The phases of parental burnout – how to solve the problem
Isolation continues in many countries. Of course, it became very difficult to stay calm for many parents.
Parental burnout is familiar to many mothers since the decree, a period when the baby needed 100% of the mother’s attention. Now, during the world quarantine, many parents again found themselves in a situation similar to the decree. As a result, parental burnout may appear.
Burnout has four phases
1. Enthusiasm phase
It is characterized by a parent’s desire to do everything very well and to be fully involved in all processes. Every day – new plans and always grandiose. Parents want to use the self-isolation period as productively as possible.
2. The phase of maturation
Enthusiasm has passed; it was replaced by accumulated fatigue and sense of duty. The parent is still trying to do the maximum, to achieve the goals set during the phase of enthusiasm. Nevertheless, there appears more and more irritation, no joy and ease.
3. Asthenic phase
There are more and more physiological disorders: bad sleep, desire to eat a lot (or less), dependence on coffee, sweets, etc. One of the most obvious and dangerous signs of this phase is that rest does not bring relaxation and fatigue becomes chronic. Irritation and breakdowns on the child become a usual thing.
4. Deformation phase
During this phase personality deformation is manifested in hatred for the child – warmth completely disappears from the relationship; instead there is aggression and criticism. The asthenic and deforming phase requires consultation with professional psychologists, but with phases 1 and 2, you can work independently.
How to solve the problem?
Get what you want
Unmet needs are one of the main causes of conflicts and internal tensions. Careful treatment to yourself will protect you from emotional burnout, helps to formulate goals and to define your own and others’ boundaries.
Every time you feel tired and irritated, ask yourself questions:
What would be good for me now?
What can I do for myself now?
How can I do it now?
Set the mode
To get rid of the feeling of constant fatigue, set the schedule
- Get up and lie down early.
- Make a meal schedule.
- Wear office clothes while you work.
- Make a plan for the day together with your family. Remember that a day plan is a minimum plan, don’t try to do too much
- Schedule time for idleness.
Most importantly, remember: if something went wrong, it’s okay! Everyone needs time to get used to the new regime.
Set the boundaries
Reliable, age-appropriate and flexible boundaries help the child to develop himself/herself and give him/her a sense of stability and security. Boundaries help the parent to stay in the resource, to define his or her responsibilities, not to break down and to respect the privacy of other family members. To set boundaries, it is necessary to agree on what you should do and what the child should do.