How working parents can spot the signs of burnout
Yen also notes other red flags that characterize parent burnout, such as feeling angry or frustrated at having to take care of their children and starting to physically or emotionally separate from them. Burnout parents can also feel trapped or daydream about leaving, she adds.
While the new report may be useful to clinicians, the researchers wrote it directly for working parents. It includes a new burnout scale They hope parents will use this to gauge how they are doing, including 10 statements such as: “I wake up tired thinking about another day with my baby” or “I feel like I is in survival mode as a parent.” Parents can agree or disagree with each opinion on a scale of “not at all” to “very much”. They were then given a final score that could help indicate whether they had what the researchers considered mild, moderate, or severe burnout.
What to do about parental burnout?
Regardless of where parents are working in that regard, it can be helpful for them to first acknowledge that many of the challenges they are facing are beyond their control. It is not possible to be a dedicated worker and a dedicated carer at the same time without adequate support. “Self-compassion is very important,” says Dr. Melnyk.
But parents dealing with mild burnout can make immediate changes to prevent more serious burnout. Find small ways to ask for help, researchers say. If you can, ask a family member or neighbor to help take care of the kids, even if you just want to give yourself a short break. If you’re responsible for getting your child to and from school, activities, and play dates, find other people to ride with you so you don’t get tired.
The report found that 68% of working moms say they’re exhausted compared to 42% of working dads, so taking breaks and asking women for help can be especially important – though though it may not be that simple or easy.
Stressed parents may also find it helpful to achieve a sense of calm and calm by practicing mindfulness. From research that mindfulness can help reduce parental stress, which in turn can help improve children’s psychological outcomes. It can be as simple as intentionally feeling the bottom of your feet on the floor and taking a deep breath, Ms. Kripke says.
But breathing alone will not solve this. Parents with more severe burnout should contact their primary care physician or mental health provider immediately. They can screen for problems like anxiety and depression. (If you are Not sure how to find a mental health providerIt can be helpful to start by searching for free online directories, like Alma, ZocDoc, King or Go ahead.)