EP14 - How to Combat Parental Burnout
This week’s episode takes a dive into parental burnout! We will describe the signs and symptoms of parental burnout, what happens in your body when you are experiencing burnout and ways to take care of yourself when you are utterly worn out!
· What parental burnout actually is
· What happens in your body when you are burnt out and the 4 stages of burnout
· How to repair your body
· Emotional symptoms of parental burnout
· How Good Enough Parenting can help you with burnout
· Tips for combating parental burnout
· The importance of being gentle with yourself and letting go of guilt
About the Hosts:
About Dimple Arora – Founder of Mindful Evolution
Dimple Arora is the founder of Mindful Evolution (ME) — a parenting movement that aims to empower parents and their kids towards positive transformation and life changing results...one thought, one emotion and one choice at a time.
Dimple is an expert in women and teen empowerment and specializes in helping individuals reduce the debilitating effects of stress and anxiety using mindfulness, nutrition, EFT tapping and other energy psychology modalities. Dimple is a Certified Life Coach, EFT and NLP Practitioner, Holistic Nutritionist and Energy Therapist. She holds degrees in mathematics, business, and education and was previously employed in the corporate world and as a high school math teacher.
You can book a complimentary coaching call with Dimple on her website at https://www.mindfulevolution.ca and connect with her on social media.
About Shaista Fatehali – Founder of Thrive Kids
Shaista Fatehali is the founder of Thrive Kids BC where she works with children and families to help nurture connection, empower a sense of self - worth and discover what is needed for individual families to thrive. Shaista is a speaker and the author of the children’s book BACK HOME; which has received accolades nationwide. She is a certified children’s and parent life coach and works with clients to build soft skills such as interpersonal awareness, effective communication, emotional agility emotional regulation, problem solving, transition planning and mindfulness . As a teacher and mother of two young girls, her true passion lies in giving her children, her students and clients the tools to reach their most true authentic selves.
To book a complimentary call with Shaista or to learn more about Shaista and the programs she offers at Thrive Kids BC, please visit her website at https://thrivekidsbc.ca/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thrivekidsbc/
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Imagine being present calm and connected, while creating a family environment where everyone can thrive.Dimple Arora:
Welcome to the IM mom parenting podcast, providing inspiration and actionable steps to manifest the meaningful and magical life you desire for you and your family.Unknown:
We are your hosts dimple, Aurora, founder and mindful evolution and shape the daily founder of Thrive kids.Unknown:
Thank you for sharing the I am mom journey with us. Let's get started.Unknown:
Hello, everyone, today we're going to delve into the concept of parental burnout. We are going to describe the symptoms, the signs, what happens in your body when you're experiencing burnout, and ways to take care of yourself when you're utterly worn out. Now parenting any child isn't easy, right? And fatigue is going to come along the way parent hood is exhausting. And burnout is often a result. There are different levels of burnout though, and Jimbo is going to get into this a little bit later with the four stages. But some symptoms include physical exhaustion, being bored or frustrated, feeling defeated, and feeling like you're kind of fed up. Parental burnout is when you're mentally physically, emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed. And I'm sure all of you are going to be able to relate to this. Because it is not uncommon for a parent to have many of these feelings at a given time. Oftentimes, when you have these feelings, you feel so helpless, and you just feel so alone. And the most important thing to remember is that all of us go through this, and there's no reason to feel guilty or ashamed. And with some of these steps that we're going to get through a little later on, we'll help you find some really good solutions. So you are able to turn it around.Unknown:
Oh, I'm really excited to get into this one, we've all experienced those times where we just feel so low on energy. So exhausted, so mentally fatigued. And you can always tell when a friend is headed in that direction as well. Right? Like, I, I've been there to this point where where I've been severely burnt out. So it causes a lot of symptoms in the body, you know, from and it's caused from being stressed. So stress is the main, you know, trigger for mom burnout. And with our busy society, we don't usually know how to take a pause sometimes or know when to take a pause. And we lead our selves into these directions of high stress in environments where we, we burn out. And some of the stressors that we experience are everyday stressors. So we spoke about recently about yelling and getting angry often that's a symptom of, of burnout, but it's also a cause of burnout. Right? Anytime you have, even if you have a new baby or you have a surgery, or something going on in your life that's stressful with family or relationships, it can lead you to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.Unknown:
I feel like a lot of these like really big transitions as well can really leave you feeling that way. Right. You know, like in particular, like when there's new events coming up, right? So for example, like when school is going to start in a couple months, like you might be thinking about that, and your kids might be anxious about that. And you might be starting to sense that you are getting burnt out because you're trying to support your child along that.Unknown:
Oh my gosh, even things like Christmas holidays. Could I? Yes. so stressful. It is it is and there's so much going on. And you know, in our culture, even our weddings could end up causing burnout. Yeah,Unknown:
you are absolutely right. Definitely so much so much burnt out because there's so much like so many expectations from so many people and so many eventsUnknown:
and you're still up late, and our bodies, you know, cannot it takes a toll for sure on the body. But some of the other things that could be stressing the body out and putting stress on the body that's leading it in a direction of overwhelm. And exhaustion could be things like gut imbalances, or infections in the body that are that are not visible or identified. Even things like food triggers. environmental toxins as well could be one. So there's a lot of things that could be stressing us out. And the underlying cause, then is something that is putting a demand on our bodies, physically or mentally, or emotionally.Unknown:
Yeah, exactly. And even in terms of like, over exercising, right, you can put such a physical demand on your body, and can tax you when you are really needing a state of calm in your body, right, and just put so much. In that way, we think we're doing something really, really good for a body, but when it's over really doing it, that can put a stressor. Yeah, and how do you know you're feeling burnt out, I mean, you're definitely going to feel exhausted. There's so much physiological stuff that's happening in the body when, when the body is headed in this direction. So you might have symptoms like weight gain, especially in the abdominal area, or getting sick more often because your immune system is, is has low resilience at that time, definitely, you'll experience a lower sex drive, for sure. And even things like low tolerance to noise, or to any pressure to do something to get something done any, you just don't have the tolerance even for your children. If they're playing and they're being a little loud, you won't have the tolerance to listen to that being in your body will be too exhausted. So brain fog is a common one that I hear often, low energy in the morning is a common one. And also, the body will start getting some aches and pains to right Oh, and you know what else blood sugar imbalances will become more prominent, and also your blood pressure might be fluctuating as well. Okay, so I just want to get into the four stages of fatigue and burnout, and what our body is going through so that we could understand how it works. So our body relies on communication between three parts to was to release cortisol. So cortisol is our stress hormone, and it gets released when we're stressed. And so the hypothalamus in our brain, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal gland, between the three of them, they, they get stimulated to produce the cortisol in our body. Okay, so it knows when to increase the cortisol and when to decrease the cortisol. But when somebody is chronically stressed all the time, and constantly getting triggered, their body is staying in that fight or flight state, which we've talked about in many of our episodes. So any stressor or any threat, could be something as simple as your child dropped something on the floor, like that could be a trigger or a stressor, right? So we talked about some of the bigger stressors. But imagine if you're so exhausted, and your body has a higher demand for cortisol production. And what happens is, then you enter the first stage, so you start to have more adrenaline production, more cortisol production, more like insulin production. So you might feel some mild fatigue at that point, and then you think, okay, I just need a coffee or I just need a tea in the morning. Right. So the second stage is now your body's been under the stress and your cortisol levels are continuing to go up. And you can still do all your normal activities, but every day you feel more and more fatigued by midday. You are very tired and even now in the morning, you're starting to feel really tired so you're not rested. After you wake up in the morning. You don't feel well rested, your body's taking really long to recover. Hover and your stress response system, it's like it's feeling now it's being overloaded. So you're going to have then different symptoms like you might start getting digestive issues or feeling really irritable or more increased anxiety. And you know, actually, what's going to happen is your sleep pattern will become more disrupted, so you might be waking up in the middle of the night. So this is the stage stage to where you become tired and wired. So what happens is, when we wake up in the morning, our cortisol levels are higher, and they're meant to be higher, because in order to fall asleep at night, around 9pm, our melatonin starts succeeding. And that stops around in the morning, but at 6am is when our body starts releasing cortisol. So in the morning, you should have high cortisol. And then as the day goes on, you should your cortisol levels go down. But what happens when you start getting really stressed in fatigue is at night, your cortisol levels go up, and you start to get this high alert or wired feeling at night, when really, you're supposed to have that in the morning. So your sleep cycles get disrupted, okay. And then in the third stage, but I'm trying to keep this really simple. And the third stage, you're just you're exhausted. So you now have anxiety, you have a low tolerance for noise, your body's trying to conserve energy. And even at this phase, and I've been here in life, at times, your muscle tissue will start to break down to give you energy. So then you're starting to feel the effects of that crash, and you just don't want to get out of bed, it takes everything out of you to get out of bed. And then the fourth stage, is when you actually crash. Now, a lot of us don't get to this phase. And in conventional medicine, it's recognized as adrenal insufficiency. So this is like Addison's disease when your body cannot produce enough cortisol, those are the four stages. And what happens is, we can go through stage one, two, and three, many times in life. And each time if we don't reset and reboot our bodies, we are more susceptible to burnout from stress each and every time. And we're never going to be we're never going to be operating at peak performance. And it's it is a very difficult thing, unless you put yourself first and really start to take action on remedying the issue of that chronic exhaustion, then you are not going to recover. I love how you broke itUnknown:
down in those four different stages. Because I know like oftentimes, I'll wake up, even though I think I've had enough sleep. I feel like I'm still tired, right? And so it doesn't make sense to me in my mind, like, why would be so tired, but the way you broke it down. Now I'm able to see why right? It's because my cortisol levels are low, right? That's right, low.Unknown:
cortisol levels are low.Unknown:
And so if I'm able to take care of myself, right, and put some of these strategies into place, it will help prevent the next stage. Is that right?Unknown:
Absolutely. Because the levels of cortisol, they can stay high even after you have a stressful situation. So for example, you had a baby last year. Yeah. Right. So it could have a negative effect on your health. And these stages could take years and decades to progress. Right? So it's very it could take it take our bodies are so fascinating, and such amazing machines that they could keep going and going and going and going. Yeah, that's so true. It's so true. Yeah. And when you get to that, that kind of ending stages, not ending I shouldn't say my gosh, ending but last stages. You're just you can't get out of bed. And there is a point where pushpin I and Avia had to live with my parents because I couldn't get out of bed at one point. So you did get to that last stage. I did. I did in 2015. I did at one point.Unknown:
Wow. So there's so Many different strategies that I'm sure you use to help you come out of that, right. But some of the strategies that I talked to a lot of parents about, my favorite one is be a good enough parent, good enough parent, that's what I'm going to emphasize. Because we often, while all the time, we want to be the best, we want to be able to do it all for our children, right. And we're happy to do it all for our children. But it also can be dangerous to our well being. And the reality of the fact is, is that these days, we don't have that village around us, when, in the past, we may have, right, and the result is we're constantly exhausted, we constantly feel overwhelmed. We don't want to bother other people to ask for help, right. And so we have this pressure to do at all. However, if we're constantly taking care of our kids, we are not going to take care of ourselves. And my favorite quote, that I love to say is you cannot be 100% 100% of the time. Good enough parenting means that you are there you are loving, you are present, and you feel calm and safe within yourself as well. Right. So you need to meet your needs, as well as your family needs, but you need to care for yourself, because otherwise all those expanded reserves are just gonna get depleted, right. And it is okay to ask for help. Even though if you don't, if you live in a place where you're not able to get help from family, utilize friends, or even like babysitters, right? Even if it's just for a little couple of hours of the day, reconnect with people who are able to offer you support, whether it's an hour a day, or you know, five hours a week or 20 hours a week, whatever it is that you are able to do. The point is, it doesn't have to be someone that's taking care of your child all day long, every day of the week. But even that small amount of time will help preserve those reserves.Unknown:
I love that good enough parenting. Because our kids need to feel safe, they need to feel nourished. We are sometimes the ones that over schedule our lives, and put all this pressure on ourselves to have the perfect birthday party and the perfect vacation and the the perfect, you know summer schedule. And so we actually create this sometimes upon ourselves. And our kids don't need all of that at times they want they need us to help them feel loved and safe. Right. So anything we can do to lower our stress levels will help. And I always go back to manage managing our thoughts. So making sure we choose thoughts that are nourishing, because that's been proven to lower cortisol levels. And meditation and mindfulness have been proven to lower cortisol levels. And I think we're at a time where taking some time for mindfulness or meditation, or just taking a pause, it's no longer an option for us in this society, we have to make this a part of our daily routine, otherwise, we will get burned out.Unknown:
And it's such a good practice also to share with our kids, right and even doing it with your children is a really good, just a good ritual almost to do. Right, even if it is for a couple of minutes just to take that pause. And that kind of brings me to another really good point. We feel that we need to entertain our kids right all the time, every moment of the day. And that really depletes us. But that is a misconception. We don't need to entertain our kids all the time and we don't need to feel guilty about it either. Right? kids do need to learn how to entertain and play by themselves. So it's okay for you to sit on the sidelines while your children play and explore Of course when like everything is like safe right. In fact, this is something that is encouraged because then They will learn independence. And they will also share an interest in exploring and in learning and stretching their abilities as well. Right? So don't feel guilty about it. If your kids are playing there, you don't have to be right in front of them the entire time.Unknown:
That's so true. And how much science is around the fact that our kids need to learn how to be bored. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So it's, it's that's a really good point and unwinding, right? learning how to unwind as a family as a parent, that's so important for all of us to do and laughter things that are fun, that's going to lower cortisol levels for sure. And, and take the body out of a fight or flight response, even like getting out of the house is going to do that. Right? Yeah,Unknown:
exactly. Like, especially if you haven't been able to get out, like, let's say you, you have had a new baby, right, and it's difficult to get out. But even just having some time for a walk and having that fresh air is going to shift mood, it's going to shift energy, it doesn't have to be something super extreme, extensive, like going for a big hike or anything like that, right. But just a change in scenery is really going to help with that. With those cortisol levels and, and your energy levels as well.Unknown:
Right? Getting out in nature. Yeah, that's a really good point. So getting outdoors, getting that vitamin D. and getting out in nature is really helpful. And so I want to also go into three really important aspects of the burnout that a lot of women are missing, and which is causing them to feel more exhausted and more burnt out. So the first thing is regulating your sleep schedule. So going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning is going to make a huge difference in regulating your sleep. But I find the women who are very exhausted, they're usually staying up late hours in the night because they want to get all the stuff done after the kids go to bed. So when you have sleep deprivation that's leading to increase levels of cortisol in your bloodstream. So at 9pm is when our bodies need to start winding down. And if you look at the Chinese body clock, I'm so fascinated with their with this ancient wisdom. If you look at the Chinese body clock, if you're sleeping between a lot 11pm to 1am, your body is getting really good cellular repair. But if you miss that window, you miss that deep restorative cellular repair. So I feel like and I'm so guilty of this, but going to bed at a decent time really, really helps with that exhaustion like regulating that sleep schedule. Okay, the The next thing is I find a lot of people go on low carb diets, when their bodies are not able to handle the low carb diet. So and when you start to feel really exhausted, you need nutrient dense carbs, in order to have your body get make that energy that you need. So high protein, nutrient dense carbs, and healthy fats. So skip the simple sugars, skip the unhealthy fats, and really focus on getting really nourishing Whole Foods and not going low on carbs. That is going to really that's really important. And the third thing, actually, maybe there's four things actually. So the third thing is over exercising. So when you are at that stage where you're feeling deeply, deeply exhausted to the bone, it is recommended not to over exercise, so not to do high impact exercise because that's going to put more stress on the body and release more cortisol. So low impact exercise, like yoga, walking, Tai Chi, those types of things will be more restorative and more healing and nourishing to the adrenal glands. The last thing is if you can ditch the coffee, so there's a lot of science behind how coffee helps us, you know, be alert to help the cardiovascular system, all that kind of stuff. But when you drink coffee, a lot of it it releases more cortisol so you're actually depleting your body if it's already depleted. So coffee with drawl, like caffeine withdrawal may take like two to three days. And if you're eating like high protein and good carbs and you're stabilizing your blood sugar, you won't have that. Really bad withdrawal symptoms. But coffee breaking up with coffee is a really good way to reset your body if you're having that burnout feeling.Unknown:
Yeah, those are such great tips. The coffee one, I think is definitely one that's a hard one to break for a lot of us. But I'm even taking small steps toward that towards that. The only other thing I would add to that is just to find something that you love to do, right. It could be anything like it could be reading or maybe doing a particular craft. Having that as your time, right and having your personal time, incorporating in your routine is going to really help you lower your cortisol levels, because then you have this time, that's just for yourself. And it's also going to increase your mood, right, because you're doing something that you love to do think of something that you really loved to do before you even had kids, right. And then incorporate that even a small amount of time into your routine,Unknown:
for sure. And so the goal is to, to do anything to lower your stress, really, that's what the goal is. And if you have come to a point where you're very, very exhausted, I would suggest getting professional help. Because you may be feeling depressed. And when the adrenals are very taxed, it could affect your thyroid, and then you can have thyroid issues, right, so and your ovaries will be affected as well. So then you may have irregular menstrual cycles. So there's a lot of effects that could come with this burnout. And what you want to do is work with a professional so they can help you to really regulate your metabolism and your hormones and your mood. And a professional could even provide you with support that you need. So maybe support for your adrenal glands. There's so many superfoods and adaptogens. And it's good to work with someone to help you and guide you in that direction, so that you can restore your body's natural well being.Unknown:
Yeah, I know, that's such great advice, and even to the point of emotional burnout, right, and really talking to someone and I know, we do that quite a bit with parents that we talked to when they're feeling so burnt out and overwhelmed. And they're feeling this kind of depressed state, right. Sometimes it's just nice to learn, it's not even just nice, it's needed, where you do need to have that other person as a support, and to help you process some of these emotions that you may be feeling. But the most important thing I want to end with is to go easy on yourself, know that these feelings of burnout won't last forever, and you are doing the best that you can, you're doing everything that your children need. And sometimes that's going to take a lot out of you Well, all the time, it's going to take a lot out of you. And you have to take care of yourself. And if it means you know one day where you have to put cocoa melon on for for five or 10 minutes, then do it and don't feel guilty about it. You need to take care of yourself. So you can be the most helpful and and therefore your children and to be your best self.Unknown:
Absolutely. If you have to give cereal oatmeal eggs for dinner at that point, then do it right. So I completely agree with what you just said. So I guess I really hope that these strategies are helpful and give you some sort of insight into how you're feeling. But the key is, put yourself first because you cannot pour from an empty cup. And don't procrastinate if you are feeling burnt out and exhausted. Take these steps in order to restore your body so that it doesn't get worse. So thank you for listening today. Please let us know what you're feeling. And how you're feeling and how you found these strategies and if you have experienced burnout and what you did to overcome it, so please join us in our Facebook group to have that discussion. So we'll talk to you soon. Take care. Thank you for joining us on the IM mom parenting journey. If you enjoyed today's episode, please follow us and head on over to iTunes to leave us a