13 Jun What is working mum burnout and how can you avoid it?
Being a working mum in today’s world is no easy feat; many of us are juggling several responsibilities, living away from family, and our days are packed with work, errands, children and chores around the house. Even though we love our families and our work, life can get a little overwhelming sometimes, especially if you take on too much and always insist on putting on a good face.
If you’ve been struggling lately, and can’t find the words to describe how you feel, if you’re tired all the time or lacking motivation to get out of bed in the mornings, you might be suffering from what is increasingly being called ‘working mum burnout’.
Here are the signs and symptoms to watch out for:
- Increased irritability: If you find yourself constantly annoyed with the people around you, and the smallest things set you off, it might be time to take a deep breath and get some much needed rest.
- Decreased productivity, lack of motivation, and poor performance at work: If you have been pushing yourself to be the best work from professional, the best mum, partner and friend without giving yourself a break, it’s very likely that sooner or later your work and level of productivity will suffer.
- Negative thought processes and a negative attitude towards yourself: If you start to feel like everything is always bleak and you can’t find the joy in the things you once loved, you may have allowed your burnout phase to continue for too long. It’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate your priorities.
- Insomnia – If it’s becoming harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, then you might be suffering from sheer exhaustion, which ironically often leads to an inability to sleep well.
If you find that you have been experiencing a combination of the above signs for a few weeks, then chances are you are going through the stages of working mum burnout.
How can you tackle working mum burnout?
When working mums get busy, the first thing they start to take for granted is a good night’s sleep. You either prefer to get things done late at night when the house is quite or you feel like you’re finally getting some quiet time alone. Either way, don’t make a habit of this. Science is rather clear on the fact that sleep is absolutely essential for human beings to function normally. Compromising on sleep can play havoc with your physical and emotional health, and overtime can be a primary cause of exhaustion and burnout.
Learn to say no
As a work from home mum, you have several different roles and obviously you want to be your best at each. But, remember every time you take on another task, you will be compromising on your own health. From now on, ask yourself three questions when deciding whether or not you should take on something new: Will I be able to do this without upsetting my current routine?
Do I really want to do this? Will this make me happier than I am? If you’re unable to answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then it’s clear you shouldn’t take on the new task.
Ask for help when you need it
Working mums have a lot of responsibilities and trying to get everything done alone will eventually lead to extreme levels of stress and exhaustion i.e. burnout. Although it is not uncommon to have some amount of stress in your life; prolonged stress over a long period of time can have detrimental effects on your health.
If you want to master the act of balancing your work and family life, you have to know when it is time to reach out to those around you and ask for help. If you don’t live close to family, consider the various child care options available to you. Also, make sure to talk to your partner honestly and openly about how you are feeling and don’t hesitate to ask for support when you need it.
Do something healthy everyday
One of the best ways to avoid burnout, if you have a very busy routine, is to incorporate a healthy hobby into the mix. Whether you choose yoga, the gym or long walks, find 30–45 minutes a day to take part in an activity purely designed to relieve stress. This will ensure that no matter what you are going through, your body and mind are strong enough to handle it.
The reality is that most days for working mums will never be perfectly balanced, because each day brings its own set of surprises and challenges. But, we can be proactive how about we choose to live our lives and make sure to put our own health first. Also, one of the best pieces of advice is to do something you love every day. Spend more time with your family, read a book, take up an enjoyable hobby, whatever it is that puts a smile on your face. The happier you feel, the less likely you are to get stressed and experience burnout.
If you’re looking for work from home opportunities that are stress free and offer flexible working options, get in touch with us today.