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MOMS OF Autistic Kids

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The Calm Mom Coach

Providing moms with strategies that create more ease.

Less doing and more being

Workaholics and Perfectionist…

Let’s chat about something I think many of us struggle with: the art of just being. know, not throwing a load in the wash, not answering one more email, not scrolling through social media, just relaxing without guilt. It’s a challenge, right? But it’s so important.

For workaholics with perfectionist tendencies it’s even more difficult. Workaholics constantly strive for perfection, which can lead to chronic stress and burnout. Their high standards make it difficult to relax, as they feel a persistent need to be productive. This relentless pursuit of flawlessness means they often miss out on life, like spending quality time with loved ones or taking a moment to just breathe. Their self-worth becomes entangled with their achievements, making it hard to enjoy the present moment without guilt. This constant drive can be exhausting and ultimately counterproductive, as it takes a toll on their mental and physical health.

Let me share a bit about my journey and why learning to just be is crucial not only for us but for our kids too.

My Struggle to Relax

For many busy moms, bubble baths are a chance to escape (cue Calgon commercial). For me, it was the opposite – I struggled with bubble baths. Despite setting the mood with candles, relaxing music, and essential oils filling the air. I’d go all in, hoping this time would be different – it wasn’t. Within thirty seconds of slowly sinking into my piping hot water, my brain would go into overdrive – “I need to order more dog food. I forgot to email the document I promised. Did I start the dryer? I need to remind John about ___.” Immediately, I’d jump out, feeling guilty for wasting time when I could be doing something more productive. With my schedule already packed, relaxation felt like a luxury I couldn’t afford.

Sound familiar? Maybe bubble baths don’t make you feel like this, but perhaps you feel the same way about reading a book or simply lounging on the sofa.

Several years ago, during one of my group coaching sessions, my client, Misty said something that reminded us of what we should strive to be: “We are human beings, not human doings.” This simple statement hit me because at that very moment I had gradually allowed myself to move from being to doing. It was a powerful reminder that sometimes, we need to just be. The amazing thing is that learning to “be” actually makes you more productive. Funny how that works!

The Importance of Relaxation

Relaxation isn’t just about unwinding. It’s about giving your mind and body a break, allowing yourself to recharge. When we’re constantly on the go, our stress levels rise, our patience wears thin, and our overall well-being suffers. These self-care tips make us more focused, more creative, more connected and present for the people we love.

Practical Tips to Embrace Relaxation

So how do we start learning to just be? Here are a few tips that have helped my clients and I:

  1. Schedule Relaxation Time This Week: Put it on your calendar like any other important appointment. This could be a bubble bath, a walk in the park, or just sitting quietly with a cup of tea.
  2. Mindfulness Practices: Engage in activities that promote mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. These practices help train your mind to focus on the present moment.
  3. Set Boundaries: Create clear boundaries between work and relaxation time. Turn off email notifications, put your phone on do not disturb, and let your family know when you need some uninterrupted time. If you have younger kids more than likely they can’t take a “hint”, you may have to physically leave to get this time.
  4. Start Small: If the idea of sitting still for an hour is overwhelming, start with just a few minutes. Gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with being still.
  5. Be Kind to Yourself: If your mind starts to race with to-do lists and how you don’t have time to relax, don’t get frustrated. Acknowledge the thoughts and gently bring your focus back to the what’s important. It takes practice, but it gets easier. I’ve even named the overthinking, ruminating, critical part of my brain. I’m kind to her because she’s only trying to protect me but sometimes I have to tell her to sit down and be quiet, I got this.

Overcoming the Guilt

One of the biggest hurdles to just being is guilt. We live in a society that glorifies busyness. If we’re not doing something productive, we feel like we’re wasting time. But here’s the thing: relaxation is productive. It’s essential for our mental health and well-being. Do you really want to take advice from the busy culture society? It almost always leads to being unhappy, disconnected, and waking up one day not knowing who you are or what you want from life.

Next time you feel guilty for taking a break, remind yourself that you’re refueling and honoring your body. Just like a car needs fuel, we need downtime to function at our best.

Setting an Example for Our Kids

Our kids are always watching. If they see us constantly on the go, never taking a moment to relax, they’ll think that’s the way life should be. They’ll miss out on the beauty of just being. On the other hand, if they see us taking time to relax, they’ll learn the importance of self-care and balance, ultimately how to love themselves.

Imagine this: Instead of seeing a mom who’s always stressed and rushing, they see a mom who knows how to take care of herself. A mom who can sit and enjoy a book, take a peaceful walk, or simply breathe and be present. That’s a powerful lesson for them.

A Personal Revelation

Let me share a personal story. Years ago, I hit a breaking point. I was constantly doing, never resting. My health started to decline, my relationships were strained, and I was always exhausted. I decided to make a change. I started with small steps – a few minutes of quiet time each day. It was hard at first. My brain resisted, it was a literal mental circus with a dog and pony show, it was bombarding me with things I “should” be doing. But slowly, I began to embrace the stillness. I found that I was more patient with my kids, more connected with my husband, and more at peace with myself.

Embracing Imperfection

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on this journey is to embrace imperfection. It’s okay if everything isn’t perfect. The house doesn’t need to be spotless, and the to-do list doesn’t need to be complete. What matters is that we take care of ourselves and cherish the moments we have.

Don’t Let Life Pass You By

Here’s the thing: if we don’t learn to just be, life will pass us by. We won’t be present in the moment, and we’ll miss out on all the beauty it has to offer. Our kids’ innocent laughter, the warmth of the sun on our skin, the quiet moments of connection with ourselves and loved ones – these are the things that make life truly rich.

When it’s all said and done, wealth and accomplishments mean nothing if you don’t have peace, connection, joy, and family. That’s what truly matters at the end of your life. Don’t let the hustle and bustle rob you of the moments that make life worth living.

The Journey

Learning to just be is a journey, not a destination. I still have moments where I have to remind myself to relax.  You’ve seen the Snickers commercial where the person is grumpy and having a meltdown? Yup, I have those moments too. That’s usually my reminder that I need a relaxation “snickers”.  Now, when I take my bubble baths, my brain may still occasionally remind me of all the things I need to do. I just grab my phone, jot down everything in my notes, then close my eyes and vibe out to the music. Sometimes, I have to remind “Bertha” (the name I’ve given to the critical part of my brain) that it’s okay to relax and I suggest a Snickers may be in order!

It’s about giving yourself permission to relax without guilt, to embrace the present moment, and to find joy in simply being. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it. Remember, we are human beings, not human doings. By taking time to just be, we become better people, partners and parents.

So, next time you feel the urge to throw in a load of laundry or check your email one more time, pause, take a deep breath, and give yourself the gift of relaxation. You deserve it, and your family will benefit from a happier, healthier you. 

With the proper tools and strategies, you got this! 

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