Do you feel irritated, annoyed or stressed most days?
Do you find yourself snapping at your children, partner/spouse, friends or co-workers?
Do you feel exhausted most days regardless of how much rest and sleep you get?
Have you lost interest in doing activities you once enjoyed?
Do you have difficulty taking care of your children and find their needs overwhelming?
Do you believe you have to be perfect?
YES YES AND YES!!! I was reading this article called "Are you Burned out Mom?" by drclairenicogossian and it struck home for me. Regardless if you are a mom or single we all can get to the point of exhaustion and feel burned out. After my 3rd baby I found myself feeling exhausted and overwhelmed everyday. I love my three boys and would not change them for the world but I did have to change my way of thinking and how much pressure I put on myself. I am a perfectionist at heart and I am also a person who reflects on myself and my actions daily. This last year I kept seeing someone who I didn't want to be. Tired, frustrated, guilty, grumpy, and feeling like I failed most of the time. I set myself up for failure everyday when I created unnecessary lists and tasks in my head that were not realistic and then when I didn't accomplish it I would get angry at myself and others around me. So how did I over come it? Well I haven't, I am trying to take one day at a time and one task at a time. Everyday I start with quiet time in the morning and reading scriptures. This helps me relax and focus on what is really important in my life then I make a list of what needs to be done and what is most important. At the end of the day I cross off what is done and move it to the next day. But the one thing I am really working on is making some quiet time without lists and just be. In order to get over this burn out you have to find time for you that gives you peace and tranquility. Here were some suggestions from her article:
So what do you do if you notice you are experiencing burnout?
1.Identify the source of stress.
2.Are you able to reduce the stress?
3.Is it short-term or more long-term stress? (Consider: If stress is more long-term, e.g., partner’s unemployment or change of health in your parent, then you will need to make a plan to cope with the chronic stress.)
4.Reach out to supportive people in your life to talk and receive support.
5.Limit perfectionistic thinking (e.g., “I have to do it all perfectly, If it isn’t done my way, then it’s wrong, I’m the only one who can do things right.”)
6.Make a list of the helpful ways you cope with stress. (If you need a few ideas, check out this list of ways to cope with stress, here.)
7.Find a way to schedule time each day to engage in one of these activities, even if it is fifteen-minutes.
8.Ask your partner/spouse/family members to help with tasks that are stressful.
9.Look at the tasks; what you have to do versus what you want to do? For example, group tasks into categories: Have to get done, Can wait until tomorrow, Later in the week and When I can get to it.
10.Increase activities of rest and happiness.
11.Allow yourself to have time away from your children without feeling guilty. Even small amounts of time away can be beneficial to cope with the demands of raising a child and the added stress in your life.
12.If you notice chronic stress and burnout, reach out to a mental health professional or medical doctor for assessment and support.
13.Brief therapy, (e.g., four to eight sessions), can be beneficial for coping with stress.
Burnout happens in life at some point. When it happens, suspend judging yourself negatively and harshly. You are not a failure because you experience symptoms of burnout. Instead, be compassionate to yourself, increase self-care and coping, and make small changes to manage the stress in your life. Maybe finding time to exercise or taking a walk or reading a book outside. Find time for you so you can give to others.