The milk is empty, the kids need new writing pads for school, the laundry baskets are full and the kitchen needs cleaning too. Countless tasks arise in everyday life and they are all firmly anchored in your head. In short: mental load - you burden yourself with an incredible number of tasks and have to think of everything at the same time.
Your mental load is immense. But what is that actually and how do you best deal with it? We will now explore these and other questions together.
Mental Load: What is it?
Mental load means that you think of everything that needs to be thought of. You have to pick up the kids from school, make an appointment with the dentist, and go shopping so you can bake a cake for the upcoming school party. The sum of all these things you have to think about day after day is your mental load.
How Mental Load Affects Women
Women still do most of the housework and are responsible for the lion's share of childcare and education. This was also confirmed by Eurostat's 2018 study "The lives of women and men in Europe - a statistical portrait," which found that 72 % of housework in Germany is in the hands of women. For childcare, the figure even rises to 88 %. Why is this so?
Because girls and women are often still socialized in this way. They are the ones who often bear the responsibility for everything that happens around family and Relationship is the problem. Countless supposed little things come together to create a neat mental load that's hard to get rid of. "Women simply do a better job of running the household and raising children is easier for them." Once this mindset has become established, it is often a mammoth task to break out of this cliché again.
In truth, however, all this is not a gift that women are born with, but rather a matter of training and Habit. But the main problem is that many of these tasks are often hardly or only indirectly visible - at least for the person who does not care. The term mental load is actually better known among women. Men often find it difficult to understand what is behind it.
How to explain Mental Load to your partner
Your partner sees every day how you successfully "run the show" as they say. You have everything under control, think of everything, do everything. You are a walking scheduler who never forgets anything. So it's not surprising that your partner doesn't realize how big your mental load is. So explain it to him!
How your partner understands your mental load
Use concrete examples to show him the pressure you are under. Show him what tasks you do every day and how everyday life would be if you weren't there. For example, let him spend a day doing everything that is normally on your daily schedule. Your partner will quickly realize how exhausting all this is and understand what you master day after day.
Surely you know this situation: Your partner wants to help you and asks you what exactly he should do. That's great, but it doesn't solve your problem. You are still the person who distributes the tasks and has to think of everything. The right way would be to share not the completion of tasks, but the overall management. Your partner needs to understand this difference.
Probably he will then answer you not to worry so much about everything. The reason for your worries is that if you don't do it or don't remind your partner, you can't be sure that the tasks will be done properly. So explain to him that it requires his active help. Work out a solution together that you both feel comfortable with.
3 Tips for Successfully Managing Mental Load
It is not so easy to get rid of the mental load. You won't succeed in doing so to the full extent. After all, there is always something that needs to be thought about and managed. But if you learn to deal with it properly, everyday life will still be easier for you and you can reduce your stress level. We have put together three valuable tips for you on how to do just that.
1. talk openly about it
Communication is always the first step, no matter what the problem is. So tell your partner how you are doing, how the mental load is affecting you, and why you want to change something. Don't just talk about it briefly between doors, but sit down together and have a serious conversation. This is the only way your partner can understand the burden you are under. And this understanding is incredibly important for your well-being.
2. give control
Sure, life would be easier if you gave up some control. But that's so easy to say. If you're used to always holding the reins and managing everyday life, you'll have a hard time suddenly giving that up. In addition, you may subconsciously want to live up to the role that society imposes on you. Nevertheless, this is an important step to better deal with Mental Load. Maybe at this point a Coaching. In which you can make yourself aware of which Beliefs lurk around the topic in your head - and which may be dissolved. Detach yourself from old patterns! Don't pay too much attention to your thoughts.
3. take stock again and again
Especially if you find it very difficult to relinquish control, it's important to keep doing little checks. Is everything working well so far? Is everyone happy with their role happy? What is not going so well right now and how can it be improved? If you and your partner regularly take stock of the situation, you will ensure that everyone feels comfortable and no one is overwhelmed by the mental load.
5 Steps to Reduce Mental Load
The mental load can sometimes take on enormous proportions. Fortunately, there are a few clever tricks you can use to lighten the load on your shoulders.
1. use digital helpers
Fortunately, we live in the age of digitalization. There are countless intelligent helpers that make your everyday life much easier. All you have to do is use them! How about a digital schedule planner for the whole family, for example?
Everyone has access to it and all family members can see what's coming up. So you're no longer the walking calendar that has to think of everything and is constantly questioned. This task is simply taken over by an app for you!
Digital shopping lists are at least as helpful. All family members enter what they are currently missing in the refrigerator or what has become empty, and the person doing the shopping has everything in view and can't forget anything. This also puts an end to the tiresome task of writing lists. Past and you have one less task on your shoulders.
2. set on a healthy mix of homemade and ready-made
Now let's be honest: Who has the time and also the desire to cook fresh every day and bring a feast to the table? It's perfectly okay to resort to something ready-made from time to time. Your kids will even be happy about a pizza from the delivery service!
If you have absolutely no time on a day to stand in the kitchen and cook for a long time, then the delivery service can also take over this task. That doesn't make you a bad partner or mother. Get this thinking out of your head!
3. dare to say "no
It's not always easy to say "no," but sometimes it's just absolutely necessary. You are proposed as a parent representative at the parents' evening and you feel flattered, too. But if you are honest, you don't have the time at all? Then simply refuse!
No one will tear your head off if you don't say "yes" to everything. You don't have to justify yourself for it at all. Everyone has the right to refuse things that they can't or don't want to burden themselves with. After all, there are others who can take on these tasks.
4. don't think so much about what others think about you
Stop comparing yourself, because then you forget the original that you are! You want to be the perfect partner, the perfect mother, the perfect housewife and at the same time be successful in your job. You are not alone, but is that really realistic? Why do you want that at all? What is the belief system behind it? Is this really the demand of others or the demand you have on yourself alone? Detach yourself more and more from what others might think. Stay with yourself! For example, think about a little thing every day that would do you good today.
5. give yourself time just for you
It's evening, the kids are in bed and now it's your turn. Take some time all to yourself and treat yourself. It could be a relaxing bath, an episode of your favorite show, or a delicious snack with a good book. Surely you know only too well that you completely forget yourself in all the stress.
But a healthy dose of self-care is incredibly important for your physical and mental well-being. Even if it's just 20 minutes in the evening - time for yourself is essential so you can hit the ground running the next day. These self-care moments will help you better manage stress and reduce mental load.
With self-confidence against the mental load
The mental load is often invisible and that's what makes it so insidious. Don't let it pull you down! Go through your life self-confidently, just say "no" sometimes when you can't handle something anymore and focus on yourself.
Who cares what others think if you just order something from the delivery service today or bought the cake for the school party? Admittedly, that requires a good portion of Self-confidence. Our Webinar helps you work on just that. So be brave, live self-determined and defeat the Mental Load!
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