Three Ways to Lessen the Risk of Burnout in Motherhood

A fundamental to burnout is respecting your bandwidth, the energy and mental capacity you have to get things done. It turns out that kids have a major impact on that. Erayna shares three things that she has either learned or that has been reinforced about mitigating burnout.

By Erayna Sargent

Transcript:

Hi, I’m Erayna Sargent, aka the Burnout Whisperer and founder of Hooky Wellness, your one stop for burnout relief. I’ve dedicated the past four years to empowering hundreds of professionals to navigate burnout. And I spend my days facilitating workshops and programs for individuals and teams, equipping them with the education and practical tips to manage this very common experience.

 

I have to say that 2022 has opened my eyes to a whole new dimension of managing burnout, motherhood. In January, I gave birth to my first child, Noah. He came out full of personality and determined and on his own schedule, evidenced by his arrival 10 weeks earlier than we expected. A fundamental to burnout is respecting your bandwidth, the energy and mental capacity you have to get things done. And turns out that kids have a major impact on that. I’m sure that all of you are well aware of that. And it is a lesson that I have been learning very quickly over the past five months.

 

So here’s three things that I have either learned or have been reinforced about mitigating burnout:

 

1. Number one is the importance of priorities.

So you can’t do it all. And I am definitely one that continues to try even though I know this. And so while this has always been the case is even more so once someone else, no matter how small they may be, are, they’re controlling your calendar. So I’ve always run with the pack schedule and jump it a lot. But I always had the flexibility to shift things around or work late if schedule started to slip. What I’ve learned is once you start having kids, you realize every moment that you do something else is a moment away from them. And so that is why the importance of priorities is ever so important when it comes to managing burnout when you have kids. So identifying your top three to five priorities at work will help you focus on what’s most important. And it can also help you recognize where are those areas that you can say no or at least not. Now, be sure to confirm this list with your boss and your workplace team to ensure that expectations are aligned and using your weekly check ins as a way to make sure that that alignment is continuing and adjust if needed. So number one is all about the importance of priorities.

 

2. Number two is about intentional self care.

This is another one that is always important, your health is super important. But it is so easily overlooked when someone else is literally relying on you for everything. Being a new parent has had a massive impact on me, and has a massive impact on health and well being. So putting yourself on your calendar is even more important. My trick for doing this is to put it on the calendar in advance as well as coordinating with your partner, family member or friend or whoever else is there to help you in balancing this load and creating the new routine for your normal. Even if it takes even if that means you just taking an uninterrupted bath, walk by yourself a nap or making it to that yoga class that you’ve been missing since you were pregnant. The bringing the intentionality to yourself care will not only help you feel better, but will help you be ever more present for your little ones and those in your household.

 

3. Number three, this is about giving myself more time.

I can’t say that I am always the best with timeliness, I believe that events come with a 10 minute buffer of arrival. So one of the biggest things that I’ve learned is, once again, the time is no longer mine. And plans are merely suggestions. So while I’m very grateful to have an engaged husband and partner, my baby schedule baby no is the master of it all. And so I’ve been learning to give myself more time than I normally would for a little bit of everything, whether that be due dates for workplace projects, household tasks, or even things as simple as when I’m actually going to get out the house or when I’m going to arrive to meet up with some friends. So that I can show up as instead of telling someone that you will deliver something on Tuesday, if you have the space, tell them Friday, give yourself that buffer. If you are telling someone, “Hey, I’m on my way,” tell them “I’m leaving the house in 10 minutes.” Just creating that buffer can provide you a little bit of wiggle room in space because there’s a lot of unknowns. And then it also has to alleviate and avoid some unnecessary stress and pressure that comes with just being in life.

 

So those are three quick things that I have either learned or been reinforced about navigating burnout as a new parent to one is a matter of importance of priorities. Two is being intentional about self care. And then three is giving myself more time literally giving yourself more time from a matter of when things are due.

 

And when you’re expected to deliver or show up. It can be hard to do some of these things, especially when it comes to prioritizing yourself. One of the biggest things that I have to repeat to myself to remind myself is, I am the example for my child, you are the example for your child. And so if you want your child to grow up and be able to create their boundaries, respect their boundaries, to create more balance in their life to prioritize themselves and take care of their well being, it starts with you.

 

And so that is a big thing and giving yourself permission to do what you need to feel better because it helps you show up at the household as well as at work.

 

So as I said, I am the founder of a company called Hooky Wellness. We’re all about equipping people with the education and real practical tools, so that you can understand what burnout is, isn’t and actually do something about it. I would love to help you in your burnout relief journey. So be sure to check out hookeywellness.com to learn a little bit more about our workplace support, individual support upcoming workshops. We have some really cool ones coming up on boundaries, balance of bandwidth, as well as finding your ways and we’ll wellness. And then some pretty cool tools like our digital workbook burnout, bingo. It’s a quick resource that gives you a 15 minute checkup for burnout.

 

I’m Erayna Sargent. You can find me online at burnout whisperer as well as at hooky wellness on Instagram as well. Until we meet again, work hard self care harder.

Erayna is a speaker, mental wellness champion and founder of Hooky Wellness— your one-stop for burnout relief. Personal experience gave her deep empathy for the challenges in the relief journey and set her on a mission to create practical burnout support that meets you where you are.
She has a 15-year career building innovative consumer products across workspace design, consumer goods, and the tech industry. Erayna has an MBA from Indiana University, is a Global Wellness Institute initiative member, a contributing writer for Well+Good with guest appearances across publications including NPR Life Kit, Thrive Global, & Architectural Digest.
Erayna is a foodie, bookworm and hammock lover. She has lived coast to coast from San Francisco to Charlotte, NC where she currently lives with her husband, newborn son and their two cats.

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