-eyed and bushy-tailed inner you, try:
- Therapeutic Swedish massage – this involves kneading the topmost layer of muscle and then tapping it rhythmically to relieve muscle tension and promote deep relaxation.
- Aromatherapy massage – combines a traditional massage with essential oils to enhance its benefits. Each particular essential oil is said to have a specific effect(s) – easing irritability, promoting circulation, calming the mind, promoting sleep, and so forth.
- Rollersage–merges Swedish massage with hot rock massage, and throws in a serving of metaphysics for good measure. Choose the semi-precious stones you wish your therapist to use on you – tiger’s eye for optimism, rose quartz to resolve hurt and anger, for example – and then imagine discarding all your worries into the basket presented to you, before being massaged from head to toe with the stones of your choice, nicely heated to promote physical, mental and spiritual healing.
- Indian Head massage – feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? This spa treatment should do the trick! Indian head massage works on the areas often most affected by stress – pressure points and muscle knots in the head and shoulders – and on stimulating the scalp, all of which relieves tension, relaxes the body, calms the mind and promotes the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid to relieve headaches.
- Classic European facial – prolonged and excessive exposure to stress can be seen etched on our faces; dry skin, breakouts and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Combat the effects of stress on the skin with the original spa facial – a classic European facial starts with deep pore cleansing, followed by steam exfoliation and a facial massage and ends off with a soothing, restorative face mask.
- Saunas – are hot-air steam bathsfavoured by Scandinavians and Russians to cleanse and refresh the body. Physically shutting yourself into the sauna room for an hour helps you disconnect from the outside world; the warmth of the saunarelaxes the body, improves circulation and helps release endorphins (the ‘feel-good’ hormones) – all of which gives you a wonderful post-sauna glow.