Skip to main content

5 Powerfully Effective Ways To Deal With Parental Burnout

Parental burnout is a real thing. It happens when you're constantly surrounded by people who need you and expect things from you. It's easy to get worn down and feel like you're doing nothing but work, and even harder to admit it's happening.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone! Parental burnout is a common problem among parents of all ages. Throughout the child-rearing journey, you put in the hard work required to raise healthy and happy children and sustain a happy home life.

But when you look at the big picture, it's easy to get lost among all the responsibilities and neglect self-care. As a result, your mental health suffers. That’s not healthy or productive for anyone! Let’s look at some effective ways to manage the stress that comes when you’re burned out as a parent.

Take a Deep Breath

When you're feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath. It may sound silly, but it's effective. Take a few seconds to breathe deeply and focus on your breathing as it enters and leaves your body. Count to ten in this manner until you begin to feel calmer.

You might also want to visualize yourself connecting with the earth--taking root as it does when water begins to evaporate from its surface and rain falls into its soil--and then pulling that energy up through your feet into the ground again, before releasing it back into the atmosphere.

This will help ground any excess energy that may contribute to your burnout. It'll also help you feel calmer, so that you can more effectively deal with tasks at hand (or just chill out).

Do Something Just for You

Take time to do something you enjoy: read, cook, play music, or take a bath or shower. Use free moments that you have to do something pleasurable. For example, listen to audio books and podcasts during commutes.

Take a walk outside if possible (weather permitting). If not, go for a run around the block. Even if it's only five minutes long, it will help get rid of some stress in the morning or before bedtime. Don't let the weather deter you from taking outdoor breaks. Try walking in the rain! You'll be surprised at how calming raindrops hitting your skin are.

Meditate or do yoga at home to calm your mind and body. Meditation and yoga lower the stress hormone cortisol for less anxiety and a greater sense of well-being. There are many self-care practices that don't require significant investments of time.

Scroll to Continue

Cut Back on Social Media

Limit time spent on social media. How long do you spend on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Consider slashing the amount of time you spend per day on these platforms by half. This will give you a chance to rest from the constant stream of information coming at you from all directions.

Turn off notifications from social media apps so they don't distract and pull away your attention when it's not necessary (i.e., when it's dinner time). If there are certain people who post things that get under your skin, unfollow them! Even better: Unfriend them . It's important to surround yourself with positive influences, rather than negative ones.

Make Time for Family Fun

Take time to enjoy family fun. If you're feeling overwhelmed, make a list of things that you can do as a family, and prioritize them. For example, if your kids love playing board games, schedule time during the week to play those games together.

If there are extracurricular activities your child wants to participate in (such as sports), check with other parents who have children in the same age range and ask if they would like help organizing rides or carpooling to practices and games.

Family bonding is important for everyone involved -- not just the parent responsible for all the planning.

Get Help When You Need It

Ask for help when you need it. It's okay to ask for help from your partner, family or friends, and don't be afraid to ask friends who have children of their own if they have advice. Be honest about how you feel. Remember, no one is perfect. Everyone goes through rough patches in life, but this is normal and doesn't mean you're failing as a parent!

Don't blame yourself either. Taking care of children is no easy task, so give yourself permission to make mistakes sometimes (everyone does!) If necessary, seek professional support from family doctors, social services or child psychologists/therapists who can provide useful tips on how to deal with situations such as these.

Don't Be Afraid to Let Others Know How You Feel

If you're having a bad day, let your kids know. They might not understand why, but they'll still want to help you and make things better. If they're old enough, they'll understand if you explain why you're so stressed out and what they can do to help around the house or make life easier for everyone involved.

Even little kids can help by picking up toys or feeding pets while watching TV or playing games on their own devices. Anything that takes some of the burden off mom and dad so they can relax or unwind for a few minutes at a time will go a long way toward giving everyone more energy for whatever comes next in your day-to-day life as a family.

Parental Burnout Is Normal

When dealing with parental burnout, the most important thing is to remember that it's normal. Not fun, but normal. All parents and guardians are bound to endure a certain level of burnout at some point in their parenting careers. The good news is that there are many things you can do to get past or prevent it. Hopefully, these tips will help you get back on track.

References:

  • "Burnout | Psychology Today." .psychologytoday.com/us/basics/burnout.
  • "The impact of parental burnout." 01 Oct. 2021, .apa.org/monitor/2021/10/cover-parental-burnout.
  • "What to Know About Parental Burnout - WebMD." .webmd.com/parenting/what-to-know-about-parental-burnout.

Related Articles