There’s no getting around it: it can be extremely difficult to strike a good balance between family, work, and all of the other demands that COVID-19 has placed on us. During this uncertain time, you may be experiencing burnout symptoms such as exhaustion, frustration, and a numb feeling. Fortunately, there are many simple changes you can make to help you and your family perform at their best.
Method 1 Spending Quality Time Together
1. Assist your family in remaining socialised. When your stay-at-home orders are lifted, plan outdoor play dates with your friends and neighbours to keep your spirits up. Find a nearby outdoor area where you can mingle while remaining a safe 6 feet tall (1.8 m). Make an effort not to hug or shake hands, and teach your children to do the same.
You could, for example, meet in someone’s yard or at a nearby park.
If you’re going out in public, make sure you’re wearing a mask.
2. Stop fights so that everyone can talk it out. Encourage everyone to put down their weapons so you can figure out what the real problem is. Create a safe space for your loved ones to express themselves in an open and safe environment. Allow everyone time to reflect on what has occurred before reaching a decision. At this point, remind your family members to keep the lines of communication open in order to avoid future arguments and burnout.
Burnout can occur in your household if there is a lot of stress.
For example, if your children are arguing about who gets to use the Xbox, put a stop to it and encourage your children to listen to one another. Make a compromise, such as allowing each child to play for 30 minutes before allowing the other to play.
3. Make time to play with your children. It is all too easy to become distracted by chores, work, and other obligations. Nonetheless, make an effort to spend quality time with your children every day, whether it’s playing catch outside or watching a movie together. When you’re stuck at home, there are numerous opportunities to bond with your children, which may help to reduce burnout.
You could, for example, invite your children to assist you in the preparation of dinner.
You can always organise a family game night for the entire family.
4. Prioritize quality time with your partner. Make time during the week for “date night” with your partner. You can watch a movie, have a candlelight dinner, play board games, or do anything else that involves you both spending quality time together.
When you’re not spending time together, leave each other sweet notes.
5. Make contact with your elderly relatives so they do not feel alone. Make time during the week to call or video chat with your elderly loved ones, especially if they are isolated. Spending quality time with your loved ones may assist you in overcoming feelings of family burnout.
For example, you and your children could schedule a weekly FaceTime session with their grandparents on Saturday afternoons.
Method 2 Caring for Your Mental Health
1. Keep an eye out for signs of exhaustion and negative emotions in your family. Burnout is a broad concept that can manifest itself in a variety of ways. As you try to adjust to the pandemic’s demands, you may feel exhausted, frustrated, or emotionally distant from your children. You may also feel disappointed in yourself for not being a “perfect parent,” and you may become more emotional throughout the day.
It’s useful to understand how you’re burning out so you can address it more effectively.
For example, frustration from family burnout may cause you to snap at your children or to believe that nothing you do is good enough.
Feeling drained, feeling like a failure, a lack of motivation, a negative attitude, and other symptoms of burnout should be avoided.
If you’re a single parent or a caregiver for a special-needs child, you’re especially vulnerable to burnout.
2. Check to see if you or your partner are having difficulty making decisions. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way many of us do things, such as ordering food rather than going to the grocery store. Even if you aren’t aware of it at first, these seemingly insignificant decisions can accumulate into stressors that lead to burnout. Keep an emotional eye on yourself and your partner to see how you’re both feeling. If making small decisions exhausts and frustrates you, you may be suffering from decision fatigue.
Remember that, as difficult as things may be right now, the COVID-19 pandemic will not last forever. You and your family will make it through!
3. Take rest breaks as needed. Allow yourself some breathing space if the world around you is too much for you. Tell your children that you’ll be leaving for a moment, but that you’ll be right back. Get some fresh air or sit in a quiet place for a few minutes during your break to recharge.
Request assistance from other adults in the household to care for children so that you can take breaks as needed.
4. Engage in relaxing activities to help take your mind off of things. Choose activities that allow you to express yourself, such as drawing or painting. You might also enjoy watching some amusing videos or relaxing with a guided meditation. A warm bath may help you relax if you’re really looking to unwind.
There are numerous apps that provide guided meditations.
If you prefer to get your blood pumping, you might enjoy watching a yoga video.
5. Concentrate on completing one task at a time. Consider everything you have on your plate right now. It’s natural and understandable to feel overwhelmed during a pandemic, and you may not have the time or energy you once did. Consider delegating some of your household tasks and focusing your energy on a single task that needs to be completed.
Although mental check-ins aren’t very actionable, they’re a great way to get a sense of how you’re feeling and coping.
You’ll feel a lot more in control if you focus on just one thing.
6. Participate in a peer support group. Admitting that you might need some extra help is not a sign of weakness or shame. You may not feel at the top of your game during the COVID-19 outbreak, which may be contributing to your sense of burnout. Look for different support groups online where you can talk about how you’re feeling. You might be surprised to learn how many other people are going through the same thing as you!
There are classes, for example, that can help you with your coping skills as well as other mental illness issues like anxiety or depression.
Method 3 Establishing Routines and Habits
1. Make a weekly schedule for your family. Make a schedule for yourself to follow, which may make your week feel a lot more manageable. Make a list of everything that will happen during the week, and then print out copies of the schedule you’ve created. Bring this schedule to work with you or post it somewhere in your home so you always know what’s going on.
This is an excellent choice for families with demanding schedules.
2. Limit your exposure to the news. There’s a lot of bad news in the world right now, and COVID-19 is a frightening thought in general. Keep the TV off as much as possible to avoid filling you and your children with unnecessary anxiety or negativity. If you must watch the news, stick to reliable programmes that provide factual information rather than opinion programming.
This includes limiting the amount of time you spend on the internet and on social media.
3. You should be an example of good, emotionally healthy behaviour for your children. Even if you aren’t aware of it, you are being held up as an example. Take some time to express some of the emotions you and your children are experiencing. Use these labels to help your children understand your own mood swings caused by burnout.
For example, you could say, “I was a little mad earlier, but now I’m a lot happier.” It’s okay and normal to feel a variety of emotions while we’re stuck at home.”
4. Set limits for your work and family time if you work from home. Make a separate routine for yourself so that your personal and professional lives do not become entangled, leading to feelings of burnout. Put on separate work clothes and set aside a specific area in your home for work-related items. Hide your work items at the end of your “work day” so you aren’t tempted to think about them. Change your clothes as well, so you can return to your personal, family life.
Inform your family about your work schedule and when you will be available for family time.
Method 4 Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Maintain a healthy diet. Choose a variety of nutritious foods that are good for you to keep you feeling your best. When you make healthy food choices for your family, you may notice an improvement in your overall mood and health!
Each day, aim for 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours.
Consider adopting the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to help reduce inflammation.
You may not feel as burnt out if you eat healthy foods that keep you in great shape.
2. Every day, exercise for 30 minutes. Choose a movement-inducing activity, such as biking, hiking, or a simple yoga routine. Try to get a half-hour of exercise every day, even if it’s just doing chores. Exercise will help you stay in shape, which may help you avoid family burnout.
Exercise can be obtained in a variety of ways, such as dancing or exercising during a commercial break on television.
3. Maintain your ground by practising mindfulness. Spend time with your family focusing on what is happening right now rather than worrying about the future. If you notice a family member who appears distracted or worried, try to entice them to return to the present moment. You can practise mindfulness through enjoyable activities that will help you improve your attitude and mindset in the long run.
Paying attention to the sensations of your feet against the ground is a quick and easy way to ground yourself. You can also concentrate on your breathing sensations, such as the influx of air through your nostrils or the rise and fall of your chest.
For example, you can listen to The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” and count how many times you hear the words “baby,” “shake,” “twist,” and “shout” in the song.
Set a timer for one minute and have everyone stare at each other’s shoes. When the timer goes off, you can describe everything you saw.
4. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night. As an adult, make every effort to get a good night’s sleep so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, you may become irritable and perform poorly. If you have children, make sure that your grade-school children get at least 9 hours of sleep per night and your teenagers get at least 8 hours.
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