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To the Mom Facing Burnout: You Have an Energy Budget

by | Apr 17, 2023 | 0 comments

Dear Beautiful Solo Mom,

I know firsthand how overwhelming it can be to juggle parenting, work, and personal responsibilities. I’ve experienced my own burnout crisis and learned the importance of a balanced life. I’d like to share my story and some insights on how to manage your energy budget to prevent burnout.

The energy budget is a metaphorical concept that refers to the amount of physical, emotional, and cognitive energy that a person has available to them at any given time. Just like a financial budget, the energy budget is finite and needs to be managed carefully to avoid running out of resources. When we consistently spend more energy than we have available, we become depleted and are at risk of burnout.

As single mothers, our energy budget can be stretched thin by daily demands, leaving us vulnerable to burnout. I remember feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, struggling to find the energy to complete even the simplest tasks. I realized that I had spent more energy than I had available, and it was time to take a step back and prioritize self-care.

Research has shown that the energy budget plays a significant role in burnout. One study found that employees who had a high workload and low resources were more likely to experience burnout than those who had a balanced workload and sufficient resources (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). This resonated with my experience as a single mother and working professional, where it often felt like the demands were endless and resources scarce.

So, how can we manage our energy budget and prevent burnout as single moms? One strategy is to prioritize self-care activities that help replenish our physical, emotional, and cognitive energy. This might include things like exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in hobbies that bring us joy. For me, this meant taking a much-needed sabbatical and focusing on my well-being.

It’s also important to set boundaries and manage our workload in a way that allows us to work efficiently without depleting our energy reserves. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help, delegate tasks, and give yourself permission to say “no” when necessary.

In conclusion, the energy budget is a useful concept for understanding burnout and developing strategies to prevent it, especially for single mothers like us. By managing our energy carefully and prioritizing self-care, we can maintain our well-being, enjoy our time with our children, and avoid the negative consequences of burnout.

Sending you love and support on your journey towards a more balanced and fulfilling life.

With compassion,


Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual review of psychology, 52(1), 397-422.

Schaufeli, W. B., & Bakker, A. B. (2004). Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi‐sample study. Journal of organizational behavior, 25(3), 293-315.

About Kerry-Ann Thompson


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