Knowing how important it is to maintain our well-being as parents, what would you do to prevent parent burnout? You could probably quit your job if it were driving you crazy, but you can’t quit your children, no matter how much they exhaust you. Typical suggestions given to people that experience job stress (such as, take a vacation, set boundaries on your time, switch teams, etc.) do not quite work for parents. While setting boundaries is definitely a must, it can only be done to a certain extent because you cannot close the door on your children and “go home” — they are your home.
Even though some of these things are not really possible for parents, there are practical suggestions that you can benefit from right away, as long as you implement them consistently. Also, let’s keep in mind that often times it is a matter of degree rather than kind, when it comes to strategies. For example, even though you cannot take a leave of absence from your parenting job, like you potentially could from a job that burns you out, you can and need to take time away from your children on a regular basis, you just need to figure out for how long and how often would be possible.
Eight Steps to Preventing Parent Burnout
In this episode, we go over 8 STEPS that can get you started now on the path to either preventing parent burnout from happening, or recovering from it if you are heading there. Things we talk about are:
- accepting that we, as parents, come first
- understand that parent burnout does not go away on its own and requires intentional effort
- remembering the nervous system and the need to nurture our whole self
- finding your energy source and making space for it
- understanding that there is no place for guilt when it comes to taking care of oneself
- re-evaluating our priorities and standards
- remembering the basics of good care
- applying gratitude practice as the tool for the right perspective
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