• Behavior
  • Parenting

Reached your breaking point from pandemic madness at home?

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Stressed dad, with his head in his hand, siting at a desk at home trying to work while holding toddler daughter on his lap.

In this article, you’ll find answers to questions like:

1. How to ease burnout?

2. How to self-care?
3. How to find help?

You’re not the only one who feels frazzled by all the extra tasks that the pandemic has brought with it! After a year amid COVID-19, you’re likely still working while educating your children at home, trying to ease their restlessness during isolation — and squeeze in housework. Whew!

We know it’s easy to neglect yourself while caring for your family. But simple self-care practices can help calm you when the load becomes too heavy.

“Spending some downtime each day to concentrate on your thoughts and your needs is the right thing to do,” says Darla Mullenix, licensed mental health counselor and senior therapist at the Center for Child Counseling.


“Go ahead and eat that second cookie or take a nap when the kids are safely resting as long as it makes you feel good about yourself,” says Jamie-Lyn Richartz, director of Counseling Services at Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County. “Doing what you like will go a long way in helping make you feel better. Do things that don’t cost money, like taking a walk or sitting outside. Having fun builds relationships and shows that you are doing your job.”

This isn’t the best time to set high expectations, says Ljubica “Jibby” Ciric, vice president of Child and Family Mental Health Services for Alpert Jewish Family Service of Palm Beach County.

“Don’t expect things to be perfect. Your children are stressed too. They are isolated from their friends and social activities,” she says. “It’s OK to give them a little extra screen time and give yourself a break. It is natural and good for parents to have some downtime.”


“Going outside, even onto a balcony, meditate, squeeze a stress ball, take a bubble bath, take deep breaths, play calming music, exercise with free TV videos. All of these can help ease stress,” Mullenix says. “Prioritize your time and limit your obligations to eliminate shame, guilt and self-blaming; they are very heavy and negative. The laundry can wait until tomorrow, and be okay with doing that.”

Putting a little effort into developing your coping skills will pay big dividends, she says. Establish routines. Get extra sleep and take care of your body to boost your energy.

 “Reach out to your support systems — family, friends, school, social support groups, religious organizations and counseling, if needed,” Richartz says. “Give yourself some grace and work on a level within your boundaries that feels good to you.” 


Call 211, which is a free, confidential and 24/7 helpline. A compassionate counselor will offer resources, such as parenting information on developmental concerns and special needs.

Community Partners of South Florida offers free virtual and in-person counseling. The staff also speaks Spanish and Creole. Clinical staff has expertise in child and family therapy. Call 561- 841- 3500, ext. 1, or email info@cp-cto.org.


• Ljubica “Jibby” Ciric, vice president of Child and Family Mental Health Services, Alpert Jewish Family Service of Palm Beach County 
• Darla Mullenix, licensed mental health counselor and senior therapist, Center for Child Counseling
• Jamie-Lyn Richartz, director of Counseling Services, Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County


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