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Being a parent is a full-time job.
Parenting, along with catering to your partner, while balancing a career and making time for everything in between, can be tough. The constant exhaustion that comes with being on-the-go can cause an extreme increase in stress levels, and according to renowned parenting expert and licensed educational psychologist Reena Patel, "Parent burnout is real."
Dr. Patel defines burnout as "the inability to bounce back from a hierarchy of stressors which translates into the inability to become resilient." While the feeling of exhaustion is a logical reaction to stress, the feeling of guilt remains for parents who can’t scratch everything off their to-do list.
Dr. Patel advises that most of the time, comparison is the root of guilt. "It's because such and such is doing better or doing more," Dr. Patel tells Houstonia. "One thing parents have to focus on is that it’s your family, and you create your own rules to what is acceptable and what is rational."
With mental health becoming an ongoing conversation within society today, it’s imperative to educate yourself, and pay attention to the body's warning signs before you begin to feel overwhelmed. According to the practitioner, signals include not getting enough rest or enough food, which can quickly turn into depression, isolation, memory loss and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
In order to conquer parent burnout, Dr. Patel says the first step is acknowledgment. "The first thing they have to do is become aware of it. Recognize the signs and say, 'oh, that's me.' Also, it’s okay to say, 'I need to step away.' I think that's the hardest thing for parents."
Patel encourages mindfulness, and shares that being present in the moment is the main goal. By committing a few days to exercise, going for a walk, a monthly trip to the spa, or a relaxing bath, parents will be able to regain the energy needed to attend to their children’s needs.
Scroll ahead to shop five affordable ways to destress after a long day.
Relax with a glass of Texas-made rosé from Kiepersol. Their 2019 Reserve is a delicate mix of apples, white peaches, and cream soda for a creaminess similar to strawberry shortcake and key lime.
Incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life can aid in less stress and a better day. With Headspace, you'll learn different meditation methods for better sleep and focus.
After a long day, a relaxing bath will do the trick. Try Maude's Hydrating Coconut Milk bath with added vitamins and minerals to detoxify your body for an at-home spa.
Lavender is one of the best scents to unwind with. Texas brand Theis Raiford's Lavender Ancient Salt Soak uses alkalizing Ancient Sea Salt to destress while balancing the body's pH and softening skin.
Nothing is better than a day at the spa. Houston spa and skincare brand Switch 2 Pure's Ozuna Sauna Treatment is one of the best in the city. The steam used in the treatment aids in detoxifying the body while strengthening the immune system.