When It Gets To Be Too Much – Dealing with Burnout
I was sick earlier in the week. Fever, upset stomach – that kind of sick. But even before that I was starting to feel like I was headed down the road to burnout. Sadly, I’ve been down that road before, so I know what it looks like. I’m sure you have to. If you’re a parent, the odds are you’ve at least gotten close at some point.
I’m not an expert in psychology, but I know enough from reading, and from personal experience to know that the only treatment for burnout is rest. The problem is, in my opinion, that rest looks different for each of us. I’m a huge introvert, so rest for me is quiet, a fluffy pillow, a cat in my lap, and a book. For someone else it might mean going out and doing something fun without feeling guilty about other things that need doing at home.
That’s the key – doing whatever recharges you emotionally. As parents though, it is so, so easy to feel guilty if we slack on our perceived duties. But burnout can turn into a serious problem if not addressed. I believe it is better to let the kids waste a day or two watching TV and playing video games while Mom hides in bed reading, than it is to have a Mom that plows ahead, frazzled and ready to snap, for weeks on end as she refuses to care for her own emotional needs.
This is more of a reminder to myself than to you. Every time I go through this – every single time – I think of all I need to do, and try to think of what I can cut out. I decide that there is nothing to cut; everything I do is vital. Then I get sick, and ya know what? Most, if not all that stuff doesn’t get done. And the world does not end. Funny how that works.