A mother’s touch is known to have magical healing powers for a child.
The connection between a mother and their child is as physical as it is emotional. They are a part of our bodies, we feed them from our bodies, and we comfort them with our bodies. Our bodies are the go-to place for our children when they need to feel safe and secure. So at the end of a long day, mothers often end up feeling over touched or overstimulated.
The sensation of being over touched can have a big impact on our mental health. With our skin being our largest organ, it’s no surprise that a large amount of extra stimulation can cause us to feel frazzled and overworked. We end up feeling irritable, annoyed, anxious or even angry. It can cause insomnia and other sleep disturbances. And feeling over touched can have an effect on our relationships as well because it’s unlikely we’ll want to be intimate at the end of the day, either.
If you are feeling over touched after a constantly caring for and hugging babies, try these five techniques to help reset your nervous system.
1. Take a Time Out
It makes sense that if you’re feeling over touched, a quick fix would be to spend some time not being touched at all. It’s easier said than done for a busy mom, however. The sensation of feeling over touched on a regular basis can build up. Eventually causing worse symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. So it’s important to break that cycle of feeling over touched as regularly as possible.
Start by scheduling yourself some self-care time. Pick a day when your spouse (or someone else) is available to watch the kids in the evening and take an hour or two to yourself. Retreat to your bedroom or another comfortable space and focus just on yourself. You don’t have to do anything at all if you don’t want to.
If you can make this a regular habit, whether daily, weekly or longer, then you can reset your sense of touch and feel refreshed and re-energized. Having the kids crawl all over you may be unavoidable, but at least you’ll be better equipped to handle another round of it.
2. Try Dry Brushing
Now, this one might sound like it makes a little less sense. If you’re already feeling over touched, then wouldn’t brushing your skin just make it worse?
If you’re not familiar with dry brushing, it consists of brushing your skin with a dry, natural bristle bath brush to help stimulate blood flow and massage the lymphatic system. It also has great skin exfoliation benefits, obviously. You can read more about dry brushing in this detailed guide.
One of the benefits of dry brushing is that it stimulates the lymph system, which is the system that is designed to cleanse our body of toxins and waste. Keeping this system moving throughout our bodies can actually boost our immune systems and keep us healthy. Dry brushing can produce an almost instant energy boost just by helping to circulate our lymph.
Dry brushing the entire body can help to reset the sensation of feeling over touched. It is a controlled and intentional way of stimulating the nervous system and sense of touch. Unlike being tugged at and climbed all over by our kids, we are in control of how our skin is being touched and stimulated.
3. Have a Hot Shower or Bath
Water can do wonders to wash away the feeling of being over touched. A hot shower, especially one with a massaging shower head, is another great way to provide full body stimulation to eliminate that feeling of being pulled and tugged at.
Try alternating between hot and cool water to encourage blood circulation and give you an energy boost. You can enhance the experience by using essential oil shower steamers or luxury soaps and body washes. A shower is especially wonderful after you’d tried dry brushing, as it helps to wash away all the exfoliated skin.
If you’d rather soak in the tub, then add a scoop of Epsom salts to the bath water or try some relaxing bath bombs. The magnesium in the Epsom salts will relax tired muscles and soften the skin. You can even brush your skin during or after the bath, just add a bit of coconut oil, or other essential oil to your brush.
And most importantly, don’t forget to moisturize afterwards. In fact, you should use a good quality moisturizer as often as possible throughout the day. Dry skin is much more sensitive to being touched. Winter can be especially harsh on skin, and if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, feeling over touched can contribute to other symptoms as well.
4. Lie Under a Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket, like dry brushing, is another form of intentional touch. It might sound counterproductive to use deep touch pressure therapy (DTP) when we already feel so over touched. But again, this is a different kind of touch that works like a giant reset button on our nervous system.
Think of a fussy baby being swaddled, or an anxious child being hugged tightly. Steady pressure that consumes our entire body at once can make us feel calm and boost our serotonin levels. But as an adult, it’s harder to find a way to create that sense of steady full body pressure.
Weighted blankets are an excellent solution. You can lie under a weighted blanket for anywhere from a few minutes to an entire night, depending on your preference. You are in complete control of removing it, so you don’t need to worry about feeling trapped or suffocated.
Using a weighted blanket can be especially helpful if feeling over touched is causing insomnia or night time anxiety. Over stimulation is a major cause of sleep disturbances. Using a weighted blanket can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.
The hardest part about using a weighted blanket is trying to choose which one is right for you. There are so many options in weight, filling, covers and sizes so how do you even know where to begin? Here are some tips about how to choose the right weighted blanket.
5. Sensory Deprivation Tank
This is, perhaps, one of the more extreme forms of therapy for feeling over touched, but it’s a luxurious way to relax and reset. Sensory deprivation tanks, or “float tanks” are popping up everywhere now. While it’s actually an ancient form of healing, they’ve become popular in modern society for their known benefits of relaxation.
If you haven’t heard of them, they’re basically a tank filled with water that is as close to your body temperature as possible. It also contains a high amount of Epsom salts so that your body easily floats and remains suspended in the water. It is designed to mimic the feeling of floating in space. Here is a detailed article that contains more information about sensory deprivation tanks and how they work.
In addition to the water, the tank is in complete isolation, which means that it’s dark and you’re cut off from outside sounds and smells. You are basically floating in complete nothingness. By depriving the body of all of it’s senses, you can be in a state of mindfulness and complete relaxation.
As a mother, you’re always ready and prepared to give the hugs and cuddles and be the rock for your children to climb on. Even when you’re feeling over touched, you’d never want to deprive them of that. But you can give better and stronger hugs when you’re feeling relaxed and rested. This is why self-care is such an important task for moms.
If the thought of being touched makes you cringe, it doesn’t make you a bad mother. While you may have to take a few additional steps to reset your senses each day, the feeling won’t last forever. So take care of yourself, mama, and then hug those babies. Because before you know it, you’ll have to chase them down just to get one.