Serving Granbury and Greater Texas

Willow Mark Therapy PLLC

Willow Mark Therapy PLLC

Serving Granbury and Greater Texas


How to Deal With Overstimulation as a Mom

mom sensory overload

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We specialize in providing support for adults and teens that are struggling through self-esteem, anxiety and relationships issues.

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Hello, I’m Jennifer Caudle. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Family Communication and Parenting expert with over 30 years of experience in both professional and personal realms. I’m the mom of two grown children and a wife of 3 decades. I understand the difficulty of balancing work, parenting, cooking dinner, and the demands on our time and attention.

I made this post to offer practical guidance for moms with sensory overload and to share strategies to help manage these intense feelings.

Parents can expect to experience overwhelming moments. This is especially true with our excessive to-do list and the societal expectations we face daily. This guide aims to provide you with actionable steps to reclaim your sense of peace and control.

What are the symptoms of sensory overload?

Overload happens when your senses are bombarded by too many sensory stimuli, like loud noises, bright lights, or too many things to do at once.

An overstimulated mom may find it hard to think clearly and stay calm. It is essential to recognize when one’s nervous system is at its breaking point.

Common symptoms of an overstimulated parent include:

  •  Feeling Irritable: Getting easily annoyed or frustrated by little things.
  •  Fatigue: Feeling extremely tired or zero energy, even after a good night’s sleep.
  •  Headaches: Having frequent or intense headaches.
  •  Difficulty Concentrating: Struggling to focus on tasks or conversations.
  •  Anxiety: Feeling unusually worried or tense.
  •  Withdrawal: Wanting to be alone more than usual.
  •  Feeling Overwhelmed: Constantly feeling like you can’t keep up with everything.
  •  Emotional Outbursts: Having sudden bursts of anger or tears.
  •  Sensitivity to Sounds: Finding certain noises, like a baby crying, especially distressing.
  •  Physical Reactions: Experiencing a racing heart, shortness of breath, or nausea in response to stressed sensory systems.
  •  Mental Exhaustion: Feeling mentally drained from juggling too many tasks.

If you recognize several of these symptoms, it’s important to understand you’re not alone. Other parents struggle with sensory processing overload.

Why am I so overstimulated as a mom?

Let’s face it. Moms are constantly needed by their children and the outside world. Moms have amazing multitasking abilities, but trying to do too much is the leading cause of feeling completely overstimulated.

Many moms feel overstimulated because they have too much on their plate. Work, home responsibilities, extracurricular activities, and massive to-do lists create a constant-go mentality, along with self-doubt and mom guilt.

Do these sensory triggers sound familiar?

  • Constant Noise: The ubiquitous dinging of cell phones, mindless scrolling of Instagram reels, screaming children, earbuds, podcasts, or television blaring in the background got your nerves on edge.
  • Multitasking: Maybe juggling multiple tasks simultaneously without breaks has your brain ready to wave the white flag.
  • Lack of Personal Time: The lack of quiet time or self-care has you teetering on exploding or lacking emotional regulation.
  • Too much physical touch: Moms can easily feel “touched out” by little kids who need to be touched or held constantly.
  • High Expectations: The pressure to meet societal and self-imposed parenting standards feels overwhelming and unrealistic.
  • Eating on the run: Dining from one drive-through to another has you drained and critical of your body.
  • Sleep Deprivation: Burning the candle at both ends and a lack of adequate rest can leave your sensory system carrying a heavy mental load.

Parents and other adults are in the same boat. Feeling overstimulated is common in our world today, but knowing our own triggers makes us more likely to recognize when we experience sensory overload, develop coping strategies, and improve our mental health.

7 tips for coping with sensory overload as a mom

Here are some practical coping strategies to help you manage sensory stimulation in your daily life:

 1. Practice Mindfulness

  • How to do it: Set aside 10-15 minutes each day for mindfulness exercises. These include deep breathing, meditation, and yoga. Many apps can help you focus and bring your attention to the present moment.
  • How it helps: Mindfulness reduces stress, calms the mind and body, and helps one feel more grounded and less overwhelmed.

 2. Create a Sensory-Friendly Space

  • How to do it: 
    • Choose a quiet, tidy area in your home. When feeling overwhelmed, go there. Use calming colors, soft lighting, and minimal decorations.
    • Use noise reducing earplugs
    • Thinking through your five senses is excellent for managing stress and anxiety. Focus and name what you see, smell, feel, hear, and taste.
  • How it helps: 
    • A sensory-friendly space is peaceful. Peaceful sensory experiences let you decompress and recharge by reducing sensory input.
    • Focusing on your five senses helps to bring you into the present moment and calm your body.

 3. Establish a Routine

  • How to do it: Develop a daily routine that includes scheduled breaks and personal time. Stick to a consistent schedule as much as possible.
  • How it helps: Having a routine provides structure and predictability. Use your watch or other app to remind you to take a break. Routines and rituals are important factors to reduce chaos and stress.

 4. Limit Technology Usage

  • How to do it: Set boundaries for you and your children’s screens. Designate tech-free zones and times in your home.
  • How it helps: Less screen time cuts exposure to digital noise. It also cuts overstimulation and creates space, letting your mind rest. 

 5. Engage in Physical Activity 

  • How to do it: Add regular exercise to your day. You can walk, run, or do a home workout.
  • How it helps: Exercise releases endorphins, which boost mood and reduce stress. This helps you feel calm and more energized. It is an excellent form of self-care.

 6. Prioritize Sleep

  • How to do it: Establish a consistent sleep routine. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual and avoid stimulants like caffeine before bed. 
  • How it helps: Adequate sleep is critical for mental and physical health. It reduces feelings of overwhelm.

 7. Seek Support

  • How to do it: For support, contact friends, family, or a professional counselor. You can also join parenting groups or online communities.
  • How it helps: 
    • Sharing your experiences. Seeking support from others can bring emotional relief and practical advice, helping you feel less alone.
    • Belonging to a community or having a group of trusted friends increases your resources, such as help with babysitting, so you can take time when necessary.

In my experience 

In my practice, I’ve seen countless moms benefit from these strategies. A mom of three children found that making a sensory-friendly space reduced her anxiety and improved her well-being.

Another mom practiced mindfulness first thing in the morning before her children were out of bed, which enhanced her sense of calm and stability.

Yet another client who struggled with sleep deprivation set a consistent bedtime routine and greatly improved her daytime energy.

These real-life examples illustrate the effectiveness of these coping mechanisms. If you feel overwhelmed, know that support is available, and you are not alone.

If you want personalized guidance, consider contacting Willow Mark Therapy PLLC. We can develop a tailored plan to help you manage sensory overload and reclaim your peace of mind.

Visit our website for more information. Together, we can develop strategies that fit you and help you lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Jennifer caudle, lpc
founder of willow mark therapy pllc

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