When I was pregnant with twins, I couldn’t get enough information about being pregnant with twins.
And then when I became a mom of twins, I couldn’t get enough information about raising twins.
Add each milestone of significance after that and the trend has been clear.
I like information.
BUT TOO MUCH INFORMATION CAN SEND A HIGHLY SENSITIVE MOM INTO AN ANXIOUS STATE OF MIND. WE GET OVERWHELMED WITH THE DETAILS AND BEGIN TO SHUT DOWN, MAKING DECISION-MAKING MORE CHALLENGING.
It was around the time my girls were toddlers when I started to really see how the news, blogs and magazines actually made me feel worse, not better.
And then, more recently in the last few years, social media came into play in a big, big way.
Now we find ourselves searching on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for more information.
We are addicted to information and consumption as a society.
This is why we it’s so important to learn how to trust ourselves more deeply and seriously as mothers. It’s a matter of seriously considering how to believe in ourselves enough to release the fears and worries we have of not doing things right.
As highly sensitive moms we have to be on the look out for all areas of our lives where chaos and discomfort will raise our sensitivities so that we can keep those at bay and leave space for the sensory explosions our children will create day in and day out.
The battery-powered piano that plays background music is one thing … but it’s much more tolerable if I’ve spent most of the day without any major sensory overloads like watching the news or consuming too much social media that doesn’t pertain to my daily life.
My child’s whining and crying might not bother me as much if I’ve worked hard to add in quiet throughout my day that includes more meditation and less consumption of information.
And when it’s time to make a big decision, I will find that making it will be much easier if I adopt the less is more mentality for planning and researching around my decision.
Here are my 10 soothing tips for highly sensitive moms:
1. Put yourself on an information diet
You actually don’t need all that information you are seeking each day. Learning to be more critical of the sources and putting more trust in yourself as a mother is huge to reducing the noise that will happen each day. You may not be able to keep your children calm and quiet after dinner but you can certainly turn off the news and shut down Facebook. Once you learn to trust yourself more you won’t need to rely so heavily on outside sources. Read blogs that don’t publish or email too often. Adopt a Less is More mentality when it comes to research and information gathering in your daily life.
2. Squeeze in at least 5 minutes of meditation
We run on auto-pilot and that often means doing, doing and doing without much thought. Closing your eyes and breathing for five minutes here and there in your day can be the relief you need to slow down and allow your body to catch up with your mind. Simple breaths can happen anywhere … at the bus stop, just before walking into the preschool and before a work meeting.
3. Rise early for uninterrupted quiet
By getting up extremely early most days of the week, I give myself the gift of quiet that I won’t get the rest of the day. The rest of the day will be filled with phone calls and emails and requests and demands from others that will, at some point, feel overwhelming. The early morning hours are just the right amount of silence that highly sensitive moms need. Want to get up earlier? Check out my Rise and Shine Challenge!
4. Use a mantra in the hardest parenting moments
We cannot always keep the chaos at bay but we can always be accepting of the moment. A really good mantra or two can get you through most sensory explosions in your day.
5. Take many family pauses in your week
A simple slow down each week really does bring the entire level of life down a notch to a much more tolerable level, especially if you have highly energetic children who don’t seem to know when to stop or slow down.
6. Talk to your family about your sensitivities
Sharing your sensitivities is great conversation to have with your children and partner. It really helps to know that too much noise doesn’t feel good so they can honor your request to quiet down or take their roughhousing or fighting to another room.
7. Know your limits and stick to them by setting boundaries
When you have a place to retreat to in moments of overwhelm, it’s important to keep those boundaries. Let people know that you retreated to your spot because you were feeling overwhelmed and you just need five minutes of quiet right now.
8. Take care of yourself in ways that work for you
Your self-care can be exactly what you want it to be, but the key is knowing more about yourself and who you are rather than going along with the crowd — or the family. What soothes you and what heals you may take a lot of self-discovery and a lot of understanding of yourself.
9. Take up journaling
Journaling is a great way to release emotions and bottled up feelings in a positive way. The more you release your feelings of anxiety and overwhelm on paper the less anxious you will feel in your day-to-day life as a highly sensitive mom. Journaling can be a primary way to cope and soothe ourselves.
10. Create intimate friendships
You don’t need a ton of friends. You just need one or two you can share your stories with and feel heard. Finding friends who want to have honest, real and raw conversations is hard, though, so be patient as you search for the right ones. This takes time, but it is not to be rushed.