It’s no secret that parenting is physically exhausting. But one thing that doesn’t get enough attention is how emotionally draining it can be as well. Have you ever stopped to think about the number of things you have to coordinate when caring for your little ones?
On any given day, you have to plan their meals, get them ready for school, ensure they attend soccer practice or debate club, buy school supplies, and do so much more. This doesn’t even include the bombshells they drop on your lap; like the fight, they had over lunch or the math test they failed.
All these issues can take a toll on your emotional well-being. So what should you do when you feel emotionally drained? Here are a few tips that will come in handy.
Tips for Emotional Exhaustion
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
A lot of parents are hesitant to ask for help, especially those who take pride in being competent and independent.
However, it’s totally fine to ask for help every once in a while, more so when you’re feeling mentally exhausted. Contrary to what you might think, seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s also not an indication of bad parenting.
So who should you go to for help? Well, friends or family members who have faced similar situations can offer excellent emotional support. But if you’re more of a conservative individual, then consider parental support groups either online or within your community.
Wake Up Before Your Kids Do
As a parent, your life probably revolves around your kids’ routines. You wake up just in time to make breakfast and get them ready for school. You then go to work and head back home just in time to prepare dinner.
Oftentimes, this recurring cycle leaves you both mentally and physically drained. The core reason for this exhaustion is the fact that you never have time for yourself.
The million-dollar question is, “How could you possibly have time for yourself with such a busy schedule?” Well, the secret is to wake up earlier. Getting up early gives you ample time to care for yourself before you have to care for others.
Go for Breaks
One of the reasons why parents become overwhelmed is because they’re trying to accomplish everything at once. To avoid this, you should take occasional breaks, no matter how brief they are.
Whenever you start feeling overwhelmed, stop what you’re doing and look for a private spot. This could be your backyard, bedroom, or bathroom.
Spend the next few minutes calming yourself down, meditating, or even listening to some music. If you don’t find this relaxing, then you can engage in a different activity that’s calming for you. For some, calling a friend or relative gives you a more calming effect than being alone.
Did you know that exercising is just as effective as using drugs to treat mental health problems like depression? That’s right.
Based on the study highlighted in this article, virtually any form of exercise significantly decreases the symptoms associated with depression. This isn’t the only benefit though. The perks of working out for one’s emotional well-being are well documented.
Is your schedule too busy to squeeze in a yoga session or gym workout? No worries. There are other ways of exercising from home. The trick is to incorporate these tasks into your routine.
Playing Monopoly with your kids? Leverage this time to do some stretching exercises. Do you always read to your kids before bedtime? You can do so while extending your legs to the nearest wall and holding them in a restorative yoga pose.
Staying organized is probably not something that you think about often. However, this simple activity goes a long way in helping you stay calm and relaxed.
Generally, the more organized you are, the easier your routine flows. This then minimizes the risk of experiencing emotional exhaustion. Here are a couple of tips to make your life more organized:
- Plan weekly meals during the weekend - If you tend to have more free time during the weekend than on weekdays, then consider planning your meals then. Create a timetable for what you’ll have each day. If there are certain meals that you can make ahead of time, the better.
- Create a plan for the next day or the previous night - Are you planning to buy some groceries or attend a parent-teacher meeting? Create a list of all the things you need to do the following day. This way, you know exactly what to embark on when you wake up.
- Lay your outfit the night before - In addition to creating a to-do list, ensure you lay out your clothes the previous night. You don’t want to be looking for a tie when you’re 30 minutes late to work the next morning.
Abandon the Mantra of Perfect Parenting
We live in an era where social media dictates virtually everything; from how we dress to the company we keep and the way we parent.
Despite what’s displayed on social media, the truth is that no one parent is perfect! The representation of parenthood that’s displayed on social media platforms is highly exaggerated and at times, completely false.
Just because a fellow parent managed to take their kids to Disneyland for Easter doesn’t make them better. If you dig deep, you’ll realize that they face a similar set of challenges as you do. So stop wallowing in self-defeat. Instead, pat yourself on the back for the things you’ve accomplished so far and treat mistakes as learning opportunities.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve been feeling emotionally drained, you mustn’t ignore those emotions. Acknowledging that you’re exhausted is a step in the right direction.
The next steps you’ll want to take are taking a break and asking for help. Request a relative, neighbor, or colleague to take care of your kids briefly as you unwind and come up with a new game plan. Should you consider hiring a nanny to reduce your workload? Perhaps, juggling two jobs and parenting is too much?
Whatever plan you come up with, make the necessary changes you need to promote your mental well-being. Once you’ve overcome the exhaustion, incorporate other healthy habits into your routine. These include exercising, taking regular breaks, waking up earlier than your kids, and staying organized.
Want to learn more parenting tips for a healthier mind and body, click this.