Struggling to juggle kids and work? Here are five ways to reduce parental burnout
Struggling to juggle looking after your children and working? Here are five ways you can reduce parental burnout.
If the thought of another day of juggling work, kids and household tasks when teachers strike again this week has left you feeling unable to cope, you’re not alone.
Newly published survey data reveals the extent of burnt-out parents, also known as BOPs, as two thirds (63%) are left feeling stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed, forcing them to seek help.
Parenting isn’t easy. From the meal prep, school runs and activities, to the lack of sleep and constant worrying. It’s no wonder that parents get overwhelmed sometimes, and, if extreme tiredness and stress isn’t addressed, burnout can occur.
Commenting on the rise of BOPs, Selina Barker, Burnout Coach and author of Burnt out: The Exhausted Person’s Guide to Thriving in a Fast-paced World, says:
“Parental burnout is the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that one feels from the chronic stress of parenting.
“It’s that feeling that you simply can’t cope anymore. It can manifest with emotional distancing from your child, increased irritability, and impatience. Some burnt out parents may experience forgetfulness or increased feelings of anxiety or depression, and many question their ability to parent in the first place.”
Due to excessive levels of stress, low energy, and prolonged feelings of physical, mental or emotional exhaustion, 39% of BOPs sought help from their GP, some of whom were prescribed anti-depressants and other medications.
However, 80% of BOPs would prefer to manage symptoms naturally and would consider using a traditional herbal remedy in the future.
Five ways you can reduce parental burnout
According to Selina, managing parental burnout begins with acknowledging what you need. It’s far too easy to slip into the self-sacrificing parent and to think that being exhausted is ‘just how it is’. It isn’t. If every day is a struggle, then something needs to change.
Selina recommends her clients try a range of different strategies to help them put their needs first. Incorporating just a few of these into your daily routines can help to restore a sense of calmness, and tackle the symptoms experienced by parental burnout. Here are five can try.
1) Schedule breaks from parenting
Parenting is a 24/7 commitment, but it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to need time away from your children, partner, work, and home responsibilities. Even two minutes of putting down the to-do list, kicking back and relaxing for a moment can help you to calm your nervous system and recharge your batteries.
Look at what mini breaks you can give yourself throughout the day to be still for a moment and breathe. It can be as simple as a walk through the park, a cup of tea on your own, or a 5-minute meditation in the bathroom with the door locked.
2) When it’s time for bed, go to sleep
Late night scrolling on social media to reclaim back the ’me time’ that you didn’t get during the day can be tempting. However, this habit robs us of valuable shuteye and can result in unhealthy comparison loops.
Set aside your phone an hour before you intend to sleep and replace that scrolling time with something that really helps you to relax and restore your energy. Try a hot bath, a guided meditation, reading time, journaling, or some wind-down yoga.
3) Try a herbal remedy
Try an energising adaptogen to help regulate stress and feel more alert throughout the day. One example is Kalms Rhodiola, which is made from Rhodiola Rosea, a powerful herb that can help your body and brain process stress more effectively.
Studies have shown herbal remedies like this can reduce symptoms of exhaustion, stress and mild anxiety and help to restore your energy levels.
4) Do things that help you release the stresses of the day
Parenting, as wonderful and magical as it can be, can also be challenging at times. On those stressful days, it’s important that you have methods to direct and relieve tension.
Dancing around your kitchen with kids, stomping through the park, laughing with friends or a burst of exercise can all help you to release the stresses of the day, put things in perspective and generate feel-good hormones.
5) Get the help that you need
One of the most important things you can do, for yourself and for your child, is to ask for AND GET the support you need. It is NOT a sign of weakness, but strength. Knowledge is power.
So, recognise when you are feeling overwhelmed or in any way struggling, and ask for help – this could be from a friend, family, partner or professional.
Kalms Rhodiola Tablets offer a relief from stress, exhaustion and fatigue, common symptoms associated with burnout.