Mental load is the effort involved in managing your relationships, work, family, household, and anything else that comes up. Organising school drop-offs, pick-ups, playdates, dinner, extra-curricular activities, and making sure everyone has clean clothes is exhausting and can take a toll on a person’s mental wellbeing.
What can you do to ease the mental load?
There are a few things you can do to help ease the mental load and have others around you step up.
Take a break
A lot of the time we’re just on autopilot. Things need to be done and we do them without thinking about how they impact our physical and mental wellbeing. By taking a break, whether it’s a day, a week, or a month will not only be beneficial for your health but will also let others around you see how much you do and potentially help a bit more.
Reduce your expectations
If you’re a perfectionist, it can at times be your undoing. Often perfectionists won’t ask for help for fear that the task won’t be done properly. While it’s important to do things right, sometimes you need to consider whether an extreme level of perfection that takes far too much time and effort is worth it. Does it really matter if the socks aren’t folded the way you like them? By reducing your expectations and accepting that things don’t need to be perfect, you will free up so much time to do things that make you happy.
Once you accept things don’t need to be perfect, you can start delegating. Let the family help, whether it’s letting the kids make their own school lunches or letting other family members take on some of the household chores, sharing the load will have a positive impact on your mental health.
Get a little help with the thinking and remembering
A large part of the mental load is having to remember and think about all the tasks and schedules for your household. If there are recurring tasks that need to be completed each week or month such as paying bills or taking out the bins, but you’re worried you might forget, set a reminder in your phone. This prevents you from having to constantly think about having to do that task which can take up quite a bit of mental energy.
By working towards easing the mental load, you work towards greater mental health and enjoying the things in life that matter.