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Identifying and Helping to Alleviate Burnout


Burnout Symptoms

  • Tired due to mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion

  • Depressed

  • Restless at work

  • focusingTrouble

  • Headaches

  • Relying on drugs/ alcohol / food to cope

  • Shortness of breath

  • Things are upsetting you that didn't before

  • Cynical

  • Useless/hopeless

  • Highly Irritable

  • Trouble Sleeping

  • Tummy Problems

  • Feeling detached from reality/your loved ones

  • Forgetfulness

  • Isolation

  • Anxiety

  • Having trouble making decisions

You Are Not in This Alone

  • Take care of the basic needs of yourself and your children first and foremost before tackling other tasks. Focus on food, water, sleep, and shelter.

  • You're doing the best you can under the circumstances.

  • Do not feel like you have to do everything alone. Running a household is exhausting and is too big of a job for one person.

  • Simplify your day as much as possible. Look up "one-pot meals" to alleviate dishes,and allow one extra hour of screen time if it means you can get stuff done.

  • If you have a partner have an open conversation with them about your expectationsfor each other throughout the day.

  • Consider having "on-times" and "off-times" for each parent. Make a sign or let yourchildren know that if they need help, they can ask the parent who is "on" at themoment.

  • You want your kids to feel comfortable expressing their own feelings and mental health. Model that behavior and be honest with them about your struggles.


Take Back Control

  • Often times stress and subsequent burnout comes from the same or similar sources. Identify what those sources are and whether or not you have any control over them. Somethings are not in our hands. Make a list to fully visualize what you can control and what you can't. If you can't control it try and let, go of some of the stress associated with it.

  • At the beginning of your day sit down and make a to-do list. Prioritize what MUST be done that day and then things that you would like done. Focus on the priorities and if you get to the rest that is great but do not feel bad if you don't.

  • If you have a partner have an open conversation with them about your expectations for each other throughout the day.

  • Consider having "on-times" and "off-times" for each parent. Make a sign or let your children know that if they need help, they can ask the parent who is "on" at the moment.

Have an Outlet

  • Make it a point to talk about things other than stressors. Whether it is reality tv, professional sports, a movie, or a book, talk about things that temporarily take you out of this dark reality we are living in.

  • "Downtime" is a foreign concept to parents raising children who are struggling. Rethink what self-care means for you and your current situation. Maybe it is as simple as taking a couple of extra minutes in the shower or telling your children you have a work obligation but just sitting at your desk and allowing yourself a moment of silence.

  • Have something that you look forward to outside of work. Right now, it can feel like a never-ending cycle of work, stress, (barely) sleep, and repeat. Whether it is a new tv show, a hobby, or something else; everything is so heavy right now and you deserve some light and fun time.


Manage Your Work-Related Stress

  • Be mindful of the food you put into your body and use it as fuel. Try to eat filling meals full of carbs and protein often so that you have as much energy as possible to tackle your day.

  • If you feel comfortable, consider talking to your boss about your burnout and how your work hours/workload impacts it. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your boss, think about what you can do to alleviate work stress. Set hard boundaries for your working hours, turn off notifications after those hours, and take your time responding to emails in general.

  • If you work on a computer all day make it a point to unplug from technology when you are not working.

Challenges Unique to Single Parents

  • If you are a single parent, it can be hard to relate to someone who can lean on their partner for emotional and financial support. Think of all of the other single parents in your life and reach out to them offering your help while also seeking help from them.This could mean helping to watch each other's children or just simply having someone to talk and relate to can feel like you are taking a weight off of yourself.

  • Schedule facetime/video calls with any trusted adult in your child(ren)'s life. Whether it is a non-custodial parent, grandparent, etc. ask them if they would be interested in chatting with your child, even if it's for 20 minutes. Now that is 20 minutes where you can be uninterrupted to get things done or relax, and you know that they are interacting with someone you trust.

  • You cannot do everything alone. If you have a trusted neighbor or friend consider asking them for support.

  • A parent who is raising a child that is struggling has different challenges than other parents. When thinking about how to expand your bubble consider opting for another parent/parents who are also raising a child that is struggling because they get it. Or go with someone whom you know can handle watching your child.

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