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Article: Steps to Avoid Burnout as a Parent

Steps to Avoid Burnout as a Parent

Steps to Avoid Burnout as a Parent

Burnout is something I think all of us as parents experience at one point or another during our journey as parents. Parenting is a full-time job, and while it is incredibly rewarding it can be VERY tough at times. It can be exhausting, overwhelming, and stressful, and all these can lead to burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress. When parents experience burnout, they may feel overwhelmed, irritable, and exhausted, which can affect their ability to parent effectively.

Fortunately, there are several steps that parents can take to prevent burnout and maintain their mental and emotional well-being. In this blog post, we will discuss some practical tips that parents can follow to avoid burnout.

  1. Prioritize self-care: Taking care of yourself is essential for parents, and it should be a priority. It is vital to take care of yourself first so that you can take care of your children. Make time for yourself to relax, rest, and recharge your batteries to take on the day. This can include exercise, reading, spending time with friends, or any activity that you enjoy. You also want to prioritize your health by making sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy, and drink plenty of water.

  2. Ask for help: As parents we think we can do it all or we SHOULD do it all, however, there is no shame in asking for help. Parenting is a challenging job, and it is okay to ask for support from friends, family, or professionals. This can include asking for help with childcare, running errands, or even seeking professional counseling or therapy.

  3. Take breaks: It is okay to take breaks to clear your mind and reset - stepping away from responsibilities from time to time. It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk, or going to the gym. Personally, my gym time is my 1-2 hours to myself to physically & mentally decompress to that I come back refreshed and recharged and come back to parenting with renewed energy and focus.

  4. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on the present. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. You can practice mindfulness through meditation, yoga, or simply taking a few deep breaths. The Mayo Clinic has some great exercises that you can practice at home. Try to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine to help you stay centered and focused.

  5. Connect with other parents: Parenting can sometimes feel lonely, especially as a new parent. If you're one of the first in your friends group to have kids you may feel alone or that your 'old' friends don't understand. Joining a support group or parenting class can provide a sense of community, validation, and support. You can also connect with other parents online through social media or parenting forums.

  6. Be realistic: It is important to be realistic about your expectations and priorities. Parenting is a challenging job, and it is essential to have realistic expectations of yourself and your children. Be kind to yourself and recognize that you are doing the best you can.

  7. Take care of your relationship: Parenting can put a strain on relationships, and it is essential to take care of your relationship with your partner. One of the best tips I got when we had our first born was to still make my wife my top priority, not my newborn. Make time for each other, communicate openly and honestly, and find ways to support each other.  Also, schedule regular date nights with each other where you can spend time one on one uninterrupted. This can help strengthen your relationship and provide a source of emotional support during challenging times.

  8. Take a break from technology: For some, this may be the hardest one on the list to put into action. However, technology can be a source of stress and distraction, and it is essential to take a break from it from time to time. Try to disconnect from your phone or computer and focus on being present with your children and loved ones.

  9. Seek professional help: If you are experiencing significant burnout, anxiety, or depression, it is essential to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help you develop coping strategies, manage stress, and improve your mental and emotional well-being.

No one says that parenting is easy. There are days & times you may feel like you have everything figured out and then one kid has a meltdown while the other is coloring all over the walls. As parents, we have a lot on our plates every day, 365 days a year. It may feel like we have to take care of everything and, to be honest, we do. However, it's imperative to make sure we take care of ourselves and mediate our stress so that we don't experience burnout and we can be the best parents we can be to our kids. 

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