Today’s Solutions: August 11, 2022

If you are a parent, it’s been a challenging few months, to say the least. Life has asked you to play many roles: Full-time parent, full-time teacher, and perhaps full-time employee, too. Now summer is looming—and while some parts of the world are opening up, there is a good chance you will be asked to play the role of a camp counselor too.

Summer is supposed to be a time of relaxing and enjoying, but if you’re already feeling stressed going into the season, you may need some revitalization. With that in mind here are 5 strategies to manage burnout and stress as a parent.

Problem-solve: Prioritize your top goals; otherwise, every item on your to-do list will seem equally important. Additionally, make a list of the major stressors and situations that drain your energy, so you can be mindful of what is bombarding you. As you spin through daily life, it can be hard to pause and problem-solve. Brainstorm solutions on how to manage your priorities beforehand. 

Consider taking a social media break: Nurturing and restoring your energy may mean making some shifts in the way you are working, parenting, schooling, and operating in general. Social media rarely offers an effective solution to daily challenges. Many of us are at a breaking point; let scrolling be one of the things you let go.

Ask for help and delegate: Grandparents, aunts, friends, co-workers, and neighbors may be happy to help you lift some of the burdens. Delegating to children to help with chores and meal prep can also relieve drain while building critical life skills. The more you model self-care and seek help when you need it, the more it will allow your child to see that part of learning and growing is seeking help. 

Radically compartmentalize your life: Homeschooling and working from home leaves parents feeling burned out since work, parenting, and personal time are intermingled. Consider coordinating with your partner and children to review and revamp the current schedule in order to “chunk” more time for work, homeschooling, and parenting. 

Make a plan to cope with the runaway stress train: Your brain is ancient, and when it perceives a threat or high levels of stress, your body and brain go into fight, flight, or freeze mode. If you feel yourself reacting with too much stress to a situation, it’s good to have everyday strategies in place that prevent you from letting that stress take over. The more you intervene with a strategy when your reaction starts, the better you can interrupt the fight, flight, or freeze modes. 

Hopefully these strategies can help you stay calm this summer—and don’t forget to treat yourself from time to time!

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