3 am and another night feed was upon me. It had been night after night with little sleep, being woken every couple of hours… and I started tapping….
Even though I’m fed up feeding again, I accept myself for this feeling - I know it’s a phase and it will pass.
I could feel the tears dissipating, myself relaxing and - most surprisingly - my baby started to relax.
Tapping on the niggles
I don’t know why, but it never became a habit for me to tap in those moments where I was struggling. Since doing my EFT practitioner training, I have spent a lot of time on my own issues tapping using the Personal Peace Procedure. I would often tap for any big events or situations (i.e. before going to speak at an event, or if something had upset me). I have rarely used it for all those issues that niggle away at me on a day to day basis.
That night, it changed. I started tapping on all these relatively small daily issues that were bothering me. It made a huge difference to so much. How I felt, how I was able to prioritise, my sleep, the velocity of the emotions I was feeling. And I was able to stop that inner constant voice.
The overflowing cup
At the time, I was working with a client on migraines. During our session, it became clear that the migraines came when her cup became too full. Too much excitement as well as too much stress. It was what she was holding all at once.
After that session I started to reflect on myself. I realised that I, like so many others and especially mums, was holding on to so much all the time. It wasn't just the bad stress, but all the emotions and feelings I was containing. As mothers, we are literally juggling so many roles all at once. What could be more helpful than to spend just 5 minutes each day discharging some of those emotions? I noticed how much better I felt for those 5 minutes most days, and how much it helped me adapting to life with my fourth son. I was keen to get the tapping out to a much wider community.
5 minutes a day
I set up a pilot group to test the theory of the effectiveness of 5 minutes of tapping each day. Those who regularly committed to doing the EFT for 5 minutes every day noticed day to day changes in their life. (I have to be clear that, of the 75 that signed up for the free trial ,only about 15 regularly did EFT). They reported better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and in control of their emotions. They weren’t on autopilot, their anxiety was reduced, and they took the opportunity to rest rather than keep going. They felt more connected to their children, they didn’t feel guilty about looking after themselves - and so much more.
The group that was set up, Overcome the Overload, has now evolved and grown into a fully established group running since April 2019. There are a number of common themes in amongst the group. Mum guilt, not feeling good enough, phone overuse, emotional eating/spending, over committing. Struggling with boundaries, finding parenting hard at times, resentment towards partners/others, relationship issues and more.
It is rewarding to see a community of mums now using EFT every day to support themselves to feel better, for just a 5-minute commitment each day. We don’t aim for perfect, but we accept that each day we are absolutely doing our best. We learn through our mistakes, and that we can always be improving.
Mum-specific scripts for you to try
If you are familiar with EFT here are some of the types of scripts we use:
Even though I’m struggling as I feel like I have too many tabs open, I accept that I’m doing my best.
Even though I find my child’s behaviour difficult, I accept my feelings. I love my child and I know we are both doing our best.
Even though I feel frustrated by how tired I am and my baby’s sleep, I accept how I feel. I know this is a phase and it will one day get better.
Even though I feel resentful that everything is left to me to do, I accept myself for these feelings and I’m open to working out some solutions.
Even though I feel guilty for looking after me because I don’t deserve it, I’m open to accepting that I deserve time to myself and it will make me a better mum.
Whether you are a mother or not, 5 minutes a day is such an achievable time to set aside. Once you are in the habit of using EFT, it then becomes your go-to tool when that discomfort or unease arises. Yes, those 5 minutes won’t work through any of our deep traumas, experiences, fears, issues and beliefs. However, it will certainly help us to feel much better every single day.
Rippling effect of mums feeling better
Mums hold such a pivotal role in society and improving their wellbeing has a much wider benefit. When mums feel better, this ripples out to their relationship with their children, improving their outcomes. It improves their relationships with their partners, making for a more settled environment. And it extends out to their wider families, communities and society.… All from a very achievable 5 minutes a day.
Tricia is an EFT Therapist, Fertility, Birth and Parenting Coach, Birth and Perinatal Trauma Practitioner and Doula. She is a mum to 4 boys, married to Alasdair and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland and campaigns for awareness and improvements for maternal mental health.