Parental burnout is very real and affects a lot of people out there without them even knowing
about it. It can be quite a task to single-handedly manage everything about your kids.
This leaves very little time to actually care for yourself. However, experiencing
parental burnout does not automatically make you a bad parent. It is simply your body’s way
of telling you to slow down and give yourself the care you deserve.
Single moms work round-the-clock to look after their kids and handle their professional lives.
Physical and mental exhaustion is something that can set in easily under these
circumstances. Parental burnout statistics in the USA are alarmingly high, recording among
the highest in the world. So, how can parental burnout be dealt with in a way that does not
compromise one’s personal and professional endeavors?
How to Deal with Parental Burnout?
You may be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to beat parental burnout is through
exercise. Physical fitness plays a significant role in maintaining your energy levels and boosting mental resilience. Kids can be exhausting, so you need to be active in order to
keep up with them.
That being said, how will single mothers find the time to exercise and care for themselves
when they also have to work and look after the kids? It is not possible to compromise on any
of these, which is why it is important for single moms to learn to mix up chores and workouts
or join in with their kids during playtime.
Keep in mind that raising a child can involve a lot of hard work, which in itself can be a way to stay fit and active. If you are a busy mom, you have come to the right place. We have discussed numerous fitness strategies that can help you get your fill of physical activity even with your busy schedule.
Read on to find out more.
Fitness Strategies to Beat Parental Burnout
Fitness can be a significant part of getting out of the vicious circle of
not getting enough time for yourself day after day. You may think it would be too utopian of
an idea for a busy single mom to squeeze in exercise during the day but in these ways, you
will be able to balance all your commitments along with your personal time.
Learn to exercise on the go
When you don’t get enough time to visit the nearby gym or community center to work
out, improvise. Learn to exercise on the go by fitting exercise into small chunks of time. Plan
your day in such a way that you can easily squeeze in some exercise between your work
and other commitments. For example, if you are going on errands, make sure to take a
bicycle or walk instead of using your car. Utilize your lunchtime to get in a few hundred
steps. Walk or cycle your way to pick up your child from the daycare center.
These are regular everyday activities that will not take a lot of extra time but will
make you get more exercise without even realizing that you are working out. Over time, you
will notice how these little daily routines will make a difference in your energy levels and your
mood. You will also be an example to your kids who will try to
emulate you and get enough movement in their daily lives.
Set goals and make sure to achieve them
Consistency is what makes a routine turn into a habit. As long as you are consistent, you are
bound to see results. It is important to set goals that keep you motivated to achieve
them. Even experienced athletes deal with a loss of motivation when it comes to following a
routine, so make sure you mix and match your schedule enough so it never becomes boring.
Make sure you set goals such as:
● Achieving a higher number of daily steps
● Reaching a new distance on your bike
● Squeezing an extra mile in your running schedule
● Learning and mastering a new yoga pose
When you set goals such as these, you are more likely to achieve them than if you perform
the same routine every day. For example, you can devote separate days of the week to
different activities, such as strength training, running, yoga, biking, and so on.
Stick with a Routine
Sticking with a fitness routine can easily be one of the hardest things for any single mother to
do. Especially when you have to care for your kids all the time. It can be easy to give up on
your fitness goals to look after your family, but staying consistent will give you the best
results and also inspire your children. Just look at it this way- it is hard to stay consistent, but
it is the best thing you can do for yourself and your kids.
It is important to find the right workout for yourself if you are dedicated to working
out. For single moms who cannot devote hours to the gym, brief bodyweight exercises can
be performed at home, which can have a magnanimous effect on your overall fitness. This
way, you will not have to use heavy gym equipment (which might be a hazard when you
have kids around). You will simply be using the weight of your own body to tone your
muscles and improve your core strength.
Get Enough Rest
One of the main components of a healthy and fit life is getting enough rest. You will simply
be unable to perform any activity if you do not give your body the time to wind down and
process everything you have done. Sleep is something that becomes very erratic after kids
come into the picture, so you will have to get used to taking naps throughout the day if you
cannot manage to sleep for 7-8 hours at a stretch. Getting sleepy is your body’s way of
telling you that you need to slow down and take a break, so listen to your body and get
Fuel Your Body
After sleep, proper nutrition is among the most neglected aspects of a single mom’s life. You
probably spend so much time thinking about what to give to your kids and cooking for them,
that when it comes to you, you just tend to grab and eat whatever. This can lead to
numerous problems because women need to get enough nutrients such as calcium, iron and
phosphorus as they grow older. Often, proper nutrition can be one of the main reasons
behind parental burnout, since a body that does not get enough nutrition will not be able to
keep up with a heavy routine.
Make sure to eat vegetables, fruits, and carbs in your everyday meals. Ask your doctor for a
prescription for multivitamins and energy supplements if required.
It is quite normal to get caught up with taking care of your kids that you forget to care for
yourself. This is why, you should remind yourself from time to time that you are doing a good
job. A fitness journal is a great way to celebrate your health wins and keep yourself
motivated to not stray from your fitness journey. Along the way, you will certainly notice that
you are getting less exhausted and feeling much better emotionally. This is when you will
know that your efforts to live healthily are coming to life. You got this!
More Self Care
Hi, I’m Tamara the creator of Empowered Single Moms, a single mom, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and the author of Thriving a Single Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Positive Life and Thriving a Single Mom Journal. I have a solo private psychotherapy practice where I treat anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.
As a member of the Empowered Single Moms community, I believe you can stop carrying the weight of the world alone and build a life you love. Join my mailing list and get 5 Keys to Single Mom Success.