Being a mother is not an easy task and being a stepmom could even prove to be harder.
I know what you’re thinking: Why is that? There are so many reasons. And today we’d be dissecting one of these deep struggles which is ‘mental health care.
As a stepmom, it could be difficult to know how to take care of your mental health.
The truth is, there are so many things that go into healthy mental health as we all have different skills, needs, and experiences. Lol, I know I’m not a professional, but I’ve learned a lot about mental health in my time as a stepmom, which I would love to share with you as you keep reading.
Understanding What Mental health Is. . .
First of all, what’s mental health?
It’s the way you feel about yourself. It’s how you feel about your mind. Sometimes, mental health can feel like depression and anxiety. These can be completely separate things that have nothing to do with your ability to take care of your step kids. In reality, it’s about a certain mindset about yourself. Sometimes, the way we think is not only unhealthy but can create a lot of pain and stress in others
It is very important to take charge of one’s mind and self, especially as a stepmom. I have here some survival tips which has worked for me too and I hope it helps.
- Be kind to yourself
The truth is, if you let yourself feel sad, guilty, or angry, you’re doing yourself and your stepkids a huge disservice. I know, we cannot control the things we feel, but see it like this – you cannot control the outcome of everything. Because the truth is that there will be good days and bad days. On some days you will feel the weight of your responsibilities so strongly. But then remind yourself:
Right now, you have to accept what you CAN do. You can be kind to yourself.
- Create a caring and supportive environment
Do whatever you can to create a supportive environment for your step kids and yourself. Of course, the environment can’t be perfect. You have to make sure you’re having a positive day, remember, you cannot always control situations but you can control how you react to them.
Sometimes when feeling a bit stressed, you can go for a walk in nature. Maybe even can call a friend to talk, or can do a bit of journaling.
- Don’t compare yourself to others
Some moms jump into the stepmom game thinking that they’ll be the best mom ever. But the truth is, you don’t know your stepkids yet. And you don’t know what they need from you. Sometimes, they just want a place to stay. Sometimes, they just want to be heard. So, it’s very important to understand your limitations and not be too hard on yourself
- Find and nurture your strengths and interests
It’s important to stay connected to what makes you happy. What are the things that help you stay grounded? The things that make you feel more alive? Is it watching movies? Taking a walk and observing nature? Whatever it is you need to find it and do more of it.
You can choose to spend time listening to edifying music and reading books that uplift your spirit. Over time, as you find activities that you’re passionate about, it will, in turn, leave you feeling happier and more satisfied with yourself.
- Identify your triggers
You should take the time to learn about your triggers. Every person is different, so you will have different triggers. But one big tip for self-care is identifying the things that trigger you. If you have one, it may be helpful to keep a list. You can also see if anything has changed in your life, and if so, how these changes affect you.
You need to also understand that while you have a role as a stepmom, you are not alone. There are tons of stepmoms in the world, and we all get to take care of our mental health, no matter what our situation. This should give you some strength, you are not alone!
- Say affirmations
The mental game is just as important as the physical game. I’ve found that saying affirmations or repeating positive words (rather than negative) helps one keep a positive mindset and have a successful day.
Here are some good affirmations to try:
“I am empowered!” “My purpose is to protect and raise these children!” “I am a successful co-parenting team!” “I love my step kids and they love me!” “We are a team. Together, we can do this!”
Even if you don’t feel that way, this little mental trick will help you focus on the result.
- Practice self-care
Keeping a healthy mindset can go a long way when you’re trying to adjust to this role.
No one’s judging you for not knowing a certain parenting skill. What matters is that you’re conscious of your mental health.
Here’s how I do it. Create a daily to-do list. Prioritize all of the tasks that need to get done that day. Then I make sure to take the time to check in with yourself and your own needs.
It may sound simple, but it helps! It helps you spend some time alone, doing something for yourself, or working on a project you’re passionate about.
Self-care is something you should try even when feeling overwhelmed. It’s one way to unwind and recharge so that you can be the best mother can be.
- Talk to your partner
Your partner should be a safe space for you to vent, share your thoughts, and talk to. If you’re having a hard time, you need to let your partner know.
Many times, when you’re at a loss for words, your partner can get the best response and can help make you feel more at ease about difficult situations. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey, you should share your struggles.
Last, but not least…
- Connect with other stepmoms
This is a big one. The only way we can figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves is to talk to other people that we trust and feel comfortable with.
Make a point to spend time with other stepmoms. Maybe at playdates, maybe at a mom’s group. Or, connect with some online, you can connect with us https://owningmygreatness.org/
Whatever you choose make sure it’s a safe environment where there aren’t any judgments about you or your situation. If you feel like you need a friend to talk to, reach out. And be ready to be able to offer support if the situation calls for it.