Parental burnout is a real, painful condition. If you have to shoulder most of the parenting responsibilities following your divorce, you may encounter feelings of burnout more regularly. According to the American Psychological Association, burnout is consistent, exhausting stress.
To protect yourself and your children, you have to know how to combat burnout when it happens.
What is burnout?
One of the first symptoms of burnout is exhaustion. You may notice you become more stressed and irritated throughout the day. Many parents begin to distance themselves from their children to save energy. They may not want to show them their frustration or feel too tired to match their energy. Parental burnout continues to build on itself.
When you feel burnout, you may need to change your perspective. Focus on little things you have control over in your life, rather than overwhelming problems you cannot change. If you do not address burnout, it can progress into anxiety and depression.
How can you fight burnout?
Do not fear asking for help. Reach out to your support system with your concerns. Friends and family may be able to help you look after your children, help you grocery shop or handle other errands for you. Be careful not to feel guilty about needing rest. Take regular breaks when you can. Try to teach our kids when you need quiet time to decompress.
Allow yourself to remember who you are outside of being a parent. Stay in touch with people you care about and reconnect with hobbies you enjoy. Dealing with parental burnout prevents you from neglecting your responsibilities and helps you find purpose again.