Parental burnout—which is defined as the mental and physical fallout from accumulated stress in one’s parenting duties—can be harmful both to parents and their children, as reported by the Association for Psychological Science. In current times, parents can be subjected to considerable pressure, but being a “perfect mom or dad” is impossible, and attempting to do so can lead to exhaustion. Parents who feel overwhelmed with their duties can have thoughts about escape and stress can cause them to become negligent instead of occurring. Finding time to yourself is vital if you are to avoid burnout. Whether lunch out with friends, attending a pottery class, or going for a run makes you feel refreshed and renewed, make time for it if you want to be a happier, well-rounded mom who is able to give the best of yourself to your children.
How Much Time Do Average Moms Have to Themselves?
Research undertaken by meal delivery service, Munchery, has found that in the US, parents have just 32 minutes to themselves every day. Moreover, some 24% of parents spend over 30 hours per week taking care of their children in addition to fulfilling other responsibilities. Moms, in particular, can find that they are still taking on the majority of home chores and most of them don’t have enough time to take part in their favorite hobbies.
Pastimes that Reap Benefits
If you are feeling a little burnout, use your ‘me time’ to full effect, choosing activities that have been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels. Some of the most effective natural stress busters include yoga, mindfulness meditation, Tai Chi, and spending time in a green or blue area (such as the mountains or sea). Massage is also beneficial, with a 2020 University of Konstanz study showing that just 10 minutes of massage helps your body fight off stress. If you plan on de-stressing with a spa day, check out what is available in your area in terms of massage specials that incorporate facial and body treatments. If you can, seal the deal with a mani-pedi, whose gorgeous color and shine will remind you that ‘me time’ should be a regular experience, not an occasional treat.
The Additional Benefits of ‘Me Time’
If the feel-good factor wasn’t enough to convince you to set aside time for yourself, take note. Research undertaken by the British Psychological Society has found that high-quality ‘me time’ improves your psychological well-being and makes you a more engaged employee. The researchers found that ‘me time’ does not have to be solitary, so long as it involves freely chosen activities. You should also prioritize high-quality activities; those that allow you to recharge your batteries and feel a greater sense of psychological well-being after they are over.
Having a little time to yourself is key if you want to be the best mom, friend, partner, and human being. Trying to fulfill too many obligations can lead to burnout, which can stand in the way of the calm you need to give your best to the people you love. Whether sports, art, or spa visits are your thing, make time for it and try to do so regularly, scheduling your favorite activities into your diary and asking help from loved ones if you need a little more free time.