Pandemic Parental Burnout: Tips for Coping When it Happens to You
A recent survey that included 42 countries revealed that parents from the United States were among the highest populations suffering from burnout since the pandemic. With parents working from home, school closings, and the worry about grandparents getting ill, parents were left trying to do it all without social support. The biggest culprit for having burn out was the high level of individualism and self-reliance the parent reported.
In the United States where individualism is popular and respected, families were left alone to deal with everything from educating, caring for, and entertaining their children while also working a full-time job. Parents witnessed deaths of loved ones, heightening anxiety, and stress to an all-time high. Poor mental health of parents also impacts the children; surveys revealed that when mom and dad are stressed and exhausted, their children are, too.
If you feel like you have hit the wall and are burned out or are trying to prevent burnout, here are suggestions to feel calmer and more in control.
1. Accept that you are not alone. The pandemic was global and so is burnout. Parents got hit with severe symptoms of PTSD, as well as exhaustion, stress, and anxiety.
2. Put a pause on personal and professional goals. It’s okay not to push yourself to the max. Many are feeling antsy and anxious to get their old life back as restrictions lift. Take time to let yourself heal and work through struggles that accumulated during the pandemic.
3. Let your kids get some space. Children don’t need their parents constantly. Allowing your children some space gives you a much-needed break to do things you enjoy.
4. Socialize as much as needed. Introverts and extroverts need different levels of social interaction, so don’t feel guilty if you need time to yourself. Feeling socially isolated during the pandemic was devastating to many parents. Parents need other parents, and they need emotional support. Socializing with our friends and family reminds us that we are not alone, and we have others we can rely on.
Globally, we will all suffer some emotional stress from the pandemic. Humans need to connect and feel supported by each other. When we are exhausted and burned out, we don’t manage our feelings well; give each other the benefit of the doubt, be kind, and help build one another up.