Best Life: Tips to avoid parental burnout

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:22 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, FLA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Parental burnout is nothing new. Throughout history, moms and dads everywhere have experienced stress and anxiety associated with parenting. But COVID-19 has brought a whole new set of issues as parental burnout is on the rise.

Homeschooling, soccer games, dinnertime, science projects, sleepovers, baseball tournaments, snack time, carpool, financial stress, all this while dealing with a pandemic.

“There’s just so much uncertainty right now in the environment. And our research suggests that uncertainty is really, really draining,” said Mindy Shoss, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida.

Now, a new study out of The Ohio State University found 66% of working parents meet the criteria for parental burnout. Unchecked parental burnout is associated with depression, anxiety, increased alcohol consumption, and punitive parenting practices.

“I’d recommend for everyone to sit down and, do an audit to think about, okay, if I looked at my life like a strategic plan, what are the things that are important to me? How can I offload perhaps the things that are draining me but are not so important,” said Shoss.

Researchers suggest parents take five to ten-minute “recovery breaks” for stress relief throughout the day. Research shows if you can’t get enough sleep at night, 20-minute power naps can reduce stress. Also, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day can decrease mental exhaustion, and improve mood and cognitive flexibility.

The report found parental burnout was increased in households with two or three children, plateaued with four or five children, and increased again with six or more children. Women were also more likely to report burnout than men.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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