What to do when life is too overwhelming to love, play, and be present.

By Bridgette Petrino | mind

Oct 12
overwhelming stress life overwhelmed

“Momming” is overwhelming

One of the first things that my counselor said to me when I initially (and somewhat reluctantly) walked in his office a couple of years ago was, “The mind is a horrible master and a wonderful servant.”

“The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.” ~Robin Sharma

He mainly said this because I came in literally looking like a deer in headlights.

The short story is that once I had kids I stopped taking time for myself. I was all business all the time, in super “productive” mode, being a professional people-pleaser, and I was doing everything for everyone else but nothing for myself.

And, that led me to have a breakdown. Like a legit, not getting dressed, not getting out of bed, complete with crazy eyes, breakdown.

Because I was trying to be supermom. But, that concept is actually unattainable.

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So, at the advice of a good friend, I went to see a counselor. And, the first thing we talked about was how stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed I was all. the. time.

Wild Horses

My counselor explained how we actually have to train our minds, in the way that you would train a wild horse. Our minds are oftentimes just simply trying to protect us, but they actually aren’t that “smart.”

So, when your mind starts galloping like mad off the trail and bucking and kicking and neighing and expelling all types of energy but never actually going anywhere, you have to train it to come back on the path and sllloooowww down.

“Huh? This guy is NUTS,” I thought.

But actually, he was right. And, training your mind is really quite simple. The answer is meditation.

Meditation can literally be as simple as connecting with your breath for a few minutes. Or, focusing on a candle. Sometimes I like to use a guided meditation app.

Practicing meditation allows you to pull from that training like a kind of muscle memory and use those techniques when you feel yourself being led “off the trail.”

My favorite beginner resource for learning about all of the various forms of meditation is “Journey of Awakening” by Ram Dass.

So now, when I feel that wild horse bucking, and leaping, and jumping, I can pull from my meditation techniques, thank my brain for trying to protect me and rein the horse back in. And, just be. here. now.

  • “Thank you brain for reminding me of all of this really important stuff that I have going on tomorrow. But, it’s the middle of the night and I need to sleep right now.”
  • “Thank you brain for trying to protect me by creating fear. But, I am safe right now.”
  • “Thank you brain for pointing out all of the possible things that could go wrong in my life. But, I am loved.”

Then, instead of riding that horse off into Neverland, I pull on the reins and lead that horse back on track.

So, this is me. Giving you permission to not only use these techniques to reduce the overwhelm in your life, but also giving you permission to just be YOU.

Every messy, confusing, flawed, and fabulous piece.


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About the Author

Bridgette is Founder and CEO of Mommy Needs a Timeout. She empowers moms to reconnect with their identities OUTSIDE of being a mom, without the guilt.

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