By Viviana Diaz, LPC
“Filling Your Mom Cup”, refers to the ability to create space for yourself mentally. This allows you to provide your children and families with the love and care they need from your cup. An imbalance and emptying of your cup occurs when women become overwhelmed by the different roles they must fill and the demands they face daily. Not being able to meet your own emotional and physical needs adversely affects how you show up at home for your children and impacts your overall mental and physical health.
Why Is Your Cup Becoming Empty?
As the pandemic persists in 2021, many women struggle financially as solo bread winners of their households. Others work inconsistent hours and fluid schedules. Managing and overseeing remote and in person learning is difficult, especially for mothers with younger age children. Unfortunately, many women have lost their jobs. They struggle with the anxiety of how to survive the day to day financial challenges. Many women take on the responsibility of taking care of elderly parents. Unfortunately, immediate family members or mothers themselves have become ill with Covid 19. The amount of challenges and level of uncertainty women are handling today seems monumental. Regardless of where you come from as a stay at home mother and/or working professional, the pandemic has added a level of complexity and chaos that accumulates stress for mothers around the country and the world.
Stay in place orders, closing of entertainment events, theaters and outside sport activities impacts your ability to move around freely. The outlets that you and your families used to engage in to cope with stress are closed. You are left without activities that once recharged you, energized you and provided space for a physical outlet.
The emotional toll on women during this pandemic is undeniable. You are isolated from coworkers, friends, and family members. Uncertainty causes an increase in anxiety and depression. You spend most of your time at home. However, home is not just home, but home, school and your workplace. You may feel guilty about the inability to separate your role as a mother as you spend all day with your children and taking care of everyone else’s needs. In more difficult experiences, spending more time with significant others may increase conflict. Tensions may increase negative coping behaviors such as substance abuse and domestic violence. Unstable home environments for women and children are emotionally damaging.
Six Ways To REFILL your Mom Cup:
1. Put your sensors on:
Recognize and take time to be aware of how current events inside and outside of your home are impacting you physically and emotionally. Minimize sources of anxiety and stress. Reduce news outlets, take time off electronics, and turn off notifications on your phone. Pay attention to your body. There may be many physical signs that if corrected, can fill your mom cup: lack of sleep, ruminating, negative thinking, overeating, lack of energy, short temper, overreacting, increase of headaches, any change in appetite, and other physiological symptoms.
2. Write it Down:
Use release writing. Write down all of your frustrations, negative thoughts, doubts, and frustrations. Do not stop writing and allow your mind to express what comes through… for about 10 minutes or so. If you are moved to write longer that is okay, too. Do not judge it! Let it flow and release it! Then DESTROY. Rip that paper to pieces. Do not reread it or post it in social media. This is a private process. If you do not vent somewhere, all these thoughts in your mind will continue to recycle them over and over.
3. Move your body:
Stretch! Any intentional movement is recommended. Be gentle! This time is about deserving the time to do the activity. Go out for a short walk, run, or take the dog out. Check You Tube for 5-10 minutes physical movement ideas.
4. Make time for yourself:
Create space for your own care. Then, commit to a routine and stick to it! This sometimes may require strengthening healthy boundaries for your partner and children regardless of their age. Do not be afraid to delegate responsibilities to partners and children. They will benefit from it!
5. Go within and breathe:
Try self-awareness through breathing. It is an inexpensive way to support your body and reach a more relaxed state. It is convenient. You are already doing it, and your body knows how. You jus