It is no secret that women and mothers are disproportionately tired, overworked, underpaid, and perform the greatest cognitive and emotional labour.
As a result of this, many Women experience burnout: a special type of work-related stress that can affect their physical and mental health. It refers to a state of exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.
If this stress persists without being addressed, it can have serious consequences on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Burnout can be managed by taking action to ease your stress. Sleep is crucial in restoring your wellbeing, helping to boost your mind and mood, and can help prevent health problems. Lack of sleep in women can cause hypertension, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and depression, even more so than men.
But HOW do we rest when life is overwhelming is often left out of the conversation. Studies have shown that women generally get less sleep than men, and women who are mothers and have jobs are afforded even less time for sleeping.
The New York Times asserts that, “the world, as it is constructed, gives women more to DO”, specifically in the hours when one should be sleeping.
Even though men are increasingly helping out around the house or with the kids, household chores and caregiving duties are still socially expected to be solely a mother’s job.
This is especially challenging for working moms, who essentially bear the responsibility of two or more full-time jobs (being a mother IS a full-time job).
This large imbalance of mental load and gender inequality in housework became much more evident during the height of the pandemic when most people started working from home.
Outside of societal expectations, there are other biological reasons that women don’t get enough sleep, like changing hormones during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.
On average, women have busier schedules, go through more hormonal changes, tend to multitask more, and function at a higher momentum, which makes winding down at night and getting ready for rest even harder than men.
Over the years I have spent a lot of time learning stress reducing techniques that are not only efficient but effective in reducing cortisol and creating an environment that leads to healthy rest hygiene. During the pandemic our team have all found ways to improve our environment both at the studio and in our home.
We’ve learned that creating a ritual for yourself that allows you the space and time to rest is an important step when thinking about improving your health, getting a quick pick me up or getting more restful sleep.
With more to do and busier schedules, women and especially moms, generally don’t get a moment to themselves, or when they do, they are interrupted by responsibilities.
Incorporating rituals/routines with simple tools are a great way to get a moment of relaxation in a shorter space of time.
Our 5 favourite quick and accessible solutions for Managing Burnout
Looking at screens all day? Then you know how uncomfortable eye strain is. Resting your eyes regularly is one of the best ways to prevent and treat digital eye strain. We learned this all too well during the height of the pandemic, with the mix of blue light glasses and monitoring screen time.
While we may not be able to take a nap, taking a few quiet moments to shut your eyes is a practice referred to as quiet wakefulness. Although it isn't a substitute for sleep, resting your eyes for a few minutes a day can help relax your muscles and organs, when discovered this can be further enhanced with a weighted pillow it was a game changer.
Similar to a weighted blanket, weighted eye pillows exerts gentle pressure on the eyelids, helping alleviate irritated eyes and soften the muscles that surround them.
Whether it is a few moments in the car waiting for the kids to come out of school, laying back on your office chair on your lunch break, in between copious amounts of screen time, or in savasana at your yoga practice use a weighted eye pillow to help calm your mind, and and replenish your eyes before taking on more tasks.
You can also heat it to promote circulation or put it in the freezer to reduce puffy eyes.
If a rare moment happens where you find yourself with a longer time to relax, I love Yoga Nidra. It’s an accessible practice I was introduced to as a form quick and easy deep rest/stress relief technique to help you get into a deeper state of relaxation and awareness. Yogi’s and some studies show that a 20 min session is equivalent to 2-4 hours of deep rest!
This simple practice calms the nervous system and promotes deep rest and relaxation, which has proven to reduce stress, can lead to better health, and can be even more effective in reducing anxiety than meditation!
The Mayana Geneviere team has shared proven ways on how you can integrate rest into your busy schedules. In collaboration with Botanical Skincare Formulator, Naturally Natalie, we curated specialized products to promote selfcare, rest and relaxation for all the busy moms out there.
For busy moms, getting time to yourself may seem impossible. It can take less than five minutes in the bathroom before you’re interrupted by a family member bursting through the door. Taking an hour out of your day to get a massage may seem unrealistic and requires planning. Extensive skincare routines are simply just not a viable option for moms who have a couple minutes before they have to rush out of the door.
Besides your morning coffee (or in my case hot water with lemon), a routine that you can easily incorporate in the shower is using a loofah, a body scrub or a massage soap bar.
A multipurpose product can cut down the time spent getting ready in the morning. A massage soap bar that is both cleansing and moisturizing, proves getting a 5 minute massage is possible.
The knobs act as a massage tool which increases circulation, promotes cell regeneration, and eases muscle tension.
Investing in a high quality soap that uses non-hormone disrupting ingredients such as Shea butter cold press formulation with moringa, rosemary, etc acts as a moisturizing exfoliant with detoxing properties - a relaxing experience that fits right into busy schedules.
During the day in the midst of all the errands, work, or mom duties we tend to neglect ourselves. Sitting at the office all day or running around and dealing with daily stressors can create strain in the body.
While movement is a must, oftentimes we underestimate the benefits of self-massage. Self-massage is a grounding technique that brings you back in balance.
It’s a powerful tool that can enhance our emotional well-being, and help reduce stress as we massage our skin and take time for ourselves in a little self-care routine.
While body butters and oils can get messy and leave oily residues, I like to grab my compact roll-on oil that I carry in my bag for this technique. It makes application easy and makes this practice accessible anywhere and at any time.
In addition to the benefits of massage, Using an oil that’s packed with antioxidants and natural essential oils is your best to boost circulation, can act as a handy cuticle oil and combat dryness especially if you have sensitive skin.
When you need a little pick-me-up, this body oil that we formulated is an excellent multi purpose tool to promote circulation, keep your skin hydrated, and has a beautiful citrus scent to promote an uplifting sense of calm.
In a world full of to-do lists, taking 5 minutes can make a world of difference - but in what universe? It may feel impossible to step away from duties but think of mini breaks as a quick reset. If your focus is productivity - it will improve.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed it will energize you. You can start by setting an alarm to remind yourself to take a break from your work, if you have responsibilities that require you to be present then focus on taking deep breaths to create the space for yourself.
Because your sense of smell has a powerful effect on your brain's many functions, we have found that a naturally fragrant mist can enhance the environment and set the tone for a quick escape inwards.
Natural scents have a way of evoking a sense of instant relaxation. The mist can be used on the skin and can also act as a refreshing moisturizer, in the air for a fragrant ambiance or on your linens to promote relaxation, and reduce stress.
We’ve paired our favourite mix of essential oils that have been a popular choice for centuries to compliment the body oil and enhance the experience.
When we take these short breaks for ourselves, we find it helpful to spray these essential oils around us to instantly help us achieve peace of mind.
Ready for some Pillow talk? I mean you sleeping peacefully and restfully, the way you did before adult stressors or having children. “Sleep is a foundational pillar of health, and the quality of your sleep can impact not just your physical energy in the morning but your mental and emotional health, too.” - World Sleep Day.
The best investment i’ve made for rest is in in good sleep care including sheets, pillows and of course quality sleepwear. The best sleepwear is lightweight and made from breathable fabrics that are designed to regulate your body temperature to keep you cool all night long.
My favourite is the Before and Beyond Full Cup Support Chemise which is especially wonderful for sleeping comfortably with it’s flowy Modal skirt that lets you move freely.
Keeping your body at a cool temperature and in a comfortable environment will create the optimal foundation for you to sleep well. And the right sleepwear can help you achieve that.
Women, in general, have less time for themselves, more tasks to complete, get less sleep, and are at greater risk for health problems due to lack of sleep caused by burnout, especially women who have children. It is difficult to take time for yourself when there are always nagging responsibilities that consume the majority of your time.
However, it is important to note that rest is not a luxury, but an essential part of living a healthy and happy life. You don’t need to complete that assignment for work, pack your kids lunch, deep clean the whole house, make dinner for the family, or do the laundry to deserve rest.
You deserve rest simply because you are a human being, you do not need to earn it. We hope that these tips help you to take moments of rest to reset and refocus, no matter how small they may be.
Be well, Rest is Resistance.
Nadine & The MG Fam