How are you holding up? I know the past couple of months have been tough for everyone. I’m grateful that my family is healthy and together at home (and also grateful that my baby Maxwell is finally sleeping through the night so I can feel like a real human being again) but of course spending so much time with two toddlers and an infant without a real break can be challenging at times. Burnout is a serious problem for parents everywhere. Here are my top tips to fight back against burnout:
Take a walk or do a daily workout (preferably without your kids)– If you have the option to take a morning or evening walk/jog without your children present, this is a great peaceful activity to clear your mind and get some fresh air. In the past whenever I’ve done this I’ve always come back feeling much better. If you can’t get out by yourself, taking a walk with your children is still much better than staying indoors all the time. Sometimes our thoughts feel heavier when they’re trapped inside the walls of our homes, and getting outdoors can shift our perspectives.
Working out indoors is also a useful way to boost your mood with endorphins. I recently started doing 2-3 short workouts a day using the Peloton app. I do a dance routine in the mornings when Maxwell is napping. My toddlers love the music and try to copy the dance routine so it’s a fun activity for everyone. Sometimes in the evenings we do one of Peloton’s 5 minute family cardio videos to get our blood moving, and after Maxwell has gone to bed my husband takes our toddlers downstairs to play and I do a cycling workout right before I start their bedtime routine. Scheduling that time for myself every day is a method of self-care that actually leaves me feeling recharged. There are a lot of great fitness apps to use for indoor workouts, or you can keep it simple with workouts like push ups, sit ups, pullups, squats, planks, and jump roping that are all very effective.
Talk or video chat every day– One of the hardest parts of quarantine life for many of us is not being able to see family and friends like we used to. But reaching out for some light hearted conversation with other adults who are not a part of your household is a useful tool to avoid mom burnout. And checking on loved ones can be calming and reassuring. Make time to call or text friends or family every day. I’m usually not a big fan of video chatting, but it’s been vital in staying connected to my mom and sister. I love the Facebook portal, my kids enjoy using all of the funny filters while they video chat with their Nana.
Watch things that help you escape– There are so many great shows and movies on Netflix and other streaming platforms. Watching something that helps you escape from your own life for a little bit is a useful indulgence when things feel monotonous or you need a pick me up. I usually love action movies and dramas, but comedies and romance have been especially entertaining to me lately. Don’t feel bad for indulging in more screen time when you need it.
Practice self care– In addition to restarting my fitness journey, I also started a new skincare routine recently. These small acts of self-care remind me that I need to make myself a priority in my household too. And my kids and I get dressed (almost) every day. I used to let them hang out in their pajamas all day pretty often, but now that the days are all running together I feel like getting dressed gives us a little more structure to start the day. Whatever makes you feel calmer, more productive, or more confident should be a part of your daily routine.
Stick to a schedule– Sticking to a clear weekday schedule is one of the most useful tools that I have to combat burnout. Structure makes me feel like our ship is still sailing somewhat smoothly. I still use The Busy Toddler’s Playing Preschool lesson plans on weekdays. Thankfully my boys are still young enough to have a dedicated nap time so I use that time to take a break when I can. And we stick to a bedtime for all three kids.
Those are my top tips to combat mom burnout. If you have any tips please share them in the comments!