A doctor has revealed how to spot the signs of parental burnout, including feeling ‘inadequate or hopeless’ while taking care of children at home.
She said that feeling constantly exhausted, irritable or snappy, feeling emotionally detached, inadequate, guilty, or hopeless are all signs that you may need to reach out for help.
The NHS doctor and mother-of-two advised taking time to ensure you have a break while taking care of children, never comparing yourself to others on social media, and reaching out to your GP if you feel you need to.
Dr Punam Krishan, from Glasgow, (pictured) appeared on This Morning today to warn parents that pressures of lockdown can lead to becoming ‘physically and mentally exhausted’
‘Over the last few months I’ve been seeing lots of parents feeling fed up, said Dr Punam, ‘Feeling very overwhelmed with months of high stress and pressures put upon us, without the normal support networks. So people are feeling very physically and mentally and emotionally exhausted.’
‘Parenting normally has its own challenges, as a mother of two young kids I get it, but on top of that we have been asked to be teachers and the best friends and entertainers and a lot of the time are working from home and it can be stressful’.
The doctor warned on the show that some groups could be at higher risk of burnout than others, including those who have children with additional needs or who are living in an abusive home.
‘It can affect any one of us’, she said, ‘There are some groups of people who are a slightly higher risk if your child has health problems or additional needs.
She told hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield (both pictured) that feeling constantly exhausted, irritable or snappy, feeling emotionally detached, inadequate, guilty are all signs of burnout
‘If you have previous mental health problem or are facing domestic or financial issues, then you need to be mindful of this.’
If you fear you are facing exhaustion at the hands of stress at home, the doctor advised setting three achievable tasks a day, and taking time for yourself to have a “quiet cup of tea” or to do some breathing exercises.
‘Recognition is key,’ said the doctor. ‘And exercising some compassion for yourself is important. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength not weakness.
‘Some things that are achievable are set out three realistic goals for yourself and kids during the day, and only do what you can do take lots of breaks. If you have to put the TV on for five minutes minutes to have a cup of tea or hide away for some breathing exercises that’s okay.
‘It’s important to prioritise that what we do for our kids and exercise for you too, and eat well as well.’
She insisted that parents should ‘focus on themselves’ and never compare themselves to others on social media
She insisted that parents should ‘focus on themselves’ and never compare themselves to others on social media.
‘Parents don’t tend to take time off’, she said, ‘At the moment this is really hard, but if you need to take a day off that is okay.
‘Don’t compare yourself to other people, try and switch off from that, comparison’s are a real issue for mum’s especially.
‘We tend to always think someone else is doing better than us, but we don’t know what is going on behind closed doors so focus on yourself.’
The doctor said that if you are feeling ‘persistently low’ to phone your GP, and that even having a chat about the problem could be beneficial for your mental health.